The winning author earns academic distinction recognized at Matriculation in the Fall. The winning essay is published in Lake Forest Papers, and the winner receives a prize.
The contest is open to all Lake Forest first-year students. Submissions must be papers written for classes at the College.
First-Year Writing Prize 2017
Rebecca Rabizadeh ’20
“Sex, Drugs, and Rock Hard Mattresses” (PDF). A paper written for Lecturer in Politics Stephanie Caparelli.
First Year Writing Prize 2016
Kristin Rawlings ’19
“Logotherapy and the Logical Trilemma” (PDF). A paper written for Associate Professor of English Carla Arnell.
First-Year Writing Prize 2015
Michael Janeček ’18
“Primordia Coenobii Gandeshemensis: Hrotsvit of Gandersheim as a Political Actor and Secular and Religious Power in Ottonian Saxony” (PDF) A paper written for Associate Professor of History Anna Trumbore Jones.
First-Year Writing Prize 2014
Allegra Wozniak ’17
“Setting as Character in Dickens and Dostoevsky.” (PDF) A paper written for Associate Professor of English Carla Arnell.
First-Year Writing Prize 2013
Katie Bridget Wright ’16
“Bread, Freedom, and Social Justice: Understanding the Egyptian Revolution.” (PDF) A paper written for Associate Professor of Politics Siobhan Moroney.
First-Year Writing Prize 2012
Nikolai Leffner ’15
“The Grapes of Dionysus’s Wrath: An Analysis of the Principal Characters and Themes in Euripides’s Tragedy, The Bacchae.” (PDF) A paper written for Associate Professor Rui Zhu’s First Year Studies Course, Civilization and Barbarism.
First-Year Writing Prize 2012 (Honorable Mention)
Elizabeth Bulley ’15
“When Shakespeare’s “Women” Wear the Pants: An Examination of Rosalind and the Trouser Role in As You Like It“ (PDF) A paper written for Professor Ann Roberts’ First Year Studies Course, Renaissance Women.
First-Year Writing Prize 2011
Candice Kosanke ’14
““Useless Objects”: Kipple and What It Represents.” (PDF) A paper written for Assistant Professor Josh Corey’s First-Year Studies course, Frankenstein: Myth of the Monstrous.
First-Year Writing Prize 2010
Maya Beckles ’13
“The Winter’s Tale: The Relief of Tragicomedy through Leontes and Autolycus.” (PDF) A paper written for Associate Professor Richard Pettengill’s Shakespeare and Theater course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2010
Emily Thomas ’13
“Oda: An Extraordinary Example of a Medieval Woman’s Religious Authority and Economic Power.” (PDF) A paper written for Associate Professor Anna Jones’ Women in Medieval Christianity First-Year Studies course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2009
“Scientific Method in Medicine: Bringing Unity to Research and Clinical Decision-Making.” (PDF) A paper written in Associate Professor Lori Del Negro’s Chemistry and Medicine First-Year Studies course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2009 (Honorable Mention)
“Power and the Causes of Unequal Distribution in The Tempest and Twelfth Night.” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Richard Mallette’s Shakespeare course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2008
“Isabella d’Este: Woman in Charge.” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Roberts’ Women in Art History First-Year Studies course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2007
“Analysis of Acting and Design Elements in Chicago Opera Theater Performance of Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria.” (PDF) A paper written for Associate Professor of Politics Siobhan Moroney’s Ways of Knowing course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2006
“Sibling Aggression and Siblicidal Tendencies in Birds. ” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Caleb Gordon’s Biology of Birds course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2006
“Questioning Truth from within the Austro-Hungarian Empire: A Functional Analysis of the Ideas of Mach and Freud. ” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Edward Jurkowitz’s Western Thought Since the Renaissance course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2005
“Christ Carrying the Cross: A Power Statement for the Institution.” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Ann Roberts Introduction to Visual Arts course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2004
“Minimalism, Pop, and the True Avant-Garde.” (PDF) A paper written for Professor David Schneiderman and Professor Christopher Reed’s American Avant-Garde course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2003
“Hazard: The Scientist’s Analysis of the Game.” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Edward Packel’s Mathematics of Gaming and Gambling course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2002
“Provoking Judgment.” (PDF) A paper written for Associate Professor of Politics Siobhan Moroney’s Freshman Studies course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2001
“Daddy’s Girl: Sylvia Plath, Freud, and the Uncanny. ” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Tom Balazs’ Literature and Psychoanalysis course.
First-Year Writing Prize 2000
“A Comparison of the Heroes of Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist. ” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Jacqueline Perret’s Nonfiction Writing course.
First-Year Writing Prize 1999
“Social Contact versus Isolation in ‘Song of Myself’ and ‘A Noiseless Patient Spider’.” (PDF) A paper written for Professor Janet McCracken’s Aesthetics course.
Writing Prizes, Fellowships, and Awards
English Department Writing Prizes
Fall 2017 Deadline: Friday, December 8, 2017 by 4:00 PM
COLE PRIZE: Established through the gift of George Henry Walker, Class of 1881, in the memory of Charles Edward Cole, to recognize first-year students who show great ability in fiction or non-fiction writing. Please Note: This prize is for First Year students only--current Class of 2021.
