Prizes Open to Sophomores

Personal or Open Topic Essays

THE HARRY RICHMOND HUNTER, JR. PRIZE, established in memory of Harry Richmond Hunter, Jr., of the class of 1929, by his parents, is awarded for the best essay written by a sophomore as part of the work of any English course.


*The terms of these prizes may vary due to the pandemic. Students will receive more information in the spring.

THE MacARTHUR-LEITHAUSER TRAVEL AWARD, drawn from the income of a gift by the MacArthur Foundation to the College in 1985 at the request of Brad LeithauserMacArthur Fellow and Visiting Writer at the College for 1984–85 (learn more about Brad Leithauser here), is a fellowship given annually by the English Department to a Sophomore or Junior of creative promise who might most benefit from exposure to a foreign landscape, for the purpose of enabling the student to travel outside the continental United States. 

While “creative promise” will be interpreted loosely, preference will be given to those students who have displayed some talent in writing poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Financial need and limited previous travel are also considerations. This prize is meant to encourage talented students to invent occasions for self-directed creative work in foreign environments, and cannot be used to pay educational expenses for courses taken abroad. 

Candidates for this award should submit a preliminary budget, a sample of creative work and a cover letter.* In this letter, please outline your travel plans, and also offer some insight into how these plans are expected to contribute to your growth as a writer. This letter should give the prize committee a sense of who you are and of the hows and whys of what you hope to accomplish with this award. The finalists will be interviewed by members of the Department. A sample budget can be found here.

* If your project involves international travel, you must upload a copy of your signed International Travel Waiver of Liability, found at this link. If you are under 18 years old, both you and your parents must sign the waiver. This page describes the AIG/Travel Guard program in further detail. Please visit the Study Abroad website for information on Health and Emergency Medical Assistance.