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English Department

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 bynoon on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. 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)

  1. Frances Steloff Poetry Prize, established by Frances Steloff, founder of the Gotham Book Mart, and awarded to an outstanding poet.

  2. The Academy of American Poets Award

Fiction (submit one story, roughly 10–20 pages each, though longer or shorter stories are acceptable)

  1. Sara Bennett Prize for Fiction, established by the Bennett family in memory of Sara Bennett, Class of 1992.

  2. 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)

  1. English Department Distinguished Writing Award in Nonfiction. This award recognizes excellent student work in creative nonfiction and is open to students in all years and in all majors. 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)

  1. 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 department chair on or before Monday, March 27.

  2. 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 his/her career as an English major. Faculty nominations are due to the department chair on or before Monday, March 27.

    For both the Moseley and Thompson prizes, nominators should submit a letter of nomination describing the student’s credentials and achievements. The nominators should also request from the students a sample of written work. The chair will obtain transcripts for all students nominated and compile a prize folder (including all these documents) for department faculty to examine. The department will deliberate and decide on the winners at the April 1 meeting.

  3. English Department Distinguished Writing Award for the Essay. These awards recognize excellent student essays at the 100, 200, and 300 level. 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 14 to the chair of the Honors and Awards Committee, Phil Boshoff.

  4. 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 14 to the chair of the Honors and Awards Committee, Phil Boshoff.

  5. Periclean Scholar Awards. The Periclean Honor Society gives special recognition to as many as four outstanding senior projects (thesis, performance, exhibit, etc.) in any academic discipline. The deadline is TBD for submitting nominated (and finished) senior projects, with necessary support letter, to the Periclean Awards Committee. News of a nominated performance or exhibit (as in art, music, dance, theater) must reach the committee at least two weeks before the event.