Prizes Open to All Students

2018 Deadline: Friday, March 2nd at Noon. View submission requirements.

Essays on Specific Subjects

19th-CENTURY ENGLISH NOVEL PRIZE, for the best student essay on the nineteenth-century English novel. 

Established by Alan P. Levenstein ’56 and Stephen Kirschenbaum ’55 to commemorate their appreciation of such novelists as Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, and Charles Dickens, the prize is intended to encourage students to read and write about nineteenth-century English novels intelligently, critically, and with a heightened sense of pleasure. 

To enter, students must submit an essay that addresses in substantial detail some aspect of one or more nineteenth-century English novels. The competition is open to all students in any major. Essays submitted must be original work, but may be expanded or revised versions of papers written initially as coursework.

Personal or Open Topic Essays

THE CORBIN PRIZE is awarded for an outstanding original composition in the form of poetry or an informal essay.

Poetry

Submissions for the poetry prizes should contain from one to five poems, the total not to exceed three pages.

THE ACADEMY OF AMERICAN POETS PRIZE is awarded annually for the best poem or group of poems, preferably on nature, submitted by an undergraduate.

THE COLLIN ARMSTRONG POETRY PRIZE, established in part by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Armstrong, is awarded to the undergraduate author of the best original poem or group of poems.

THE CORBIN PRIZE is awarded for an outstanding original composition in the form of poetry or an informal essay.

Fiction

THE PETER BURNETT HOWE PRIZE for excellence in prose fiction, was established by a gift of Robert B. Howe of the class of 1930 in memory of his son Peter Burnett Howe, 1960. Submissions for the Howe Prize must be limited to a maximum of 25 pages, comprised of any combination of prose fiction pieces, including excerpts from novels.

Travel

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 Leithauser-- MacArthur Fellow and Visiting Writer at the College for 1984-85-- 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. Please click here for a sample budget. 

* If your project involves international travel, you must upload a copy of your signed International Travel Waiver of Liability found at https://www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/srm/5col/pdf/5csponswaiverac.pdf   If you are under 18 years old, both you and your parents must sign the waiver.  The following link describes the AIG/Travel Guard program in further detail https://www.fivecolleges.edu/riskmgmt/intltravel/aigtravelguard . Please visit the Study Abroad website for information on Health and Emergency Medical Assistance.