April 25, 2023

The English Department is pleased to announce the publication of Prize-Winning Student Essays from the University of Massachusetts Amherst English Department 2017-2022 (PDF).

This publication is a collection of a dozen recent prize-winning scholarly essays written in undergraduate English courses at UMass Amherst. The collection aims to honor student writers and showcase the writing done in our undergraduate English courses, especially in writing genres, like the critical essay, that don’t always get the attention they deserve. Every essay collected here was the winner of one of our three academic writing prizes, awarded annually in the spring:

  • The Charles A. Peters Prize, awarded to the best essay on English literature written between 1558 and 1667.
  • The Sanderson Prize, awarded to the best essay on any subject.
  • The Steinbugler Prize, awarded to the best essay on any subject written by a student in their junior or senior year.

English major Emma Gill, who did most of the work to make this publication possible, writes, "The goal of this collection is to celebrate award-winning academic writing in a publication similar to that of the department’s other student journals, which are more focused on creative writing. With this project I was able to read top tier work from award-winning students over the last five years, and it was nothing short of inspiring."