The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize

The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity was established in the 2016-17 academic year in honor of the Wesleyan alumni behind the hit musical Hamilton: original star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda '02, Hon '15 and director Thomas Kail '99.  It is awarded to the incoming first-year student whose work of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or other creative written expression (lyrics, plays, scripts, etc.) best reflects the originality, artistry, and dynamism embodied in Hamilton.

In its third year, we expanded opportunities for incoming students and recognized superlative creativity in each category - Prose, Poetry/Song, Screenplay/Playwriting. The grand prize winner will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to attend Wesleyan. Honorable mentions will be awarded in each of the other categories, along with $5,000 stipends to support the students' future creative endeavors.

Read more about the 2020 Hamilton Prize winner Brianna Johnson and the two Honorable Mentions Chiara Kaufman and Luka Netzel here.

Read more about the 2019 Hamilton Prize winner Anna Tjeltveit and the two Honorable Mentions Cole Goco and Ben Togut here.

Read more about the 2018 Hamilton Prize winner Sydney Kim and the 2017 Hamilton Prize winner Audrey Pratt!

Hamilton Prize Selection Committee for 2020

Lin Manuel Miranda '02 and Tommy Kail '99Honorary Chairs

Thomas Kail ’99 (right) is the Tony-winning director of Hamilton: An American Musical, Emmy-winning director of Grease Live and Tony-nominated director of In the Heights.

Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15 (left) is a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning composer, lyricist and actor. He is the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights. His additional Broadway credits include Bring It On: The Musical (co-composer/co-lyricist, Tony nomination for Best Musical), and West Side Story (2009 revival, Spanish translations). A 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award recipient, Miranda has recently composed songs for Disney’s Moana (2017 Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Song) and has been actively supporting the relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017, creating the benefit single, “Almost Like Praying.”
Photo: Robert Adam Mayer


Committee Members

Hamilton Prize FAQs

  • What is the Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity?

    The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity recognizes creative written work by an incoming student that is judged to best reflect the originality, artistry and dynamism embodied in Broadway’s Hamilton. Winner of eleven 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Hamilton tells the story of our country’s youngest founding father: Alexander Hamilton, a brash young immigrant who changed the course of history. The scholarship was established in honor of Hamilton creator, writer, composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 and director Thomas Kail ’99—award-winning Wesleyan alumni who embody the University’s spirit of boldness, creativity and experimentation.

    Beginning in 2019, we will expand opportunities for incoming students and recognize superlative creativity in each of three categories—Prose, Poetry/Song, Screenplay/Playwriting. We will award one grand prize—a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to attend Wesleyan—and two honorable mentions, along with $5,000 stipends to support the students’ future creative endeavors.

  • How do I apply for the Hamilton Prize?

    In addition to a completed application for admission to Wesleyan, Hamilton Prize applicants must submit a single submission of original work of creative written expression. Acceptable submissions include short fiction, poetry, slam poetry and song lyrics, as well as excerpts from longer works of fiction, creative nonfiction, screenplays or theatrical plays, and any other form of creative written expression. Specific details and submission guidelines can be found here.