The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Essay Competitions

The English Department awards three prizes for best essays each spring. Deadlines are in March/April each year. Essays should be written during the current or previous two semesters.

  • The Charles A. Peters Prize: awarded for the best essay on English literature written between 1558 and 1667
  • The Sanderson Prize: awarded for the best essay on any subject
  • The Steinbugler Prize: awarded for the best essay on any subject by a woman English major

To apply for one or more of the prizes, please complete the attached essay prize form and return it to the English undergraduate office (E345 South College) no later than 4:00pm Thursday, March 7, 2019.

To see some featured recipients of our 2019 awards, check out their papers below!

Emily Ishak Paper Screenshot
Emily Ishak: Steinbugler Prize

Jordan Leonard Paper Screenshot
Jordan Leonard: Sanderson Prize

Catarina de Rege Paper Screenshot
Catarina de Rege: Poetry Prize








Past winners

2018-19 winners
2017-18 winners

2016-17 winners