Awards

In addition to the Awards listed below, a variety of Fellowships, Awards, and Assistantships are available through the Graduate School: https://gradschool.missouri.edu/funding/assistantships-fellowships/.

English Department Fellowships for Incoming Students

Up to four English Department PhD fellowships equivalent to the standard PhD assistantship to teach three, instead of the usual four, sections per year for four years, at least one of which must be taken in the 5th year. The timing of course releases will be determined in consultation with the DGS. 

English Department Awards for current students

Applications for most of the awards below are due April 9, 2021, unless otherwise noted. For each award, please submit a PDF with the application materials to the chair of the Graduate Awards Committee. When required, recommendations should be sent separately by the advisor. All applications will be judged by the Graduate Studies Awards subcommittee.

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Best Graduate Paper Award

Award for the best paper written by a graduate student in English for a graduate course in AY 2020-21.  We will give a first place ($200) and a second-place award ($100). Papers can be revised and will be judged on their potential for publication in an academic journal.  Application materials:  A copy of your paper with title page with your name on it (please do not put your name on the other pages).

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English Alumni Scholarship

This award of $1000 can be used to facilitate a graduate student’s progress in the program. Application materials: make a case for how this open-ended award could help you complete a specific task, such as studying for comprehensive exams, ready an essay for publication, preparing to teach a new class (250 words), plus a recommendation from your advisor.

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Judith A. and Richard B. Schwartz Travel Award

Two awards of $1000 per person can be used for doctoral research. Application materials: a description of the proposed research and its relationship to the dissertation (250 words).

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Shaw Opportunities for Excellence

The Shaw Opportunities for Excellence for professional development is a scholarship of $1000 that can be used in the US or abroad for such purposes as taking a summer course outside of MU, traveling to an archive, attending a conference or for other professional development. Application materials: a description of the research project, conference, course or opportunity with an explanation of how it contributes to your course of study (250 words) plus a recommendation from your advisor.

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The John Richard and Ellen Ryan Dubinski Scholarship

This scholarship in the amount of $750 for a graduate student in the department at any stage of graduate work, with "preference given to parents returning to college for an advanced degree.” Application materials: a brief statement describing your stage in the program, your progress to degree and noting your status as a parent or caregiver (250 words) plus a recommendation from your advisor.

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The Elizabeth T. Barnes Memorial Graduate Fellowship

This fellowship awards $500 to a graduate student who has had an essay accepted or who has presented at a prestigious academic conference during the preceding calendar year (Fall or Spring 2020). Application materials: abstract of the paper (up to 250 words), brief description of the conference and its significance to your graduate work (up to 250 words)

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English Department Dissertation Year Fellowships

These fellowships provide one course release per semester in the year students are completing their dissertations. Eligibility: All PhD students who have passed comprehensive examinations may apply, except those who hold fellowships through the Graduate School (such as the Ridgel or the Huggins), as these already offer teaching releases. The award provides only one course release to students holding an English Department Fellowship or to MA/PhD students who already have one course release for their dissertation year. Applicants should submit a pdf with a cv, a 2-page letter describing their dissertation project (its significance and contribution). A one-page recommendation from the advisor is also required and should be sent as a separate pdf. Applications will be judged on the quality of the dissertation materials submitted and feasibility of finishing in the year of award.  Recommendation and applicant letters should speak to both criteria. 

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Harry J and Richard A Hocks Dissertation Year Fellowship

This fellowship provides $3000, but no course releases, to support a graduate student who is completing the dissertation. Eligibility (as specified in the endowment): “a doctoral student in American or English Literature at the dissertation-writing stage. Preference is given to students with dependents, especially young children.”  Please note that this last is a preference, not a requirement for the award; some past recipients have not had dependents. However, this award is for PhD students in literature only; students in Creative Writing and in English Language and Linguistics are not eligible.

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Creative Writing Awards

See the Creative Writing Awards page for more information on these awards.

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Travel Awards

English Department Graduate Student Travel Awards provide up to $700 of support for graduate students giving papers at professional conferences either in the US or abroad. Three awards are available per deadline of October 1, 2019 and February 3, 2020. Applications are competitive since only three awards are available per deadline. Please see attachment for application instructions.

Grad Student Travel Awards
If students are awarded a grant (including travel grants) from an external entity, the MU English department will match that grant up to $500. Graduate students are eligible for one matching grant per fiscal year.

Awards for conference travel are also available from other organizations on campus:

English Graduate Student Association (EGSA)
EGSA Professional Fund

MU Graduate Professional Council (GPC)
Three deadlines a year for travel and professional development funding:
Travel Awards

MU Graduate Studies 
Travel Scholarships
(note only 1 travel or dissertation research grant during each grad student’s career at MU)

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Teaching Awards

Donald K. Anderson Teaching Award

English PhD students are invited to apply to the English department for nomination to the Donald K. Anderson Graduate Teaching Assistant Award  

The English department may nominate one graduate student for this award; please see the link to the Graduate School above and guidelines below to be considered for this honor. In past years, strong candidates have been in the 4th or 5th year of the program; while any PhD student may apply, those in the early years of the program are less likely to be competitive.

