05BA2505-04E6-D00C-F5B78D29C09A425B
5F82831D-B544-D712-D01CF78AF2552C2C

Writing Center

Student Writing Prizes

Asian Studies

The Jeffrey P. Mass Prize in Japanese History

Established in 2002 by Rosa W. Mass, in honor of her husband, Jeffrey P. Mass, Class of 1962, this prize is awarded to the student writing the best essay on the subject of Japanese history.

  • Length of essay: No specific length
  • Due date for submissions: One
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One
  • Other requirements: Essays submitted for this prize may be historical in the broad sense of historical studies of Japanese society, literature, art, philosophy, religion, etc.
  • Contact person: Kyoko Omori, email address: komori@hamilton.edu
  • Comments: Jeffrey Mass graduated from Hamilton College in 1962 and received his doctorate in history at Yale University in 1971. He had a distingushed career as professor of history at Stanford University from 1973 to 2001 and was a fellow at Hetford College, Oxford University.  He was a highly respected authority on medieval Japan with a focus on the samurai and warrior government.  His books include The Kamakura Bakufu: A Study in Documents, (Stanford 1976), The Bakufu in Japanese History (Stanford 1985), Lordship and Inheritance in Early Medieval Japan: A Study of the Kamakura Soryo System (Stanford 1989), Antiquity and Anachronism in Japanese History (Stanford 1992), The Origins of Japan's Medieval World: Courtiers, Clerics, Warriors, and Peasants in the Fourteenth Century (Stanford 1997), and Yoritomo and the Founding of the First Bakufu: The Origins of Dual Government in Japan (Stanford, 1999)
     

Communication

The Cobb Essay Prize

Established by Willard A. Cobb, Class of 1864, this prize is awarded to the student submitting the best essay on journalism.

  • Length of essay: 10-20 pages
  • Due date for submissions: April 4, 2014 at 4pm
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One, awarded at Class and Charter Day
  • Contact person: Catherine Phelan, email address: cwphelan@hamilton.edu
  • Comments: Essays should be submitted with name only on the cover page. Essays are blind reviewed.

The Todd Prize in Rhetoric and Mass Media

Established by Charles Lafayette Todd, Class of 1933, and the Upson Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory from 1960 to 1977, it is awarded to the student who writes the best essay on the influence of the electronic media on political discourse and advocacy shaping public attitudes and behavior.

  • Length of essay: 10-20 pages
  • Due date for submissions: April 4, 2014 at 4pm
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One, awarded at Class and Charter Day
  • Contact person: Catherine Phelan, email address: cwphelan@hamilton.edu
  • Comments: Essays should be submitted with name only on the cover page. Essays are blind reviewed.


Economics

The Soper Essay and Research Prizes

Established by Arthur W. Soper, Class of 1893, these prizes are awarded for the best essay on a topic in economics assigned by the faculty and for the best research paper in economics. The competition is open to all seniors enrolled in a  500 level course in economics.

  • Length of essay: No specific length
  • Due date for submissions: Senior project assigned by professor
  • Number of prize winners yearly: Two, one each semester
  • Contact person: Chris Georges email address: cgeorges@hamilton.edu
  • Comments: Prize goes to the best senior project in economics


English and Creative Writing Department

The Thomas McNaughton Johnston Prize in English

Established by friends and former students in honor of Professor Johnston, professor of English at Hamilton from 1934 to 1972, this prize is awarded to the student writing the most elegant essay submitted to the English and Creative Writing Department during the year.

  • Length of essay: No standard length
  • Due date for submissions: Monday of exam week
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One, awarded at Commencement
  • Comments: Submissions for this prize come from faculty.

The Kellogg Essay Prizes

Established by Charles C. Kellogg, class of 1849, these prizes are awarded to a junior, a sophomore and a first-year student, each of whom has excelled in English essays.

  • Length of essay: 10 pages or less
  • Due date for submissions: Friday after spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: Three (one for first-years, one for sophomores, and one for juniors) awarded at Class and Charter Day
  • Other requirements: Anonymous submission
  • Contacts: Carolyn Mascaro, email address: cmascaro@hamilton.edu or Tina Hall, email address: thall@hamilton.edu
  • Comments: Winners are selected by faculty and announced at Class and Charter Day.

The Dwight N. Lindley Prize

Established in honor of Dwight N. Lindley, class of 1942 and professor of English at Hamilton from 1952 to 1986, it awards the best essay written during the academic year in an entry-level course in English-language literature.

