Opportunities Sponsored by the Barnard English Department

2017 English Department Student Prizes Requiring Submissions


The prizes below are open to Barnard students of ALL majors.  Questions should be directed to Dr. Timea Szell, Director of Creative Writing, at tszell@barnard.edu.

For information about Columbia's writing prizes (some of which are open to Barnard students), visit their website.

Please note that prize recipients for all but the Quindlen Prize will be notified by the Dean of Studies Office.

We will accept submissions electronically via Google Form only.  Click here to fill out the form.  Please follow all instructions carefully.  Submissions should be files .pdf, .docx, or .rtf form and must be named in the following form: FirstName_LastName_GraduationDate_PrizeName.  Each page of your submission must be numbered and include your name. 

Please see the descriptions of each prize for specific instructions.


2017 Axinn Foundation/Anna Quindlen Award for Creative Writing

Funded through a generous donation from the Joan F. and Donald E. Axinn Foundation in honor of author and Barnard alumna Anna Quindlen ’74, her oeuvre, and her enthusiastic support for women’s education and creative youth.  The prize will be awarded to a graduating Barnard senior of any major to support her creative writing.   The prize will be awarded to a graduating Barnard senior of any major to support her creative writing.


Applicants must submit 20-25 double-spaced pages of their work electronically through the Google Form. Submissions of fiction are preferred, but creative non-fiction will also be considered. Submissions may consist of a single piece, a collection of stories or creative non-fiction essays, or a chapter or two of a longer prose form. Submissions must include a cover page listing the applicant's name, year of expected graduation, major, telephone number and e-mail address.  The deadline is 11:59 pm on Monday, February 13, 2017.  


2017 Burns Society Prize

This prize, sponsored by the Burns Society of the City of New York, will be awarded to three Barnard or Columbia students who write the best papers on topics related to the poetry of the eighteenth-century Scottish poet Robert Burns.


Applicants must submit entries electronically using the Google Form. Each entry must be labeled with the student's name, email, phone number, mailing address, and expected year of graduation. Every page of the entry must be labeled with the page number and the student's name.  The deadline is 11:59pm, February 13, 2017.  


2017 Brandt Playwriting Award

This award is sponsored by Barnard alumna and playwright Penny Brandt Jackson whose long-standing support of the Creative Writing Program has been vital to our functioning.  The Brandt Playwriting Award is given to a Barnard student of any year or major who writes the most promising one-act play. 


Applicants must submit electronic copies via the Google Form. Each entry must include a cover sheet with the student’s name, email address, expected year of graduation, the name of the Prize and the title of the play. The play should be around 25 pages.  The deadline is 11:59 pm on Monday, February 27, 2017.


2017 Peter S. Prescott Prize for Prose Writing

This prize is offered annually by the family of the distinguished writer and critic the late Peter S. Prescott, author of Child Savers and former book critic at Newsweek.  Competition is open to all Barnard undergraduates of whatever year or major.  The prize will be awarded for a work in prose, fiction or creative non-fiction, which gives the greatest evidence of creative imagination and sustained ability.


Applicants should submit electronic copies of their submission via the Google Form. You may submit one short story or piece of creative non-fiction, or several shorter such pieces, totaling no more than 20-25 pages. Your submissions must include a table of contents.  Every page of the entry must be labeled with the page number and the student's name.  Past winners of cash awards in the writing competition may enter again; their entries, however, should be composed of new material.  The deadline is 11:59 pm on Monday, February 13, 2017.


2017 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

This prize was established on a permanent basis by the New Hope Foundation in memory of Lenore Marshall, the writer and peace activist who had given the prize annually for many years before her death.  In addition to a monetary prize, the winner receives Latest Will, Lenore Marshall's collected poems. 


This competition is open to all Barnard undergraduates. It is suggested that each competitor submit more than one poem, but no more than five.  There is no fixed number of lines required; contestants may find it helpful to think of approximately 100 lines, but they should not hesitate to submit shorter or longer selections. 

Entries should be submitted electronically via the Google Form. Each submission should include a table of contents.   Every page of the entry must be labeled with the page number and the student's name.  The deadline is at 11:59pm on February 13, 2017.  Past winners of cash awards in the poetry competitions may enter again; their entries, however, should be composed of new material.


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Judges for the 2017 Prizes

2017 Prose Judges

Eliza Minot

Eliza Minot is the author of the novels "The Tiny One" and "The Brambles". Her work has appeared in a variety of magazines, a couple of anthologies, and her books have been named to various lists. She is currently writing her third novel, American Standard, and is pursuing her MFA at Rutgers-Newark where she is a teaching assistant and the recipient of a Rutgers Presidential Fellowship.




Liz Moore

Liz Moore is the Rome Prize-winning author of the novels The Words of Every Song, Heft, and The Unseen World. Her work has been placed on "best-of" lists by The New Yorker, the BBC, Audible, NPR, and the American Library Association, among others. Moore is a gradu ate of Barnard College and Hunter College's MFA program. She is an Associate Professor of Writing at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where she lives. 


Malena Watrous

Malena Watrous is a novelist, magazine writer and book critic living in San Francisco. She attended Barnard College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and was a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford, where she currently teaches creative writing. 


2017 Poetry Judges



Deborah Landau

Deborah Landau is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently The Uses of the Body, a Lannan Literary Selection from Copper Canyon Press which was featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and included on "Best of 2015" lists by The New Yorker, Vogue, BuzzFeed, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Best American Poetry. In 2016 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches in and directs the Creative Writing Program at NYU.

Robyn Schiff

 Robyn Schiff is the author of three books of poetry, including A Woman of Property. “Schiff’s is a major species of weird, glowing genius...her brilliance is singular, her vision compound. We’ll be measuring this work’s radiance in light-years” (Brenda Shaughnessy). She teaches at the University of Iowa.


Fiona Wilson

 Fiona Wilson is the author of A Clearance (The Sheep Meadow Press, 2015). Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and in several anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including Poetry Review, Edinburgh ReviewThe Antigonish ReviewLiterary ImaginationThe Spectator, and New Writing Scotland. She grew up in Scotland and lives in New York City. She teaches literature at Sarah Lawrence College.