Award Opportunities

Department Prizes & Awards

Submission Prize Entry Rules:

• limit of 2 entries per prize per student
  (each entry can take up to ten minutes to read aloud)
• limit of 2 contests for each entry
• include your name and the name of the prize on each entry or group of poems
• submission deadline for all prizes, awards & applications is Monday, April 18, 2016 at 11:59 pm via email to

Submission Prize

  • Virginia Lee Barnes Prize
    For the best critical essay by a senior in English, American Studies, Medieval Studies, or Women's Studies
  • Barbara Benson Memorial Fund
    For distinction in prose writing.  Open to juniors & seniors for prose or other pieces in fiction, essay or any prose form (available alternate years only; next offered in 2017)
  • Graduate Fellowship in English & Joseph McGrath Bottkol Fellowship Fund
    For pursuit of Graduate Study in English (available alternate years only; next offered in 2017)
  • Gertrude Claytor Award of The Academy of American Poets
    For the best poem or group of poems, open to all undergraduates
  • Minnie Ryan Dwight Prize
    For excellence in journalistic writing, open to all undergraduates
  • Kathryn McFarland Prize
    For any form of creative writing, open to all students
  • Sydney Robertson McLean Short Story Prize
    Open to all undergraduates
  • Anne Singer '69 Memorial Prize
    To a student who shows both the promise of a gift for writing and a dedication to craftsmanship, preference to first years, sophomores, and juniors
  • Ada L. F. Snell Poetry Prize
    For the best poem or group of poems, the whole not to exceed fifty lines, open to all undergraduates

Fellowship and Research Funds

  • Naomi Kitay '33 Fellowship
    Awarded on basis of merit, as an aid toward a career in creative prose writing. Please fill out application form and submit it to the English Department before the deadline.
  • Phyllis Merrill '30 and Virginia Merrill Lafferty '37 Research Fund
    To be used for student research to purchase research material or to travel to a research library to complete her project. Based on merit of project and good academic standing.  Interested applicants should submit a description of proposed research and a reference of a faculty member familiar with the project before the deadline. 
  • Jean Sudrann '39 Research Fund
    To support student research in the Department of English, travel grants for research or special projects. Open to all students; not limited to English majors. Interested applicants should submit a five-hundred word description of proposed research, a one-page budget, and provide one reference from a person familiar with the student's work and the merits of the project. Applications are due by the deadline.

    Other Awards open to English majors

    The Clio Melpomene Prize will be awarded to assist aspiring poets and/or historians after graduation. Applicants must be students of Mount Holyoke College slated to graduate as members of the Class of 2016.

    The Richard A. Johnson Prize is awarded to a student with a strong academic record, in any major, who plans to teach at the secondary level, in any subject.  The prize may be used to support the expenses of graduate study toward a career in secondary teaching, for support during a practicum semester, or for a project, research, or experience that will enhance the student's teaching capabilities.  See the Alumnae Association's Fellowship page for the deadline and other details.