Bryn Mawr College Literary Prizes

Bryn Mawr College Literary Prizes 2022

Bryn Mawr undergraduates are invited to submit work in competition for the following annual literary prizes to be awarded in May at the Student Awards Ceremony. The Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize is also open to graduate and special students, and the Seymour Adelman Poetry Award is open to every member of the College community. You are welcome to enter your work in more than one competition, but please follow the specific instructions for submissions in each prize category. The deadlines are all the same, but other important details vary. If you have questions, please contact Dee Matthews, Co-Director of the Creative Writing Program, at amatthews@brynmawr.edu. Decisions for all prizes will be announced at the Student Awards Ceremony. Please Note: All manuscripts must be accompanied by a completed Cover Sheet, indicating for which contest they are being submitted.

*SUBMISSIONS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY A COVER SHEET WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED*

These contests are not open to students, faculty and staff at Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges due to funding stipulations. No manuscript that has previously won a BMC literary prize may be resubmitted for any of these contests.

Open to All Current BMC Undergraduates:

The Academy of American Poets Prize: $100

The Academy of American Poets Prize, endowed in honor of Ethelyn A. Chase, former President of the Academy, is offered for a group of three to six poems submitted by an undergraduate. Please submit your group of poems in two (2) collated copies, together with your Cover Sheet providing your name, address, email address, the titles of the poems submitted and the contest for which they’re being submitted. The poems are to be judged anonymously, and therefore your name should not appear anywhere on the copies of the poems. Send or bring submissions to Bryn Thompson in the English House Office by 4:30 p.m. on  Friday, April 1, 2022.

The Anne Kirschbaum Winkelman Literary Prize: $500

This prize will be awarded in memory of Anne Kirschbaum Winkelman, Class of 1948, for the most original short story submitted by an undergraduate. Please submit two (2) copies of your work, together with your Cover Sheet providing your name, address, email address, the title of the work (your name should not appear on any of the copies of your work) and the contest for which they’re being submitted, to Bryn Thompson in the English House Office by 4:30 pm on Friday, April 1, 2022.

The Richmond Lattimore Prize for Poetic Translation: $500

A prize will be awarded for the best translation of poetry from another world language into English submitted by a Bryn Mawr undergraduate. Translations from any other world language and time period are acceptable, but only from that language into English. The prize was established in memory of Richmond Lattimore, who was Professor of Greek at Bryn Mawr and a distinguished translator of Homer, other Greek poets, and the New Testament. Translations from any language and time period are acceptable. There are no restrictions on length. Please submit two (2) copies each of the original work and your translation of it, together with your Cover Sheet providing your name, address, email address and the title of the work (your name should not appear anywhere on the copies) and the contest for which they’re being submitted to the OFFICE OF THE UNDERGRADUATE DEAN by 4:30 pm on Friday, April 1, 2022.

The Katherine Fullerton Gerould Award: $500

            The Katherine Fullerton Gerould Memorial Prize for excellence in writing is offered by the Alumnae Association in memory of a distinguished member of the Bryn Mawr College English Department. The rules governing this award are as follows:

1.         The competition is open to undergraduate students of Bryn Mawr College.

2.         Entries may be made in any of the following categories: fiction (short story, novella, or portion of a novel); informal essays (excluding critical papers and academic essays); and poetry. The Committee emphasizes originality of treatment and mastery of language, and asks that your submissions be work created since last Commencement.  You may submit work written for a class or work that has appeared in student publications. A contestant may submit more than one entry if she so desires. In the case of poetry, the award committee recommends that contestants submit a group of poems.

3.         Please submit two (2) collated copies of your work together with your Cover Sheet  providing your name, address, email address, the titles of the work submitted and the contest for which they’re being submitted (your name should not appear anywhere on the copies). Each contestant will be given an identification number, which will be written on the manuscript. The English Department will keep confidential the list of names and corresponding identification numbers until after the decision of the judges. Please submit manuscripts to Bryn Thompson in the English House Office by 4:30 pm on Friday, April 1, 2022. In this or any subsequent year, the prize will be awarded only if, in the opinion of the award committee, the material submitted merits the award.