HERBERT LEE CONNELLY PRIZE: Given in 1980 by Mabel Wells Connelly in the name of her husband, member of the class of 1909, and Alumni Secretary 1924-1956. Supplemented by friends, relatives, and sons, Hugh Wells and Theodore Sample '48, the fund provides income to be awarded annually to a deserving undergraduate who demonstrates an interest in English literature and an unusual ability in non-fiction writing. NOTE: Academic papers may be submitted, but this prize is usually awarded for creative nonfiction, journalism, or work directed to general readers.
HORGAN PRIZE: Awarded by the Department of English in memory of Paul Horgan, former Professor and Writer in Residence. Awarded to the student who has written the best short story of the year.
GERALDINE J. MURPHY PRIZE: Established in memory of Geraldine J. Murphy (1920-1990), Professor of English at Wesleyan. She was the first woman hired as a full-time instructor at Wesleyan (1957), the first woman promoted to a tenured position, and the first woman promoted to the title of full professor. The prize is endowed by alumni of the Wesleyan Master of Arts in Teaching program. Awarded to a student who has written an outstanding critical essay that focuses on short fiction or novels.
SOPHIE and ANNE REED PRIZE: Established by Leon Reed; his sons, S. Chadwick ’41 and Dr. Victor Reed, and his grandson Ted Reed ’70, in memory of Sophie Reed and Anne Reed, for the best poem or group of poems.
WINCHESTER FIRST-YEAR ESSAY PRIZE: Drawing on funds endowed in 1838 in honor of Caleb Thomas Winchester, this prize is awarded to the best scholarly essay written by a first-year student in any English Department course in the preceding calendar year. Instructors may nominate students for this award. Please note: Students who took any English course as freshmen in Spring 2017 or Fall 2017 are eligible to apply.
WINCHESTER-ENGL201 ESSAY PRIZE: Drawing on funds endowed in 1838 in honor of Caleb Thomas Winchester, this prize is awarded to the best essay written in a section of ENGL201 in the preceding calendar year. Instructors may nominate students for this award. Please note: Students who took ENGL201 in Spring 2017 or Fall 2017 are eligible to apply.
Writing Prizes--Submission Instructions
The English Department awards fellowships that support summer projects or graduate study. Detailed applications must be submitted along with references or recommendations for serious consideration. Please note the application instructions following the descriptions. Specific deadlines will be posted once determined.
2017-2018 Deadline: Monday, April 2, 2018 at 4:00 PM
For frosh, sophomores and juniors:
Founded in 1854 by the mother of Stephen Olin, President 1839-41 and 1842-51 and later increased by gifts of Stephen Henry Olin, Class of 1866 and Acting President 1922-23, and his wife. Awarded in recognition of achievement in English to support independent research or creative writing. The fellowships are to be used for work in English outside the Wesleyan course structure. Suitable projects may include, for example, study in an academic program, research, training in research methods, or sustained work on a piece of writing.
Olin Fellowships are awarded to support independent research or creative writing. The Fellowships are to be used for work in English outside the Wesleyan course structure. Such work may consist of research (in preparation for your thesis, for example) or training in research methods, study in an academic program, or creative writing.
Olin Fellowships are available to prospective sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Please note: current seniors are not eligible. Fellowships will be awarded on the basis of your project's merit, your ability to carry it out, and in recognition of both promise and achievement in English studies. Your financial need will be a factor although it is not the primary consideration.
Olin Fellowhip--Submission Instructions
2018 Deadline: Monday, April 2, 2018 by 4:00 PM
For graduating seniors and recent graduates:
Established in 1938, in memory of Professor Caleb Thomas Winchester, by his widow. For graduating seniors and recent graduates, to support graduate work in literature or writing.
The English Department awards Winchester Fellowships for graduate work in literature or writing. The Fellowship is particularly intended to support work for the Ph.D. You must already be admitted to a graduate program in order to receive a fellowship. The fellowship and the application procedure are described below. All material, including letters of recommendation, should be in by that date. The Winchester award is intended to be used as a substantial supplement to fellowships, teaching assistantships, and the like, or to enable students to undertake research or travel. The maximum award is $5,000.
Policy: The Department will consider your academic achievement at Wesleyan and your potential for achievement in graduate school. These considerations may not be applied with equal weight in every case, but both will have some bearing on the award. Wesleyan graduates may apply and be awarded a fellowship up to two times. The time lapsed between graduation and application is not a determining factor.
Winchester Fellowship--Submission Instructions
English Academic Awards
Candidates for the following awards are nominated by members of the faculty based on academic qualifications for each award.
Established in 1905 by the Board of Trustees in memory of Samuel T. Camp, Trustee 1880-1903 for excellence in English Literature. No application necessary.
Established through the gift of Daniel Dorchester IV, Class of 1874, this award is given for the best Honors thesis submitted to the English Department. No applicaton necessary.