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The English Department sponsors annual writing contests that are open to all Clark undergraduate students, including those enrolled in the School of Professional Studies. All work must be completely original.


How to Enter Your Work

    1.  All submissions must be the student’s original work. Because all contest judging is done anonymously, we cannot accept previously published entries identifying the author. All entries must be unsigned.

    2. To submit to each of the four writing contests, fill out the corresponding Qualtrics form and upload your unsigned entry by the posted deadline. 
    3. Missing information will disqualify your entry.
    4. The English Department may present or publish winning entries.
    5. Contest winners will be invited to present their winning entries at Academic Spree Day.
    6. If, in the opinion of the judges, none of the entries in a particular category is deserving of an award, none shall be given.

Annual Contests

Loring Holmes and Ruth Dodd Drama Contest

One entry per student. Entries can be a one-act play or a section of a longer play; minimum of 10 pages, not to exceed 25 pages. Playwriting format required. Please contact Professor Gino DiIorio for questions about standard playwriting format.

Prizes $425/$200/$100

Prentiss Cheney Hoyt Poetry Contest

The number of submissions per student is limited to five (5) poems.

Prizes: $125/$75/$50

Betty ’79 and Stanley Sultan Short Story Contest

The number of submissions per student is limited to one story, not to exceed 5,000 words.

Prizes: $300/$175/$125

Leroy Allston Ames Essay Contest

For the best essay on any aspect of 19th-century England — literature, history, philosophy, art, or science.

Students may submit an essay written for a course.

The number of submissions per student is limited to one essay.

Prizes: $500/$300/$200

Current Winners

1st Place – Silas Schwartz ’26 for “Transmission:

2nd Place – Sabine Gordon ’26 for “Ceramic Mother

3rd Place – Ian Cruz ’25 for “The Birds Shall Return

Honorable Mention -Ursula Zia ’24 for “Bird Braid

Honorable Mention -Ian Cruz ’25 for “tomatoes

Honorable Mention -Isabella Simoes ’27 for “touch tank

1st Place – Silas Schwartz ’26 for “The Deer in the Lake

2nd Place –Cassie Mayer ’24 for “This Could be Us

3rd Place – Sophia Friedmann ‘24 for “Takeoff

1st Place – Gwenne Catherine Balcius ’26 for The Final Day of Doug Stevens

2nd Place – Nat Solomon ’24 for RevelARTsionary

3rd Place – Joseph Andaloro ’25 for Closing Time

Previous Winners


1st Place – Kelsey Heyel ’23 for “She

2nd Place – Jesse Lowe ’24 for “I Hope I Last

3rd Place – Kaleigh Gibbons ’24 for “Shelves

Honorable Mention – Annelisse Lynch ’23 for “Just Hair

Honorable Mention – Neomi Efrat ’26 for “Seated

1st Place – Kate Roller ’25 for “Family Dinner

2nd Place – Liam Wang ’25 for “Night Walking

3rd Place – Katherine Noroian ‘26 for “Awakening

1st Place – Aanandita Bali ’23 for It’s Mars Time Baby

2nd Place – Gwenne Balcius ’26 for Shake On It

3rd Place – Honey Snyder ’24 for Dreamballs

1st Place – Christina Rose Walcott ’23 for “Whiteness is Actually the Evil in Mizora

2nd Place – Jordan Holley ’23 for “A Eugenicist’s Utopia: Selective Reproduction and Intolerance of the “Other” in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland

3rd Place – Robin Bozik ’24 for “Bleak Midwinter – The Gothic in Armadale

Honorable Mention – Leilani Brown ’25 for “Lord Alfred Douglas’ ‘Two Loves’: Love, Shame, & Names


1st Place Mallory Trainor ’22 for “I Dream in Time Lapse

2nd Place Jesse Lowe’24 for “( )”(Parentheses)

