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Writing Contests at the University of Maryland


Writing Contests at the University of Maryland

Faculty members should encourage students to consider submitting well-written papers to one or more of the existing writing competions sponsored by various campus  organizations, departments, and units.  If you are aware of such events, please send the information and a link to

The Endowed Ira Berlin Writing Award

The Endowed Ira Berlin Outstanding Writing Award was established in November 2002 by Distinguished University Professor Ira Berlin and his wife, Martha L. Berlin. Spendable Income from the Endowed Ira Berlin Outstanding Writing Award provides an annual award for a student in the College Park Scholars Program at the University.       

The English Department’s Professional Writing Program Contest is held annually and supports the writing of students enrolled in a Professional Writing course during the previous calendar year.  Students submit final Professional Writing course papers upon the recommendation of their teachers, and awards are given in several categories, including instructions, campus proposals, grant proposals, legal briefs, and alternative media.  Prizes range from S600 to $100 with support from  individuals, book publishers, and local organizations. Students who qualify  should contact the Professional Writing Program Office 301-405-3763.

Houppert Shakespeare Competition

The English Department sponsors the  Houppert Memorial Shakespeare Competition for the best essay on Shakespeare.  Submissions are accepted in the spring.  Interested students should pick up an application and submit entries to the English Undergraduate Office (1128 Tawes Hall) for consideration.  

The Student Government Association's Maryland Invests Essay Contest

The SGA has partnered with the President's Office and the Division of Student Affairs to sponsor a writing contest.  Here is the description they provided:

"While the SGA has previously advocated to the state legislature on the topic of college affordability, it has not engaged the student body and used its voice in their campaigns. Our essay contest will ask UMD students to write an essay about why college affordability is important to them. A panel of staff members and students will select the top 3 essays, whose authors will win a semester's worth of textbooks, two box seat tickets to the Duke basketball game, and an iPad. All of the essays will be consolidated and put into a book, a copy of which will be distributed to each Maryland state delegate and senator."
For more information, contact Ryan Heisinger [], Vice President of Academic Affairs, Student Government Association.
Library Award for Undergraduate Research
The University of Maryland Libraries and the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research are partnering this year to showcase and reward undergraduate research projects. Follow this link for more information:
Honors College Writing Awards
The Best Honors Paper and Project Award was established in honor of the founding Director of the Maryland Honors Program, Dr. John Portz. In 2009, Michael F. and Ellen R. Glazer generously donated the funds to support this merit award for Honors students.