Graduate Prizes

Graduate Prizes

Submission Guidelines

  1. The real name/identity of the student should not be written anywhere on any submission.
  2. Each submission must be identified by a pseudonym/alias of the candidates’ choosing. Please group creative writing submissions under one pseudonym. See special instructions below.
  3. Each submission must be accompanied by a sealed envelope containing a piece of paper identifying the real person with the pseudonym. The pseudonym must be written on the front of the sealed envelope.
  4. If a student is making multiple submissions they must use a different pseudonym (and provide a separate identity envelope) for each submission. Do not make multiple submissions for creative writing prizes. See special instructions below.
  5. All students submitting to English Dept. prizes are required to fill out a prize form. This form is available at the front desk of the department.

For further information on any of the prizes, please contact the Department of English directly. For more detailed information on making prize submissions please consult the official prize website maintained by the FAS Office of the Secretary.

William Harris Arnold and Gertrude Weld Arnold Prize

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
This prize was established in the Department of English in 1941 through the bequest of Gertrude Weld Arnold, and is given in memory of William Harris Arnold and his wife, Gertrude Weld Arnold, who shared with him the interest and pleasure of book collecting. A prize may be awarded to a student in Harvard College, Radcliffe College, or the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, who submits “the most understanding essay on the true spirit of book collecting.” A second prize may be awarded in any year in which two deserving essays are submitted, if income is available from previous years when an award was not made. Since the terms of bequest express a hope that the recipient will use the prize money “in a way which will best further the student’s knowledge of literature and so of books,” preference will be given to essays by students who indicate such intentions. Essays must not exceed 10,000 words, and must be submitted to the English Department, on or before the deadline at 4 o’clock.

Helen Choate Bell Prizes

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. (Essay) / Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. (Dissertation Thesis Only)
These prizes were established by friends of Mrs. Helen Choate Bell to commemorate her connection with American Literature. They are open to any student in the University and are awarded for merit in the field of American literature. Two prizes are offered:
1) A prize for the best essay of from 5,000 to 10,000 words on a subject in American literature. Excellence in form as well as content will be required. Essays prepared for Harvard courses may be submitted, but no essay submitted for any other prize in the same academic year is eligible. (Open to all undergraduate and graduate students)
2) A prize for an outstanding Ph.D. thesis on a subject in American literature completed any time during the twelve months prior to the deadline for submission. (Open to all graduate students) Manuscripts of essays and of substantially completed theses must be submitted to the English Department, on or before the deadline at 4 o’clock.

Boston Ruskin Prize

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
A prize, the gift of the Boston Ruskin Club, is awarded for the best essay on the life, work, or interests of John Ruskin, unless no essay is submitted which in the opinion of the Department of English and American Literature and Language seems worthy of the prize. The competition is open to all students in the University. Manuscripts must be submitted to the English Department, on or before the deadline at 4 o’clock. Note: open to all undergraduate and graduate students. The “interests of John Ruskin,” as revealed in his writing, include the following:

– aesthetics
– medieval and renaissance culture
– Romantic and Victorian literature
– Greek myths

If you have an essay that touches upon any of these topics from any period of English and American literature up to the present day, you may submit it for consideration. No special connection to Ruskin needs to be adduced, although of course the prize committee will always welcome a Ruskin essay.

This year the committee will award several Ruskin prizes, the exact number to be determined once we review the submissions.

Winthrop Sargent Prize

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
From the bequest of Mrs. Winthrop Sargent in 1918, a prize is awarded annually “for the best essay relating to Shakespeare or Shakespeare’s work.” The competition is open to all students in the University. Essays submitted for the Sargent Prize should be 20-25 double-spaced pages in length (not including endnotes). Longer essays will not be considered. Those wishing to submit part of a thesis should restructure the submission as a self- contained essay. When the quality of submissions merits, the prize may be split between graduate and undergraduate winners. Manuscripts must be submitted at the Barker Center, on or before the deadline, not later than four o’clock in the afternoon.

Notes:
– open to all undergraduate and graduate students
– limited to 20-25 pages in length
– prize may be split between an undergraduate and graduate student

Howard Mumford Jones Prize

Due Date: Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
From a fund established in 1959 to honor Howard Mumford Jones, Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus, a prize is to be awarded annually “for the best doctoral dissertation submitted to the Department of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University in any year concerning some aspect of British or American literature or literary history in the Nineteenth Century. . . . For the purpose of this prize the Nineteenth Century shall be considered to extend from the French Revolution of 1789 to the Russian Revolution of 1917 . . . . “The prize shall be awarded by the Department of English and American Language and Literature on the recommendation of a committee of three competent scholars appointed by the Chairman of the Department, at least one of whom in any year shall not have been in charge of directing any dissertation likely to be submitted for the prize.” Manuscripts in substantially completed form must be submitted to the chairman of the committee at the Barker Center, by the deadline, not later than four o’clock in the afternoon.

Note: one prize is awarded to a graduate student in English.