Writing Excellence Awards

The Writing Excellence prizes are awarded annually to encourage and reward good writing in all disciplines. A total of ten prizes ($250 each) will be awarded for papers written in the 2020 calendar year:

  • Two prizes in each category: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • One prize each for First-year Seminars, Connections, and Graduate Programs
  • One prize for a paper written on a topic related to race and pedagogy, regardless of the course in which it was written. 
  • More information for specific course information and eligible classes here.

Rules for the Contest

Papers written as part of the requirement for courses taken at the University of Puget Sound during Spring, Summer, or Fall 2020 are eligible. Papers of any length may be submitted; short papers are as likely to win as long ones.

Students may submit no more than one paper in each category. The same paper may be submitted to two categories only if one of the categories is the Race and Pedagogy category. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 29, 2021. Each paper must be accompanied by an Award Entry Form. Students should submit two versions of the paper: the final draft of the paper submitted for a grade, with the professor’s comments, and a clean copy of that same draft with no comments. If the student did not receive comments from their professor on their paper, they should reach out to their professor and ask for brief comments on positives and negatives of their paper before submitting.

Students who submit co-authored papers must obtain written permission from all their co-authors. Please download and complete the coversheet linked here. If your co-author is not on campus, please attach an email signifying consent from your co-author. In the event that a co-authored paper wins its category, all co-authors will share the credit and prize money will be divided equally among them.


If you have any questions about the process or the prizes, please contact Professor Leslie Saucedo (253.879.2788 or lsaucedo@pugetsound.edu).

Award announcements

Results of the competition will be announced the first week of April, and award winners in each category will be honored at Convocation on the Saturday of Commencement weekend.

Winning essays from recent years

Winning essays are posted in the box to the right, as well as in Sound Ideas, Puget Sound's site for sharing the work of Puget Sound students and faculty.

Departmental writing awards

In addition to the university-wide Writing Excellence awards, many departments also have departmental writing awards. Students are welcome and encouraged to submit papers to both university-wide and department-specific writing competitions.