If you wish to be considered for nomination, please submit a teaching portfolio. See the Graduate School link for what to include. No letters at this stage, please.

The department nominee will be selected by a committee of English faculty and graduate student representatives who are not being considered for nomination, in early December. Nominations are due to the Graduate School in early February.

Due date for submissions is Dec 2. 

The William Peden Award for Outstanding Teaching of Creative Writing

The William Peden Award ($500) is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student instructor of creative writing.

All current MU English graduate teaching assistants with at least .25 FTE appointments are eligible for this award. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated excellence and lasting impact in the following areas: successful performance in the classroom; enthusiasm and commitment; mentoring of undergraduates; and satisfactory progress towards degree.

If you wish to be considered, please submit the following materials: a 1-page cover letter in which you comment directly on how you fulfill the criteria for the award; a CV; a 1-page statement of teaching philosophy; 2 sample syllabi from creative writing courses; descriptions of between 3-5 assignments; and full packets of teaching evaluations from 2 creative writing courses.

Please send your materials in one PDF file to Phong Nguyen (nguyenpv@missouri.edu).

The winner will be selected by a committee of English faculty and an EGSA representative who is not being considered.

Due date for submissions is April 1.

The Gil Porter Award for Outstanding Teaching of Literature

The Gil Porter Award ($500) is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student instructor of literature.

All current MU English graduate teaching assistants with at least .25 FTE appointments are eligible for this award. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated excellence and lasting impact in the following areas: successful performance in the classroom; enthusiasm and commitment; mentoring of undergraduates; and satisfactory progress towards degree.

If you wish to be considered, please submit the following materials: a 1-page cover letter in which you comment directly on how you fulfill the criteria for the award; a CV; a 1-page statement of teaching philosophy; 2 sample syllabi from literature courses; descriptions of between 3-5 assignments; and full packets of teaching evaluations from 2 literature courses.

Please send your materials in one PDF file to Lee Manion (manionL@missouri.edu). 

The winner will be selected by a committee of English faculty and an EGSA representative who is not being considered.

Due date for submissions is April 1.

The Gus Reid Award for Outstanding Teaching of Composition

The Gus Reid Prize ($500) is awarded annually to one outstanding graduate student instructor of composition and one outstanding faculty instructor of composition.

All current MU English graduate teaching assistants with at least .25 FTE appointments and all faculty with at least .5 FTE appointments are eligible for this award. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated excellence and lasting impact in the following areas: successful performance in the classroom, especially related to student engagement and experience and program goals; enthusiasm for teaching composition and commitment to continuing development and/or collaboration as an instructor of composition; and satisfactory progress towards degree, if applicable. Additionally, the award guidelines stipulate that each recipient “should not only be a good writer but an even better critic – one who views the job and self with both discipline and light-heartedness.”

If you wish to be considered, please submit the following materials: a 1-page cover letter in which you comment directly on how you fulfill the criteria for the award; a CV; a 1-page teaching philosophy; 2 sample syllabi from a first-year or intermediate composition course; project descriptions of between 3-5 major writing projects for first-year or intermediate composition; one letter of teaching observation; and a full packet of teaching evaluations from 2 composition courses.

Please send your materials in one PDF file to Cheryl Hall (hallch@missouri.edu). 

The winner will be selected by a committee of English faculty who work closely with the Composition Program.

Due date for submissions is April 1. 

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Literature Emitting Diodes (LED) Writing Competition

ABOUT THE COMPETITION

LITERATURE EMITTING DIODES presents poetry and prose by talented writers in public venues on a scrolling LED display. LITERATURE EMITTING DIODES began as a monthly publication in Chicago in 2015, and in recent years, has partnered with the Undergraduate Juried Showcase and the George Caleb Bingham Gallery in the School of Visual Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia to found an Undergraduate Juried Writing Competition. 

Now an annual writing competition sponsored by the MU Creative Writing Program, the competition solicits unpublished writing of up to 500 words from MU undergraduate students of any major. One work will be chosen for display on a scrolling LED sign outside the George Caleb Bingham Gallery on the MU Campus. The winning writer will also receive a publishing award from THERETHERENOW, a Columbia-based curatorial and publishing project founded and run by Travis Shaffer, an Assistant Professor in MU's School of Visual Studies, to produce a limited-edition print publication.

