English Department Student Prizes
(Open to Barnard students of all majors)
New this year: The Burns Prize is open to Columbia students as well.
Prizes Requiring Submissions
- Burns Society Prize
- Creative Writing Prizes
- Poetry Prizes
- Current Judges (2013)
- Last Year's Contest Judges (2012)
For information about Columbia's writing prizes (some of which are open to Barnard students), visit their page on Columbia's website.
2013 Burns Society Prize
The Burns Society of the City of New York is pleased to announce the first annual Burns Society Prize. The Barnard English Department will award $1000 to the student who writes the best paper on a topic related to the poetry of Robert Burns, the 18th-Century Scottish poet. Competition is open to all Barnard undergraduates of any department or major.
At the discretion of the English Department, if there is more than one winner in any given year, the prize may be divided. If no submissions qualify, the prize may be deferred until the following year.
1. Students are required to label each entry with her name, phone number, expected year of graduation, and a list of the contents (if more than one essay is included). Each submission must be securely enclosed in a manila folder or envelope. Every envelope or folder should also be labeled on the outside as well with the student's name and a list of contents.
2. All submissions should be double-spaced and on one side of standard 8-1/2" by 11" sheets.
3. Each separate essay or story must have the student's name, and the pages of each must be numbered.
Deadline: Entries for the contest must be turned in absolutely no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 11th, at the English Department office, 417 Barnard Hall. As this deadline is final, students would be well advised to set a somewhat earlier personal deadline in order to forestall emergencies.
2013 Creative Writing Prizes
The firm submission deadline for 2013 Creative Writing Prizes is Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 at 4pm.
Any questions should be addressed to Dr. Timea Szell, Director of Creative Writing, at: tszell(at)barnard(dot)edu.
2013 Peter S. Prescott Prize for Prose Writing
This prize is offered annually by the family of the distinguished writer and critic Peter S. Prescott, author of Child Savers and former book critic of Newsweek. Competition is open to all Barnard undergraduates of whatever department or major. This year's prize is $300. The prize will be awarded at the discretion of a board of three outside judges for a work in prose, fiction or creative non-fiction, which gives the greatest evidence of creative imagination and sustained ability. Each of the three judges, acting independently, is asked to designate his or her first, second, and third choice among the contestants. In the final reckoning, each first choice will count as three points, second choice as two points, and third as one point. The contestant with the highest number of points will be the winner. In any year, however, the judges may decline to designate the choices if none of the work submitted seems to them good enough to deserve the prize. In that event, Mr. Prescott's family and the English Department will determine how the prize money may be spent to encourage creative talent among undergraduate writers at Barnard.
Deadline: Entries in the contest must be turned in absolutely no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 11th, at the English Department office, 417 Barnard Hall. As this deadline is final, students would be well advised to set a somewhat earlier deadline in order to forestall emergencies.
1. Students are required to submit four copies of each entry, each set labeled with the author's name, email address, expected year of graduation, a list of the contents, and each securely enclosed in a manila folder or envelope. Every envelope or folder should be labeled on the outside as well with the student's name and a list of contents. Do not use heavy binders.
2. Typescripts should be double-spaced, on one side only of standard 8-1/2" by 11" sheets.
3. Each separate essay or story must carry the student's name, and the pages of each must be numbered.
4. You may submit one short story or piece of creative non-fiction, or several shorter such pieces, totaling 10-15 pages, and no more than 20.
5. Please retain copies of your work as these entries will not be returned.
Important note: Past winners of cash awards in the writing competition may enter again; their entries, however, should be composed of new material.
2013 Poetry Prizes
The Leonore Marshall Poetry Prize
This prize was established on a permanent basis by the New Hope Foundation in memory of Leonore Marshall, the writer and peace activist who had given the prize annually for many years before her death. Besides the prize money, the winner receives Latest Will, Leonore Marshall's collected poems. Each of three judges, acting independently, is asked to designate a first, second, and third choice among the contestants. In the final reckoning, each first choice will count as three points, second choice as two points, and third as one point. The contestant with the highest number of points will be the winner.
The Amy Loveman Prize
This prize was established by friends and Barnard classmates of the late Amy Loveman, long-time editor of the Saturday Review and a key figure for many years in the Book-of-the-Month Club. The award is for "the best original poem by a Barnard undergraduate." The Barnard English Department judges this contest.
Helen Searcy Puls Prize
For the best poem in any of the above competitions.
Instructions for poetry prizes:
All three competitions are open to Barnard undergraduates of whatever department or major. It is suggested that each competitor submit more than one poem, but no more than five. There can be no fixed statement about the number of lines required; contestants may find it helpful to think of approximately 100 lines, but they should not hesitate to submit fewer or more. The student should provide four separate and complete sets of manuscripts, each set labeled with her name, expected year of graduation, and a list of the contents, and each securely enclosed in a manila folder or envelope. Each separate poem within the set must also carry the writer's name. Pages must be numbered. Typescripts should be on one side only of standard 8-1/2" x 11" pages. Clear photocopies are acceptable. Every envelope or folder should be labeled with the student's name and a list of contents. Do not use heavy binders.
