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Essay Contests

  • Louise Murray Award for Children's Literature —students with declared majors in English, Education, and/or any English minor.
    • Criteria: Best example of original writing for children or young adults in genre such as poetry, picture book, short fiction or novel) chapters from a longer work will be accepted) OR the best critical writing about children's or young adult literature. (Chosen by a subcommittee of faculty in the English department with expertise in youth literature or creative writing).
    • Date: Awarded and payable in the spring
    • Amount: $300 divided among winners (usually two)
    • Deadline for Entry: March 6, 2015 at noon
    • Submit an Essay
  • Literary Essay Contest — Undergraduate and graduate students in English.
    • Criteria: Minimum length, 1200 words; one entry per student; awards in graduate and undergraduate categories. (may be chosen by a subcommittee of readers including a representative of the Scholarship and Awards Committee)
    • Date: Awarded and payable in the spring
    • Amount: $400, to be divided as the subcommittee recommends.
    • Deadline for Entry: TBA. Essays will be accepted online.
  • Winnie Davis Neely
    • Criteria: Determined by The Vehicle staff and Sigma Tau Delta.
    • Date: Awarded and payable in the spring
    • Amount: $200
  • First-Year Essay Contest —  Administered by the English Club.
    • Criteria: Open to ALL freshman.
    • Date: Spring Semester
    • Amount: As determined by the English Club
    • Deadline for Entry: TBA. View past submission guidelines here.
  • James K. Johnson Creative Writing Award
    • Criteria: Essay contest.
    • Date: Awarded and payable in the spring.
    • Amount: 1st place - $100, 2nd place - $75.
    • Deadline for Entry: TBA
  • Graham R. Lewis Memorial Poetry Award
    • Criteria: Recipient must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student, accepted to EIU and be in good academic standing.
    • Date: Awarded and payable in the spring
    • Amount: 1st place - $3360.00, 2nd place - $1,680.00, 3rd place - $840.00, 4th place - $420.00, 5th place - $210.00, 6th place - $105.00, 7th place - $52.50, 8th place, $26.25, 9th place - $13.13.
    • Deadline for Entry: March 6, 2015.
    • View submission guidelines here.
  • Cultural Diversity Essay Contest
    • Criteria: Essay Contest
    • Date: Awarded and payable in the spring
    • Amount: $135
    • Deadline for Entry: TBA. Essays will be accepted online.

*Award amounts listed are for the 2014-2015 academic year.