Recent Award Winners

The English Department is honored to announce the winners of its 2020 writing contests. The department administers writing contests to recognize fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and critical works by English majors and non-major undergraduates.  

Winning submissions can be viewed in our Box folder:

Access Box Folder

FICTION

Anne Flexner Award for Fiction
Thalia Halloran  - Blonde
(Winner of 2019 Reynolds Price Award for Fiction and took second place for the George P. Luccaci Award for Creative Non-Fiction)
The Anne Flexner Memorial Award for Creative Writing was established by the family and friends of Anne Flexner, who graduated from Duke in 1945.

Reynolds Price Award for Fiction
Caroline Waring - The Roof
(2019 Critical Essay Winner)
The Reynolds Price Fiction Award was established in memory of the distinguished novelist, essayist, story-writer, poet and public intellectual, Reynolds Price, who was a graduate of Duke and taught in the English Department for over 50 years.

CREATIVE NONFICTION

George P. Lucaci Award for Creative Non-Fiction
Leah Abrams - Dad Funeral
Rayan Tofique - Of Suitors and the Unsuited
Julia Wang - Lions
The Lucaci Award for Creative nonfiction is funded by the Lucaci Endowment. It was established 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
1stPlace - Daniela Stephanou - Maria
Honorable Mention - Thalia Hallorananimal instincts
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 to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry.

Anne Flexner Award for Poetry
Margot Armbruster - Triptych
The Anne Flexner Memorial Award for Poetry was established by the family and friends of Anne Flexner, who graduated from Duke in 1945.

Terry Welby Tyler, Jr Award for Poetry
Sophie Laettner - A Southern Element
This award was established by the family of Terry Welby Tyler, Jr., an English major that loved poetry.  He would have graduated with the class of 1997 had he not passed away in 1996.  This award recognizes and honors outstanding undergraduate poetry.

Creative Writing Scholarship Winners

William Blackburn Scholarship
Anna Kasradze, 2021
Omoloa Sanusi, 2021

William M. Blackburn Scholarship: Recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of creative writing.  Established in 1962 by students and friends of Professor William Blackburn (1899-1969) who first began teaching creative writing at Duke.

Francis Pemberton Scholarship
Anthony Cardellini, 2021
Francis Pemberton Scholarship: Awarded to a junior or senior pursuing the study of creative writing.  This scholarship 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
Catherine Gong, 2022

Margaret Rose Knight Sanford Scholarship: Awarded to a female student who demonstrates particular promise in creative writing.  This scholarship was established in recognition of the untiring efforts of Margaret Rose Knight Sanford on behalf of Duke University.

Critical Essay Department Award Winners 

Anna Kasradze, '21Discontents and their Civilization: Epic Melancholy in T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land"
Honorable Mention: Gretchen Wright, '20 – “Brontë before Darwin: The Weakening of the Human-Animal Divide”
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: 
Joel Mire, 20 - “Narrative as Search: Computational Forms of Knowledge in the Novels of Tom McCarthy” 
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:  
Jay Arora, ‘20 - “Protein Binds: Decoding Factory-Farmed Meat in 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: 
(Co-winners) 
Meg Hancock, ‘20 - “‘Bullets in the Dining Room Table’: Reckoning with the South and its Burdens in Faulkner, O’Connor, and Morrison”

Brennen Neeley, ‘20 - “Conceits of Imagined Silence: Reconciling Recognition and Acknowledgment in Fiction” 
This award recognizes outstanding work by an undergraduate enrolled in an English course in literary theory or criticism.

Award for Most Original Honors Thesis: 
(Co-winners) 
Alice Dai, ‘20 “Long Way Home”
Valerie Muensterman, ‘20 “The Roadkill Club”
This award recognizes a senior student for writing the most original honors thesis.