Undergraduate Prizes

English Prizes

Elocution Prizes

Boylston 2014-06The Boylston Prizes for Elocution are awarded through a competition “for the delivery of memorized selections from English, Greek, or Latin literature,” not to exceed five minutes in length. Cash prizes awarded to 1st and 2nd place. Students interested in competing need to submit four hard copies of their selection to the English Department, in person, on or before the deadline. Submission deadline: Monday, March 20th, 2017 at 4pm.

The following are examples of submissions from past participants in the Boylston Prize Competition: Song of Myself, Walt Whitman; The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, lines 413-480; A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf; Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson, lines 1-70; Henry V, prologue, Shakespeare; Nelly Myers, A.R. Simmons; Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln; Medea, Euripides, lines 465-498.

Boylston Contestants, 2014

Boylston Prizes for Elocution Finalists, 2014

 

Undergraduate Thesis Research Fellowships

The Undergraduate Program offers four fellowships to help supplement the research efforts of rising seniors pursuing an honors thesis in the English Department. Two prizes of $750 each are available to rising seniors who have been accepted to write a creative thesis, and two prizes of $750 each are available to rising seniors who have an approved critical thesis proposal and have secured a faculty thesis adviser. The Undergraduate Program Administrator will notify rising seniors of due dates and further information late in their junior spring.

Continued Education Grants

The Le Baron Russell Briggs Grant for Continued Critical Literary Studies is a substantial financial award to support formal graduate studies in literature, with a preference for studies in English literature. Students must have a distinguished overall record as an honors concentrator and will be notified of their eligibility for such awards in late spring of the senior year.

The Edward Eager Grant for Continued Studies in Creative Writing is a substantial financial award of to support formal graduate studies in creative writing. This grant is possible through a bequest of Jane Eager, “in memory of [her] late husband, Edward Eager, Class of 1935,” and is used to award and support creative writing. Students will be notified of their eligibility for such awards in late spring of the senior year.

Le Baron Russell Briggs Traveling Prizes & Thesis Prize

In accordance with the terms of the Sanford H. E. Freund Fund, the Department of English awards prizes named in memory of Le Baron Russell Briggs, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, Emeritus.

Le Baron Briggs Traveling Prizes in English will be awarded as funds allow. These are prizes to help support “a year of literary studies [here or] abroad” (not necessarily as an enrolled student in a university) and are awarded to a graduating senior or seniors with a distinguished overall record as an honors concentrator. Students will be notified of their eligibility for such awards in late spring of the senior year.

The Le Baron Russell Briggs Honors Thesis Prize in English will be chosen from the outstanding senior honors theses in the Department of English. Theses will be considered without special application by students.

Annual Departmental Critical and Creative Prizes

Please direct any questions about the annual departmental critical and creative prizes to Case Kerns, cqkerns [at] fas.

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.

Special Instructions for Creative Writing Prizes:

For all creative writing prizes that require submission, please submit ONE packet of up to five poems and/or one short story. All entries will automatically be considered for ALL eligible prizes.

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.

Creative Prizes Requiring Student Submissions

Academy Of American Poets Prize

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
The Academy of American Poets – a national organization with its headquarters in New York, which sponsors a wide range of prizes, poetry reading series, etc. – offers, through the Department of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard, as at a number of other colleges and universities, an annual prize for the best poem or group of poems by an undergraduate student. Poems must be submitted to the English Department, on or before the deadline at 4 o’clock. Please see special instructions above for creative writing prizes. Note: all undergraduates are eligible;  prize awarded by Academy of American Poets, not Department of English.

Edward Eager Memorial Fund

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
Through a bequest of Jane Eager, a prize is awarded “in memory of my late husband, Edward Eager, Class of 1935.” The income of the fund is used “annually for an award for the best creative writing – preferably in the juvenile field – by an undergraduate in the Harvard English Department ….”

Roger Conant Hatch Prizes For Lyric Poetry

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
From a gift from Roger Conant Hatch in 1959, a first prize is awarded each year to the student in Harvard or Radcliffe College who, in the estimation of a committee designated by the Department of English and American Literature and Language, writes the best lyric poem presented in this competition. A second prize is awarded for the next best lyric poem.

Joan Gray Untermyer Poetry Prize

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
(A Radcliffe Fund) Established in 1963 and given by family and friends, the prize is awarded annually in honor of Joan Gray Untermyer, Radcliffe 1942, for the best original poem or group of poems by a female undergraduate in any given year. Poems must be submitted to the English Department, on or before the deadline at 4 o’clock.

Lloyd McKim Garrison Prize

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
This prize was founded by the Class of 1888 in memory of their classmate, Lloyd McKim Garrison. The endowment is for a prize for the best poem. The competition for this prize is open to all undergraduates in Harvard or Radcliffe Colleges. No entry, whether a single poem or group of poems, may exceed 150 lines. Contestants may make their own choice of subject or subjects.

Creative Prizes Not Requiring Student Submissions

Cyrilly Abels Short Story Prize

(A Radcliffe Fund) The Cyrilly Abels Short Story Prize is awarded for the best short story written by a female undergraduate during the academic year. The prize is awarded by a committee of the instructors concerned. No submissions.

Le Baron Russell Briggs Fiction Prize

In accordance with the terms of the Sanford H. E. Freund Fund, the Department of English and American Literature and Language awards prizes named in memory of Le Baron Russell Briggs, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, Emeritus. The Le Baron Russell Briggs Fiction Prize will be given for the best story written by an undergraduate in the College during the year. No submissions. This prize is awarded by committee only.

Charles Edmund Horman Prize

This prize was established by a bequest from Ruth Lazar in memory of her nephew, Charles Edmund Horman ’64, who was executed in Chile in 1973, shortly after the coup that ended the regime of Salvador Allende, presumably because of his activities in Chile as a freelance writer and film maker and his known consistent commitment to human dignity, which made him suspect to the military insurgents. The Charles Edmund Horman Prize, awarded to a member of the junior class, provides “financial assistance to a Senior” who “excels in creative writing and who best personifies the ideals and sense of values held by my said nephew.” There is no competition for this award; eligible students will be considered without application. Note: one prize is awarded to a member of the junior class; check paid out in September (“financial assistance to a senior”).

Harvard Monthly Prize

A prize, established in 1932 to commemorate the Harvard Monthly, is awarded to that Harvard or Radcliffe College student in the most advanced courses in English composition who shows greatest literary promise. The prize is awarded by a committee of the instructors concerned. No submissions.

The Lee Patrick Award in Drama

Through the bequest of Thomas Wood, A.B. 1929, an annual award is given to the student who shows the best promise in the field of dramatic arts.

The Thomas Wood Award in Journalism

Through the bequest of Thomas Wood, A.B., 1929, an annual award is given to the student who shows the best promise in the field of journalism.

Critical Prizes

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. Note: open to all undergraduate and graduate students.

Helen Choate Bell Prize

Due Date: Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. (Essay)
This prize was established by friends of Mrs. Helen Choate Bell to commemorate her connection with American Literature. It is open to any student in the University and are awarded for merit in the field of American literature. The prize is 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)

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.