3rd Place Ursula Zia’24 for “Becoming an Air Plant

1st Place Juliana Hall 24 for “The Disappearance of Persephone Reid

2nd Place Olivia Wilde 23 for “Backyard Eulogy

3rd Place Jesse Lowe 24 for “I Have Not Drowned

1st Place Dylan Parra 22 for The Trees Don’t Talk Anymore

2nd Place Kelsey Heyel 23 for Funeralia

3rd Place Luke Pound 22 for Flying Through Windows


1st Place: Kylee Rutkiewicz ’21 for “Brother

2nd Place: Jacob Lonon ’22 for “The thought of you intrudes upon my sphere

3rd Place: Mahi Taban ’21 for “phantom pains

1st Place: Robin Bozik ’24 for “Me, Myself, and The Body

2nd Place: Tyler Hempel ’22 for “A Way Home

3rd Place: Kira Houston’23 for “The Face Painter

1st Place: Brett Iarrobino ’21 for New, New Normal

2nd Place: Jeremy Francoeur ’22 for Absolute Zero

3rd Place Tie: Dylan Parra ’22 for Giving up the Dream

3rd Place Tie: Tim Lucey ’22 for Ouroboros


1st Place: Hannah Ortiz ’23 for “Ode to Moses

2nd Place: Ruth Fuller ’20 for “Panic

3rd Place: Danielle Black ’21 for “Truths Split

1st Place: Alexis Dinkins ’20 for “It Will Grow Here

2nd Place: Jerinna Solages ’22 for “And Free They Shall Be

3rd Place: Rachel Lloyd ’20 for “Wordlessly

1st Place: Maria Connors ’20 for Nothing Out of the Extra-Ordinary

2nd Place: Emily Buza ’20 for excerpts from Kitten

3rd Place: Riley Kay Starnhagen ’20 for She Was the Sun

Honorable Mention: Luke Pound ’22 for excerpts from Elements

1st Place : Mahi Taban ’21 for “Sexual Identity, Foreignness, and the Gothic Vampire: The Racialization of Homosexuality in ‘Carmilla’”

2nd Place: Davina Tomlin ’20 for “Men and Tools in ‘Ode to a Nightingale’”


1st: Alyssa Pelletier ’19 – “Thursday Night Dinner”

2nd: Taylor Murphy ’22 – “After the Summer of Dusk”

3rd: Caitlin Leggett ’22 – “Today’s Special”

1st: Manal Ahmed ’21 – “Untitled”

2nd: Mahi taban ’21 – “Like Unto the Wind”

3rd: Carolyn Strauss ’19 – “The Old Apartment”

1st: Brett Iarrobino ’21 – Aw, Nuts!

2nd: Toni Armstrong ’19 – Life Cycles

3rd: Zoe DiPinto ’20 – “The Revolting Crotch” & Riley Kay Sternhagen ’20 – The List


1st: Naomi Shmueli ’18 — “Mountain Mama

2nd: Jennifer Vernick ’18 — “After the Fourth Hospital Stay

3rd: Mahi Taban ’21 — “Letter to Khyber

3rd: Jane Thomas ’21 — “Most Likely to Succeed

1st: Samuel Marlinga ’18 — “I”

2nd: Henry Lynch ’18 — “Everyone Came But No One Was There

3rd: Jonathan Krauss ’20 — “Tiny Fish

Honorable Mention: Mal Sklar ’18 — “Do Roombas Dream of Electric Sheep?

1st: Toni Armstrong ’19 — When

2nd: Shawn McGarry ’19 — Act 1, Scene 2 (Dan and Beatrice… )

3rd: Lukas Pomerville ’21 — Bastille Café


1st:  Cassidy To ’17 — “I AM

2nd: Maria Connors ’20 — “Tidal Eyes

3rd:  Jessica Hoops ’18 — “Revelation

3rd:  Genevieve Mahoney ’17 — “The Cat Called Kitty

1st:  Chukwuma Egbuzie ’19 — “9DIGITS

2nd:  Rachel Lloyd ’20 — “Click!

3rd:  Davina Tomlin ’20 — “Cassandra

1st:  Laura Barker ’17 — 2016

2nd:  Toni Armstrong ’19 — Forgetting Lee Grant

3rd:  Chloe Anderson ’17 — Hangover

3rd:  Emily Denny ’17 — The Filthy People

Contact Information

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