Guidelines for English Department Prizes
The College offers a number of prizes to students. The prizes may be thought of as forming two groups: those for which students must submit work themselves, and those awarded by faculty nomination.
Prizes Through Student Submission (Creative Writing)
Students must submit two copies of a manuscript to the English Department Office by
5 p.m. on Monday, March 22, 2021. Each manuscript will be submitted automatically for all possible prizes. Judges
for the prizes are published poets, fiction writers, or nonfiction writers who are
not members of the Skidmore faculty.
Poetry (submit manuscript of no more than five poems)
- Frances Steloff Poetry Prize, established by Frances Steloff, founder of the Gotham Book Mart, and awarded to an outstanding poet.
- English Department Distinguished Writing Award in Poetry. This award recognizes excellent student work in poetry and is open to students in all years and in all majors. Students are encouraged to submit manuscripts of no more than five poems.
Fiction (submit one story, roughly 10–20 pages each, though longer or shorter stories are acceptable)
- Sara Bennett Prize for Fiction, established by the Bennett family in memory of Sara
Bennett, Class of 1992.
- Denise Marcil Prize for Fiction, established by Denise Marcil, a literary agent and Skidmore alumna, who chooses the winning story from among six or seven stories selected by the judges.
Nonfiction (submit manuscript of no more than 20 pages)
- 2020-2021 English Department Distinguished Writing Award in Nonfiction, given in memory of Samantha Sasenarine. This award recognizes excellent student work in creative nonfiction and is open to students in all years and in all majors. This year's prize will be given in honor of Samantha Sasenarine '21 and her contributions to both the English Department and the larger College community. Students are encouraged to submit manuscripts in any form of creative nonfiction, such as a personal essay, arts review, travel essay, environmental journalism, memoir, profile, and portraiture.
Prizes by Faculty Nomination (Students cannot make submissions in this category)
- Edwin Moseley Prize in English. This prize is awarded to a senior in English who has shown outstanding promise as
a literary critic, scholar, poet, or fiction writer, and who intends to pursue graduate
studies or a career in writing. Faculty nominations are due to the Chair of the Honors
and Awards Committee on by 5 p.m. on March 22. Thompson/Moseley award nominators vote, whether they are on the Committee or not.
Winners are selected by vote count, not by Committee deliberative process.
- Sally Chapman Thompson Prize in English. The Sally Chapman Thompson. Prize is awarded annually to the student who has excelled
as a critic or scholar during their career as an English major. Faculty nominations
are due to the Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee by on by 5 p.m. on March 22.
For the Moseley and Thompson prizes, department faculty nominators should submit electronically, to the Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee, a letter of nomination describing the student’s achievements and credentials relevant to either the Moseley or the Thompson prize, along with 1 to 2 samples of the student’s written work, as provided by the student. (Faculty letters must indicate which ONE of the two prizes the student is nominated for.) Nominations and materials are due by 5 p.m. on March 22. The Honors and Awards Committee will obtain transcripts for all nominees, and will review, confirm, and post online a list of nominees for each award. All materials for each nominee will be posted to theSpring. Department faculty will read the materials of all nominees and submit to the Committee one vote for each prize with a supporting statement. The Committee will tally the votes and notify the Chair of the winners. Thompson/Moseley award nominators vote, whether they are on the Committee or not. Winners are selected by vote count, not by Committee deliberative process.
- English Department Distinguished Writing Award for the Essay. These awards recognize excellent student essays at the 103/105/105H; 110; 200; and
300 levels. Members of the faculty submit papers to the Honors and Awards Committee,
which consists of department members who evaluate and discuss the nominations and
announce the award winners at a ceremony in the spring semester. Submissions due by
5 p.m. on April 9 to the Chair of Honors and Awards Committee. Distinguished Essay award nominators,
if they are on the Committee, recuse themselves from discussion of the nominated candidate.
Winners are selected by Committee deliberative process.
- Miranda Warner Award. The Honors and Awards Committee also annually selects the recipient of the Miranda Warner Award. This award, established in memory of Miranda Warner, Class of ’79, recognizes a student who produces exemplary literary criticism on the work of a female author, or an essay sensitive to women’s issues. Submissions due by 5 p.m. on April 9 to the Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee. Miranda Warner award nominators, if they are on the Committee, recuse themselves from discussion of the nominated candidate. Winners are selected by Committee deliberative process.