Recent Award Winners

The English Department is honored to announce the winners of its 2021 writing contests. The department administers writing contests to recognize fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and critical works by English majors and non-major undergraduates.  

FICTION

Anne Flexner Award for Fiction
Thalia Halloran, '22 - "Red Tide"
Family members and friends of former English student Anne Flexner (1945) established the Anne Flexner Memorial Award for Creative Writing to recognize undergraduates for their work in fiction and poetry. 

Reynolds Price Award for Fiction
Mina Jang, '23 - "Twenty"
The Reynolds Price Fiction Award was established in memory of the distinguished novelist, essayist, poet, and public intellectual Reynolds Price, a graduate of Duke and professor in the English Department for over 50 years. 

CREATIVE NONFICTION

George P. Lucaci Award for Creative NonFiction
Abby Flyer, '21- "Self-Portrait, 2020"
Irene Qiao, '22 - "My Pitaya"

This award was created to encourage creative nonfiction writing and to honor George P. Lucaci, a former Duke student who has been an active supporter of undergraduate creative writing in the English Department for many years. 

POETRY

Academy of American Poets Prize
Rebecca Schneid, '23 - "The Long Haul" 
Tina Xia -'23 - "sinking" (Honorable Mention)
Founded in 1934 in New York City, the Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization advocating for American poets and poetry.  Its mission is to support American poets at all stages of their careers and foster contemporary poetry appreciation. 

Anne Flexner Award for Poetry
Theo Cai, '21 - "Filaments"
Family members and friends of former English student Anne Flexner (1945) established the Anne Flexner Memorial Award for Creative Writing to recognize undergraduates for their work in fiction and poetry. 

Terry Welby Tyler, Jr Award for Poetry
Lauren Garbett, '23 - "Year in Reverse"
The family of Terry Welby Tyler, Jr. established this award in his memory to recognize and encourage outstanding undergraduate poets. Welby, an English major who loved poetry, would have graduated with the class of 1997 had he not passed away in 1996.  

Creative Writing Scholarship Winners

William M. Blackburn Scholarship
Pippa Lother - '23
Madison Griffin - '23
Created in 1962 by students and friends of Professor William Blackburn (1899-1969), who established the creative writing initiative at Duke, this scholarship recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of creative writing. 

Francis Pemberton Scholarship
Thomas Pratt - '22
This scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior pursuing study in creative writing. It was created by the Trustees of The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation in memory and in honor of Francis Pemberton's service to the Biddle Foundation. 

Margaret Rose Knight Sanford Scholarship
Rae Recinos - '23

Given annually to a female student who demonstrates a particular promise in creative writing, this scholarship was established to recognize the untiring efforts of Margaret Rose Knight Sanford on behalf of Duke University. 

Critical Essay Department Award Winners 

Critical Essay Award
Milla Surjadi
“Redefining the Sad Girl in Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Punisher'"

Each year Duke English sponsors a critical essay competition that is open for essays written by any Duke undergraduate enrolled in an English department course.  Submissions must be critical essays of nonfiction produced for a class during the current academic year in which the student is enrolled.

Stanley E. Fish Award for Outstanding Work in British Literature: 
Anthony Cardellini
“Nabokov through the Sebaldian mist: Memory in The Emigrants and Speak, Memory”

This award recognizes outstanding work by an undergraduate enrolled in an English course in British Literature.

Louis J. Budd Award for Outstanding Work in American Literature:  
Genevieve Beske
“The Way Back Up: Narratives of Downfall and Restoration in Fiction of the American South”

This award recognizes outstanding work by an undergraduate enrolled in an English course in American Literature.

Barbara Herrnstein Smith Award for Outstanding Work in Literary Theory or Criticism: 
Lizzie Bond
A Man and a Woman”: The Artist’s Double-sided Existence in Willa Cather’s “Coming, Aphrodite!”
This award recognizes outstanding work by an undergraduate enrolled in an English course in literary theory or criticism.

Award for Most Original Honors Thesis: 
Charlotte Tellefsen
“The Convergence of Nature and Culture: Illegitimacy in Adam Bede and Daniel Deronda”​​​​​​​

This award recognizes a senior student for writing the most original honors thesis.