English Writing Prizes

In the spring of each year, the English department posts a call to all Bowdoin students for submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and critical analysis for its competitive writing prizes.

Submissions for writing prizes are reviewed by faculty judges. The department awards the winners during the college's Honors Day program in May, and prize winners’ names are also printed in the commencement program. 

A competition for the Brown Prize for Extemporaneous Composition is held in the spring, and it's open to all seniors.

Fiction Prizes:

  • Hawthorne Prize: for best short story written by a sophomore, junior, or senior
  • Sinkinson Prize: for best short story written by a junior or senior

Non-fiction Prize:

For best work of creative nonfiction, open to all classes.

Composition Prizes:

  • David Sewall Premium: to a member of the first-year class, for excellence in English composition
  • Pray Prize: to a senior for excellence in English literature scholarship and original English composition

Poetry Prizes:

For best work of poetry, open to all classes

  • The Academy of American Poets Colette Inez Poetry Prize
  • Forbes Rickard Poetry Prize
  • Nathalie Walker Llewellyn Poetry Prize
  • Poetry Prize

Thursday, March 31st, 2022
by 4:00 PM.

Instructions for Submission

  1. Click here for a fillable submission form and manuscript requirements.
  2. Complete the submission form and attach it to your email. Please attach your manuscript as a separate document. Manuscripts are judged anonymously. Only the title should appear on your manuscript. Do not put your name or class year on your work.
  3. Email your submission, with subject English Prize Submission, to the English department coordinator at lholland@bowdoin.edu.

Competition for the
Brown Prize
for Extemporaneous Composition
open to all Bowdoin seniors

Friday, April 1st, 2022 at 4:30 PM
Massachusetts Hall McKeen Study

Past Winners