LITERATURE EMITTING DIODES is a project of PARTIAL PRESS, a small press based in Columbia, Missouri, established and run by Carley Gomez and Levi Sherman. The MU Creative Writing Program is grateful to Carley and Levi of PARTIAL PRESS for founding the LED Undergraduate Writing Competition, and is excited to begin hosting the annual competition in 2020.

For more information about PARTIAL PRESS, THERETHERENOW, and the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, please visit the following websites:

https://partialpress.net/

http://www.theretherenow.com/theretherenow

https://visualstudies.missouri.edu/gallery/bingham

COMPETITION RULES

No more than three unpublished poetry and/or prose submissions per student; each submission cannot exceed 500 words. Authors must be undergraduate students at the University of Missouri. Formatting will not be retained by the LED display. All standard English letters, numerals, and punctuation will display. Submissions will be reviewed by jurors from the MU English Graduate Student Association.

In addition to display at the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, the winner will receive a broadside publication award from THERETHERENOW, a Columbia-based curatorial and publishing project. THERETHERENOW will create a limited-edition print publication and launch it with a reading event at the beginning of the semester following the competition, usually in the early spring. 150 copies will be split evenly among the MU Creative Writing Program, THERETHERENOW, and the winning writer. Three runners-up will also be invited to read their selected submission at the reading.

  • 1 winner, 3 runners-up
  • Deadline: November 6th
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The Mahan Short Fiction Award

No more than two stories per person. Stories should not exceed 7,000 words. Please include word count on manuscript. No restrictions on subject matter or literary method. Stories submitted for this award may not be submitted for the McKinney Award.

  • 1st place $250, 2nd place $150
  • Deadline: March 15
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The Mahan Poetry Award

No restrictions on subject matter or literary method. No more than five poems may be entered. Poems submitted for this award may not be submitted for the Academy of American Poets Prize.

  • 1st place $250, 2nd place $150
  • Deadline: March 15
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The Academy of American Poets Prize

The Academy of American Poets sponsors a prize for the best poem by a student currently enrolled at MU.

  • Maximum of three poems may be entered per person.
  • Poems submitted for the Mahan Poetry Award may not be submitted for this award.
  • No restrictions on subject matter or literary method.
  • One $100 first prize
  • Deadline: March 15
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The Margery McKinney Short Fiction Award

Although some preference will be given to women and undergraduates, this competition is open to any student currently enrolled at any of the four campuses of the University of Missouri.

  • Story should not exceed 7,000 words. Please include word count on manuscript.
  • No restrictions on subject matter or literary method.
  • No more than one story per person. Stories submitted for this award may not be submitted for the Mahan Short Fiction Award.
  • Two $500 prizes
  • Deadline: March 15
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The CWP Award in Creative Nonfiction

The Creative Writing Program sponsors prizes in creative nonfiction submitted by students currently enrolled at MU. No restrictions on subject matter or style, though all submissions must fit within the general descriptions of creative nonfiction.

  • $200 first prize, $100 second prize
  • Deadline: March 15
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The Sibyl Pommer Freshman Poetry Award

This award was established in 1961 by Sybil Pommer of Columbia, Missouri. The competition is RESTRICTED TO FRESHMEN currently enrolled at MU.

  • No more than four poems per person.
  • One $250 first prize
  • Deadline: April 1
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The Margaret Leong Children's Poetry Award

This award was established in 2000 by Margaret Leong of Columbia, Missouri. The competition is open to all students currently enrolled at any of the University of Missouri campuses.

  • Competition limited to poems which are either addressed to children, or written in collaboration with children, or which incorporate children’s thoughts and emotions.
  • No more than three poems per person.
  • $400 first prize, $300 second place prize, $200 third place prize
  • Deadline: April 1
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The Frances W. Kerr Award for Excellence in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Drama

Undergraduate students may submit stories, poems, essays, and plays to the following awards:

First place ($300), second place ($200), and third place ($100) will be awarded annually to undergraduates in each genre.

Guidelines:

1) Each student may submit:

  • One short story.
  • Three poems.
  • One essay.

    and/or
     
  • One play.

2) This contest will be judged anonymously. 

3) Judges will be appointed by the Director of the Creative Writing Program.

Deadline: April 1

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The Hien & Emily Nguyen Award in Creative Writing

Any currently enrolled student may apply, though preference is given to graduate students. In order to be eligible for the award, you must demonstrate that you have applied to a summer workshop or residency. You are not required to attend that summer workshop or residency; you must only demonstrate that you have applied and give your reasons for applying.

  • $500 awards

Deadline: April 1

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The William Peden Prize in Teaching Creative Writing

Recognition for excellence in teaching, awarded to a graduate student instructor of creative writing at the University of Missouri each year.

To apply, submit a letter of application, sample syllabi, assignments, and a complete set of student evaluations to the Director of Creative Writing

  • $500 award

Deadline: April 1