Undergraduate Prizes

2023 Changes for First Year and Sophomore Essay Prizes

Beginning in 2023, first- and second-year students who complete essays between the March prize submission due date and the May Dean's Date will be allowed to submit an essay for consideration for that year's first- or second-year prize in the following academic year.

To be considered, they will need to submit their essays by the end of the current academic year, while they are still first- or second-years. Essays will be accepted for consideration up to the day of the last department business meeting, usually the Tuesday before the Monday of Class Day — this year May 23 — by 5 p.m. to the links for first year or sophomore prizes below. Please advise students to put in the subject line (all caps): [YEAR] ESSAY PRIZE.

Submission Guidelines

Prize entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 13, 2023 and should be submitted electronically in PDF format at the link following the appropriate prize below. Please be sure to indicate:

  • Name
  • PUID#
  • Class Year
  • Email
  • ENG courses (if applicable)
  • Prize Category

If you have questions, please contact Director of Undergraduate Studies Russ Leo.

Prizes

Class of 1883 English Prize for Academic Freshmen

Open to all first-year candidates for the A.B. who have done superior academic work in any course in the Department of English: A prize for the best essay on any topic in English or American literature; the essay need not have been written in fulfillment of a course requirement.

  • One entry allowed per person.
  • Submit via DropBox request.

Class of 1883 English Prize for Freshmen in the School of Engineering

Open to all freshmen candidates for the B.S.E. who have done superior academic work in any course in the Department of English: A prize for the best essay on any topic in English or American literature; the essay need not have been written in fulfillment of a course requirement.

  • One entry allowed per person.
  • Submit via DropBox request.

Francis Biddle Sophomore Prize

Open to all sophomores: A prize for the best essay on any topic in English or American literature; the essay need not have been written in fulfillment of a course requirement.

  • One entry allowed per person.
  • Submit via DropBox request.

Class of 1870 Sophomore Prize

Open to all sophomore candidates for the A.B.: A prize for the best essay in English or American literature.

  • One entry allowed per person.
  • Submit via DropBox request.

Ward Mathis Prize

Open to all undergraduates: A prize for the best short story.

  • One entry allowed per person.
  • Submit via DropBox request.

Poetry Prizes

Open to all undergraduates.

  • Up to 3 poems per person.
  • Submit via DropBox request

Each poem submitted will be considered for all of the prizes below:

  • Academy of American Poets Prize: A prize for one or more unpublished poems.
  • Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize: A prize for one or more poems “in the best tradition of English verse.”
  • Morris W. Croll Poetry Prize: A prize for the best poem, with no restrictions on subject or form.