  • Length of essay: 5 pages. These essays come primarily from entry-level English-language literature sections.
  • Due date for submissions: Monday of exam week
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One to two, awarded at Convocation
  • Contact person: Faculty in the English and Creative Writing Department select the winner.
  • Comments: Submissions for this prize come from faculty.
 
The Adam Gordon Poetry Prize for First-Year Students

Established in memory of Adam Gordon, class of 1980, it is awarded for the best poem submitted by a member of the first-year class.

  • Length: Up to five poems
  • Due date for submissions: Friday after spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One, awarded at Class and Charter Day
  • Other requirements: Anonymous submission. For specific information, see prize guidelines posted by the English and Creative Writing Department in the spring.
  • Contacts: Carolyn Mascaro, email address: cmascaro@hamilton.edu or Tina Hall, email address: thall@hamilton.edu

The Ralph and Doris Hansmann Poetry Prize

This prize is awarded by the Academy of American Poets in honor of Ralph, class of 1940, and Doris Hansmann. It is based upon the results of a competition involving 200 selected colleges and universities.

  • Length: Up to five poems
  • Due date for submissions: Friday after spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One from Hamilton, awarded at Class and Charter Day
  • Other requirements:Anonymous submission. For specific information, see prize guidelines posted by the English and the Creative Writing Department in the spring.
  • Contacts: Carolyn Mascaro, email address: cmascaro@hamilton.edu or Tina Hall, email address: thall@hamilton.edu

The William Rosenfeld Chapbook Prize

This creative writing prize was established in honor of William Rosenfeld, a member of the faculty from 1969 to 1995, who directed the programs in creative writing at both Kirkland and Hamilton Colleges. It is awarded annually to a graduating senior whose portfolio of poetry, prose fiction, or drama is selected by faculty members in the English and Creative Writing Department. The prize provides for the publication of a chapbook of the student's creative writing.

  • Length of essay: Up to 100 pages
  • Due date for submissions: Friday after spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One, awarded at Class and Charter Day
  • Other requirements: Anonymous submission. For specific information, see prize guidelines posted by the English and Creative Writing Department in the spring.
  • Contacts: Carolyn Mascaro, email address: cmascaro@hamilton.edu or Tina Hall, email address: thall@hamilton.edu

The Rose B. Tager Prize

Awarded to the student writing the best short story.

  • Length of essay: Up to 5000 words.
  • Due date for submissions: Friday after spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One, awarded at Class and Charter Day
  • Other requirements: Anonymous submission. For specific information, see prize guidelines posted by the English and Creative Writing Department in the spring.
  • Contacts: Carolyn Mascaro, email address: cmascaro@hamilton.edu or Tina Hall, email address: thall@hamilton.edu

The George A. Watrous Literary Prizes

Established by Mrs. Edgar W. Couper in memory of her father, who was an English teacher and scholar, these prizes are awarded in poetry, fiction and criticism, with an additional prize for the winner whose work is considered to be the most promising.

  • Length: Poetry: Up to five poems. Fiction: Up to 5000 words. Essay: Between 2500 and 3000 words.
  • Due date for submissions: Friday after spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: (3) One in each category: poetry, fiction and essay. One winner is given an additional prize for being the most promising. Awarded at Class and Charter Day.
  • Other requirements: Anonymous submission. For specific information, see prize guidelines posted by the English and Creative Writing Department in the spring.
  • Contacts: Carolyn Mascaro, email address: cmascaro@hamilton.edu or Tina Hall, email address: thall@hamilton.edu

The John V. A. Weaver Prize in Poetry

Established by Peggy Wood in memory of her husband, it is awarded for excellence in a poem or poems submitted for consideration.

  • Length: Up to five poems
  • Due date for submissions: Friday after spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One, awarded at Class and Charter Day
  • Other requirements: Anonymous submission. For specific information, see prize guidelines posted by the English and Creative Writing Department in the spring.
  • Contacts: Carolyn Mascaro, email address: cmascaro@hamilton.edu or Tina Hall, email address: thall@hamilton.edu


Government

The Dean Alfange Essay Prizes

Established by Dean Alfange, Class of 1922, they are awarded to the students who write the best and second-best essays on a feature or an issue of American constitutional government.

  • Length of essay: Not specified
  • Due date for submissions: March 31st, 2014
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One or two
  • Contact person: Philip Klinkner, email address: pklinkne@hamilton.edu

The Pruyn Essay Prize

Made possible by a fund set up in 1863 by former Chancellor John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn of the University of the State of New York, this prize is awarded to the senior or junior writing the best essay on "The Duties of Educated Young Citizens."