Open to Current BMC Freshmen and Sophomores:

The Alexandra Peschka Prize: $500

The Alexandra Peschka Prize was established in memory of a student of the Class of 1964 and is awarded annually to a member of the Freshman or Sophomore class for the best piece of imaginative writing in prose (either fiction or nonfiction). Critical or academic essays are not eligible, but fiction and creative nonfiction, personal or topical essays are welcome. Please submit two (2) copies of each entry, together with your Cover Sheet providing your name, address, email address, the title of the work submitted and the contest for which it is being submitted.  (Your name should not appear on either of the copies of your work.) Send or bring submissions to Bryn Thompson in the English House Office by 4:30 pm on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Open to Current BMC Undergraduates, and to Current Students in BMC Graduate and Other Programs:

The Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize: $500

The Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize is offered for the best single poem submitted by a Bryn Mawr student (undergraduate, graduate or other programs). Students may submit more than one poem, but each poem will be judged as an individual entry. Please submit two (2) copies of each poem, together with your Cover Sheet providing your name, address, email address, the titles of the poem submitted and the contest for which it is being submitted (your name should not appear anywhere on the copies). Send or bring submissions to Bryn Thompson in the English House Office by 4:30 pm on Friday, April 1, 2022

Open to All Current BMC Students, Faculty & Staff Members:

The Seymour Adelman Poetry Award: $1000

            The Seymour Adelman Poetry Award is open to students, faculty, and staff members of Bryn Mawr College. This annual award was established through a generous gift from Daniel and Joanna Semel Rose, A.B. '52, in honor of Seymour Adelman, bibliophile and longtime friend of the College and the Library. The purpose of the Award is to stimulate interest in poetry at the College by helping to:

· support scholarly research on a poet or poetry;

· support the writing of poetry;

· encourage the study of poetry in an interdisciplinary context;

· recognize a particular piece or body of poetic writing; or

· offset publishing costs for a collection of poetry or scholarly work about a poet or poetry.

The award may be used to help support summer work, to free up time for writing, to help cover research expenses, travel for research, special preparation for teaching, or any of a variety of projects that would facilitate the writing, publication, teaching, and better understanding of poetry.

            All current members of the Bryn Mawr College community are eligible to compete for the award, including undergraduate and graduate students, full- and part-time faculty members, and members of the administration and staff. Anyone wishing to compete for the Award should submit three (3) collated copies of a proposal including the following: 1) a letter of no more than two pages, describing the project to be undertaken or in progress; 2) a short budget, detailing how the prize funds will be spent; and, if desired, 3) supporting materials and/or work samples (these are optional but are encouraged) of no more than seven additional pages in length. Proposals must be accompanied by a Cover Sheet and should be delivered or sent to Bryn Thompson in the English House Office by 4:30 pm on Friday, April 1, 2022.

            The Seymour Adelman Poetry Award Committee will select the winner from among the projects proposed, and the winner will be announced at the Student Awards Ceremony. Two copies of the completed winning project should be sent to the President's Office within eighteen months of the date of the award.

Dee Matthews
Co-Director of the Creative Writing Program


General Information:

  • No previous submissions that have won a BMC Literary Prize may be submitted.
  • These contests are not open to Haverford or Swarthmore students, faculty, or staff due to funding stipulations.
  • Decisions for all prizes will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in May.
  • If you have any questions you may contact Prof. Dee Matthews, Co-Director of the Creative Writing Program.

Bryn Mawr Reading Series

In the decades since presenting its inaugural readings in the spring of 1985, the Bryn Mawr Reading Series has brought major American and international writers in all literary genres to engage with students and the Philadelphia area community.

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Creative Writing Program

Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: 610-526-5306