A single entry of four sets of manuscripts will be considered for all four prizes. Entries in the contest must be submitted absolutely no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, February 11th, at the English office, Room 417, Barnard Hall.
Please retain copies of your work as these entries will not be returned. Copies of this notice may be obtained in 417 Barnard Hall. Past winners of cash awards in the poetry competitions may enter again; their entries, however, should be composed of new material.
Judges for the 2013 Prizes
2013 Poetry Judges
Miranda Field is the author of Swallow (Houghton-Mifflin, 2002), which won a Katherine Bakeless Nason Literary Publication Award. Her work appears in numerous journals and several anthologies, including Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century, Not For Mothers Only, Efforts and Affections: Women Poets on Mentorship, and The Pushcart Book of Poetry: The Best Poems from Thirty Years of the Pushcart Prize. She has received a Discovery/The Nation Award, a Bread Loaf Teaching Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize. She teaches in the Undergraduate Writing Program at New York University.
Elisabeth Frost’s books include two collections of poetry, All of Us and the chapbook Rumor, as well as a critical study, The Feminist Avant-Garde in American Poetry. She is co-editor (with Cynthia Hogue) of Innovative Women Poets: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Interviews. She teaches at Fordham University, where she is founder and editor of the Poets Out Loud book series from Fordham Press.
Cathy Park Hong's third collection of poetry, Engine Empire, was published in 2012. Her second collection, Dance Dance Revolution (2007), was chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and her first, Translating Mo'um, was published in 2020. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a Village Voice Fellowship for Minority Reporters. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.
2013 Prose Judges
Jessica Soffer earned her MFA at Hunter College, where she was a Hertog Fellow. Her work has appeared in Granta and Vogue, among other publications. Her debut novel, Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots, will be published in April 2013. She teaches fiction at Connecticut College and lives in New York City.
Malena Watrous is the author of the novel, If You Follow Me, which won a Michener-Copernicus award and was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the best works of fiction by Bay Area Authors in 2010. She attended Barnard College and received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Her short stories have been published in such literary journals as StoryQuarterly, TriQuarterly, and The Massachusetts Review, and her nonfiction has appeared in Allure, Salon, The Believer, and Conde Nast Traveler. She also writes book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times. She has taught writing at the University of Iowa, Stanford, and in the MFA program at University of San Francisco.
Josh Weil is the author of The New Valley, a New York Times Editors Choice that won the Sue Kaufman Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 5-Under-35 Award from the National Book Foundation. Weil’s other writing has appeared in Granta, One Story, and The New York Times. A recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, he has been Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bowling Green State University and Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. His novel, The Great Glass Sea, is forthcoming in early 2014.
Judges for the 2012 Prizes
2012 Poetry Judges
Born in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 1975, Nick Laird was educated at Cookstown High School and Cambridge University. He worked as a lawyer for several years before leaving law to write full-time. The recipient of many prizes for his poetry and fiction, including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Award, the Betty Trask Prize, a Somerset Maugham award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, he has lived in London, Warsaw, and Rome. He is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University in New York.
Born in 1949 in Lincoln and educated as a chorister in Durham Cathedral. Later at Oxford began writing poetry and reviewing books for the New Statesman, for whom in due course he reported from Indochina. Book and arts reviewer, has published essays on art history and School of Genius, a history of the Royal Academy in London. Was Professor of Poetry in Oxford. Lectures collected in The Strength of Poetry. Poet and librettist. Recipient of the Queen's Medal for Poetry. Lives in Washington Heights.
Meg Tyler is Associate Professor of Humanities at Boston University, where she also directs the Poetry Reading Series. In 2012 she will also be the Fulbright Visiting Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Innsbruck. She is the author of a book on Seamus Heaney Contemporary poets and the Sonnet: a Trialogue, by Paul Muldoon, Jeff Hilson and Meg Tyler (Routledge 2005), and recently appeared in The Cambridge Companion to the Sonnet, edited by A.D. Cousins and Peter Howarth.
2012 Prose Judges
Belinda McKeon's debut novel Solace (Scribner) was named a Kirkus Outstanding Debut of 2011 and won Irish Book of the Year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards. McKeon was born in Ireland and now lives in Brooklyn. She writes regularly on the arts for The Irish Times, and has also written for publications including The Paris Review and The Guardian. Visit her website: www.belindamckeon.com
Credit for photo: Hiroki Kobayashi
Maggie Pouncey is the author of the novel Perfect Reader. She received her BA and MFA from Columbia University. She has taught writing at Columbia and through the Bard Prison Initiative. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
Credit for photo: (C) Jon Pack
Jennifer Gilmore is the author of Something Red, a New York Times Notable Book of 2010, and Golden Country, a 2006 New York Times Notable Book, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Jewish Book Award. Her work has appeared in magazines and journals including Allure, BOMB, BookForum, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Magazine,the New York Times Book Review, Salon, Tin House and the Washington Post, and has been anthologized in More New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of the New York Times, The Friend Who Got Away, Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave and How to Spell Chanukah.
page last updated 2/11/13