Each spring, the English Department awards prizes in both creative writing and critical fields.

Creative Writing Prizes for Undergraduates

  • *Sidney Cox Memorial Prize: see below
  • Academy of American Poets Prize:
    • The Academy of American Poets Prize is offered for the best poem or group of poems submitted to the English/Creative Writing Department.
  • Jacobson-Laing Award in Poetry:
    • The Alexander Laing Memorial Writing Award will be given to an undergraduate for the "best manuscript of original poems."
  • Lockwood Prize:
    • Competition for the Lockwood Prize is open to undergraduates classified as Junior. Any form of writing except plays may be submitted. A group of short poems may be considered as one manuscript.
  • Ralston Prize:
    • The Thomas Henry Ralston VI English 80 Prize is for the most outstanding student in English 80.
  • Grimes Prize:
    • Competition for the Grimes Prize is open to undergraduates classified as Senior. Any form of writing except plays may be submitted. A group of short poems may be considered as one manuscript.
  • The William C. Spengemann Award in Writing:
    • The William C. Spengemann Award in Writing is given for a work of prose or poetry distinguished by its formal precision, as well as its original, innovative, or iconoclastic approach to its subject matter.
  • The Mecklin Prize:
    • The Mecklin Prize is for the best student writing in creative nonfiction or journalism. 
  • The Erskine Caldwell Prize:
    • The Erskine Caldwell prize is awarded to students whose written work in the short story is most outstanding.        

Submission Details

  • The deadline for submissions is 3pm April 14, 2014.  
  •  Please use a cover sheet to indicate your name, your entry titles, and the prizes for which you would like your work considered.
  • Drop off your submissions in 201 Sanborn (the Shakespeare Room) any time before the deadline.
  • Fiction and creative nonfiction submissions are limited to one short story, or one nonfiction piece, or one chapter of a book length manuscript not to exceed 20 double-space typewritten pages along with a one-page synopsis of the book.


The Awards Ceremony (including readings by the winners and this year’s judge, Emily Raboteau) is scheduled for Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. in Sanborn Library.

Reception following the ceremony.

Any Dartmouth undergraduate may submit a manuscript.

*The Sidney Cox Memorial Prize:
The Sidney Cox Memorial Prize is offered annually for that piece of undergraduate writing which most nearly meets those high standards of originality and integrity which Sidney Cox set for himself and for his students in his teaching and in his book, Indirections for Those Who Want to Write.  Any kind of undergraduate writing in English may be submitted; there is no limit to the amount or variety of the material that any individual may submit; and the award is not limited to students majoring or minoring in English.

2013 Prize Winners

Critical Prize Awards

Arthur Feinstein 1955 Memorial English Honors Award:
Madeline Lesser '13

B. William Hochman 1955 Memorial Prize in American Literature:
Huan He '13

Edwin R. Perkins Literature Prize:
Madeline Lesser '13

The Stanley Prize in English:

Anna Winham '14
Katherine Kilkenny '14
Shannon Draucker '13
Grace Afsari-Mamagani '13

Creative Writing Prize Awards:

Sidney Cox Memorial Prize:
Aaditya Talwai '13
Paige Elliot '13

Academy of American Poets Prize:
Mitchell Jacobs '14

Jacobson-Laing Award in Poetry:
Mitchell Jacobs '14

Lockwood English Prize:
William Callan '15

Grimes English Prize:
Krista Oehlke '13

The William C. Spengemann Award in Writing:
Aaditya Talwai '13

The Mecklin Prize in Creative Nonfiction:
Soyoung (Claire) Park '16

The Erskine Caldwell Memorial Prize:
Katherine Sullivan '13

The Thomas Henry Ralston IV English 80 Prize:
Joshua Koenig '16


Critical Prizes for Undergraduates

Student receives prize

These prizes are by faculty nomination, voted on by the entire faculty at the end of the academic year.

  • The Hochman Prize
    • This prize is awarded yearly to a graduating senior who majored in English and who demonstrated by his or her course work both academic excellence and particular dedication to the field of American literature.
  • The Feinstein Prize
    • This prize is awarded to the student in the English Honors Program whose honors thesis and overall work demonstrate the most effective exploration of feelings through language.
  • The Perkins Prize
    • This prize is awarded to that undergraduate Dartmouth student who shall show the most promise in Greek, or in Latin, or in English literature