  • Length of essay: Not specified
  • Due date for submissions: March 31-2014
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One
  • Contact person: Philip Klinkner, email address: pklinkne@hamilton.edu


History

The Cunningham Essay Prize

Established by John Howard Cunningham, Class of 1866, it is awarded to the senior submitting the best essay on some phase of the life of Abraham Lincoln.

  • Length of essay: Not specified
  • Due date for submissions: shortly after Spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One
  • Contact person: Shoshana Keller, e-mail address: skeller@hamilton.edu

The Head Essay

Established by Franklin H. Head, Class of 1856, this prize is awarded for the best senior essay upon a theme relating to Alexander Hamilton.

  • Length of essay: Not specified
  • Due date for submissions: shortly after Spring break
  • Number of prize winners yearly: one
  • Contact person: Shoshana Keller, email address: skeller@hamilton.edu


Religious Studies

The Hutton Essay Prize

Established by the Rev. William Hutton, Class of 1864, this prize is awarded to the sophomore submitting the best essay on an assigned subject in history, translations or literature of the Bible.


The Raphael Lemkin Essay Prize
Established by an alumnus in memory of Raphael Lemkin, a distinguished European academician and Holocaust survivor, this prize commemorates Lemkin's life work. Forty-nine of Lemkin's family members were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Lemkin coined the term genocide to specify the crime of murder with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. He devoted much of his life to persuading the United Nations and the nations of the world to adopt treaties and laws making genocide a crime. 
 
The topic of the essay, The Practice of Genocide, may be treated historically or systematically. All those submitting essays must read an article beforehand about the life work of Raphael Lemkin (please email tvigliet@hamilton.edu for the pdf of this article).  
  • Length of essay: 5000 words (at least 10 pages) 
  • Due date for submissions: April 4, 2014 at Root Hall 116
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One
  • Other requirements: Open to all students. Students may submit a clean, ungraded copy of an essay that was submitted for a course.
  • Contacts: Terri Viglietta, email address: tvigliet@hamilton.edu  or Heidi Ravven, email address: hravven@hamilton.edu


Women's Studies

The Sydna Stern Weiss Essay Prize in Women's Studies

Established by the Kirkland Endowment Advisory Committee and named in memory of Sydna Stern Weiss, who taught German at Hamilton from 1974 to 1991. It is awarded to the student who writes the best essay in women's studies.

The Sydna Weiss Essay Prize in Women's Studies is awarded to the best essay written on any topic in women's studies. Essays should be no longer than 15 pages, doubled spaced. Essays may be original works written for this prize or may be papers previously turned in as classwork, although please submit an ungraded copy in this case. All students are eligible to submit essays.

  • Length of essay: up to 15 pages
  • Due date for submissions: April 7, 2014
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One, awarded to best essay in women's studies.
  • Other requirements: Essays are blind reviewed.
  • Contact person: Anne Lacsamana, email address: alacsama@hamilton.edu

Dean of Faculty

The Kirkland Endowment Essay Prize in Interdisciplinary Studies

Established by the Kirkland Endowment Advisory Committee, it is awarded to the student who writes the best essay on interdisciplinary studies.

  • Length of essay: Up to 10 pages
  • Due date for submissions: April 1, 2014
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One
  • Other requirements: May be an essay submitted as a class assignment
  • Contact person, Vivyan Adair email address: vadair@hamilton.edu

The Alfred J. and A. Barrett Seaman Prizes

Established by A. Barrett Seaman, Class of 1967 and a trustee of the College, and by his father, Alfred J. Seaman, Jr.  Recipients must be sophomores who demonstrate excellence in writing, richness and clarity of thinking, and the ability to communicate effectively to a wide audience. All sophomore writing is eligible for consideration except for creative writing.

  • Due date for submissions: End of fall and spring semesters
  • Number of prize winners yearly: up to five, awarded at Convocation
  • Contact person: Jarren Waterman, email address: jwaterma@hamilton.edu
  • Comments: Submissions for this prize come from faculty.


Office of the President

Carl B. Menges Prize Scholarship in College Governance

Established through the generosity of John D. Phillips, Jr. class of 1969, in honor of Hamilton alumnus Carl B. Menges '51. The Menges Prize Scholarship is awarded to that junior or senior writing the best essay on any significant aspect of college governance. The topic may include academic, administration, admissions, alumni, buildings and grounds, endowment, finance, student life, and trustee issues. It is designed to encourage students to examine specific aspects of college governance and to develop thoughtful proposals for strategic improvement in those areas.

  • Length of essay: 5-7 pages
  • Due date for submissions: April 7, 2014
  • Number of prize winners yearly: One or two
  • Contact person: Lori Rava Dennison, e-mail address: ldenniso@hamilton.edu