2015 Writing prize winners!

 Writing Prizes, Fellowships, and Scholarships
 Offered by the Writing Certificate
 and Other University Departments and Programs

English Department Prizes: click here

These great opportunities are open to all Wesleyan students.

Awards include prizes for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as well as fellowships supporting summer projects and graduate study.  We encourage you to apply.
If you have questions about these awards, contact Professor Anne Greene, agreene@wesleyan.edu

The deadline for most submissions is Monday, March 2, 2015, 4:30 P.M.
unless the prize description indicates a different date. 

Writing Prizes sponsored by the Writing Certificate  

To apply for the Boylan, Hannah, Sonnenblick and Wesleyan Fiction Awards, please be sure to click on both:

Submission Instructions

Google Doc Application Form


Given by Jennifer Boylan in honor of her classmate, Annie Sonnenblick, the award recognizes an outstanding piece of creative nonfiction, journalistic work, or writing for general readers. Do not submit academic papers.  Students in any major may submit material; preference given to students working toward the Writing Certificate.  The winner will have a chance to talk with novelist Jennifer Boylan about careers in writing and publishing.


Offered in memory of Sarah Hannah, class of 1988, in association with the Academy of American Poets.  Awarded for an outstanding poem.

                                                            Submission Deadline - March 27th

Awarded for a piece of nonfiction writing--on a topic in the social sciences or sciences--that is designed to interest general readers.  

If possible, the submission should include a brief note from a faculty member, nominating the piece. The faculty note nominating a McConaughy prize submission may be included with the materials that the student submits electronically (via email) OR, if the faculty member prefers, he or she may send the note directly to Anne Greene, agreene@wesleyan.edu

Funds for this award were given originally by members of the class of 1936 In honor of their classmate, James L. McConaughy, former governor of Connecticut and president of Wesleyan University. This new version of the prize was established in 2015.


Funded by a gift from Norman Mailer to the Wesleyan Writing Programs, this award recognizes an outstanding piece of fiction written by a Wesleyan student.

                                                            Submission Deadline - Extended to March 27th

The Sonnenblick family has established this award in memory of Annie Sonnenblick, a member of the Wesleyan class of 1980, who took great pleasure in literature and the creative arts.  The award provides up to $4,000 to a junior who wishes to undertake a nonfiction writing project during the summer between junior and senior years.
Applicants should propose a writing project to be completed during the summer between their junior and senior years. Previous winners have written short fiction, collections of poetry, and nonfiction projects such as biographical sketches and studies of places. The award provides funding of up to $4,000 to support the project and the writer's summer living expenses. The completed project is due on the first day of the fall semester. 

Please submit the following printed application materials: four neatly packaged copies of all required materials #1-8 to: Professor Anne Greene, Co-Director of Writing Certificate, Downey House, 294 High Street, Room 207

  1. a cover sheet giving your name, campus box number, cell phone number, and email address;
  2. a personal statement introducing yourself and explaining your background and interests;
  3. a description of the writing project you will undertake, including brief but specific comments about writers whose works are important to you;
  4. a budget estimating the support you will need;
  5. samples of your writing;
  6. your resume;
  7. a copy of your transcript (either the official or portfolio version); and
  8. names of one or two references with their email addresses and telephone numbers.

Scholarships and Fellowships  


Do you like to write and work with writers? Are you interested in teaching or arts administration? Would you like to begin your post-graduate career with a prestigious fellowship? If so, apply to be a Ford Fellow or Kim-Frank Fellow in the Writing Programs for the 2015-2016 academic year!

  • The Writing Certificate and Writing Programs Fellowships, awarded to graduating seniors at Wesleyan, are prestigious one-year, post-graduate positions. The Fellows work closely with Professor Anne Greene, Director of Writing Programs, and play a central role in Writing Program development, helping to design new services and events, advertise programs, and develop web sites and online services. 
  • The Fellows also have graduate student status and are eligible to take two academic courses, conduct research, and work collaboratively with faculty members. 
  • Previous Fellows have been admitted to their first choice of graduate and professional schools  (including recently Yale, Princeton, and the MFA program at Iowa) and been hired promptly for jobs in publishing, teaching, journalism, law, business and other fields.
  • The Fellowships include a generous stipend, health insurance, and ongoing student status, offering the opportunity to defer repayment of student loans.  Fellows also have full access to the university's libraries, facilities and career services.
  • The Ford Fellowship and Kim-Frank Fellowship will be awarded for the 2015-2016 academic year.  The Fellows are selected based on their outstanding academic record and writing or teaching interests.  Preference is given to applicants who have experience as a Writing Tutor or Teaching Apprentice.  Seniors from all majors are encouraged to apply.


In his/her administrative role, the Ford Fellow assists in running the university's Writing Programs and the Writing Workshop. The Fellow's teaching responsibility includes helping to train the university's student writing tutors, designing and leading the seminar for veteran tutors, developing workshops and tutoring services for first-year students, and serving as the university's senior writing tutor.


Established in 2013 by a gift from the Kim Frank family, the Kim Frank Fellow assists in running the university’s Writing Certificate and Writing Programs, has teaching responsibilities, and plays a major role in organizing the Russell House Series of writing and music events. The job offers an opportunity to work with distinguished writers, journalists, and other artists, and to hire and supervise event staff.


Please submit the following printed application materials to: Professor Anne Greene, Co-Director of the Writing Certificate, Downey House, 294 High Street, Room 207

  1. A letter of interest explaining your academic experience and future plans
  2. A transcript
  3. A resume
  4. Two academic papers, preferably with grades and the instructors' comments
  5. The names of two faculty members who can serve as references.  Your references will be contacted if you are a finalist.

Applications are due APRIL 1, 2015 by 4:30 P.M. and interviews scheduled thereafter.

For more information, contact Professor Anne Greene at 860 685-3604 (agreene@wesleyan.edu)


Several scholarships are available to students who wish to attend the five-day Wesleyan Writers Conference, June 10-14, 2015.  Applications should include a letter explaining the applicant's experience and interests and a substantial sample of work in one genre: fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.  The conference also offers scholarships for international students at Wesleyan.   
For information, see Wesleyan Writers Conference or contact Professor Anne Greene at 860 685-3604 (agreene@wesleyan.edu).

Applications are due March 20th, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.


Writing Awards offered by Departments and Programs across the University

For information, please consult the website of the department or program sponsoring each award. 

ERNESS BRODY PRIZE: Established in 2002 by Ann duCille in honor of Professor Erness Bright Brody, former chair of the African American Studies Program.  Awarded annually to a senior African American Studies Program major for excellence in written expression.

BUTLER PRIZE: The Butler Prize, established in 1991 in honor of retiring colleague Jeffrey D. Butler, is awarded for the best Honors thesis in African, Asian or Latin American History.

GAY, LESBIAN, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES PRIZE: Donated by the Wesleyan Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association (GALA), this prize is awarded annually to that undergraduate who has done the best research and writing on a subject in gay, lesbian, and sexuality studies.

MEYER PRIZE: Established in 1991 in honor of retiring colleague Donald A. Meyer, is awarded for the best Honors thesis in American History.

JOAN W. MILLER PRIZE: Established by Professor Miller in 2008. It is awarded for the outstanding Honor's Thesis in the College of Social Studies.

NNK AWARD: Awarded for the best screenplay for an undergraduate film.

WISE PRIZE: The gift of Daniel Wise, D.D., Class of 1859, for excellence in the Department of Philosophy; for the best essay on moral science or on some subject in the field or values.

M.G. WHITE PRIZE: Awarded annually for the best thesis submitted in American studies.

SPINNEY PRIZE: The gift of Joseph S. Spinney, trustee 1875-82 and 1888-93, for excellence in Greek. Awarded for the best original essay on some aspect of Greek or Roman civilization.