Awards FAQs

Please note that there is a separate FAQ for Creative Writing awards below.

1. Where can I find information about individual scholarships and awards?
Go to the Scholarship/Awards page on the English department website.  The same information is available on the Canvas page for English Department Awards 2018.   Both contain links to individual awards.

2. How do I submit my application materials?  
You must upload them electronically onto Canvas, on the specific page for that award.

3.  What file names should I use for my uploaded application materials?
Use your last name, the awards name, and a number for the file name of each application document that you upload to Canvas: e.g., if your last name is Morales and you are applying for the Eler Award, your documents should be titled “Morales Eler 1,” “Morales Eler 2,” etc.

4. May I submit my application materials in paper form instead?

5. How many awards may I apply for?
You may apply for up to six awards, so long as you are eligible for all of them. Read the descriptions on the web page carefully to determine if you fit the criteria: Scholarship/Awards page.

6. How many scholarships/awards is it possible to win in one year?
An individual student may win up to three awards in any single year. 

7. May I apply for an award that I have won in the past?
No. You may not apply for scholarships or awards that you have won in the past.

8. May I submit more than one paper for an award that requires an essay?

No. You may submit only one paper for each award.

9. May I submit the same paper for different awards?  

Yes, you may submit the same paper for different awards, but make sure that the paper is well suited to its awards category.

10. Which essays are eligible? 
Any essay you have written for an English class at Montclair State University since January 2017, i.e. for the spring, summer, or fall semesters of 2017 or the winter or spring semester of 2018.

11. May I submit a paper written for a class at another university?
No. Your paper must be one written for a class at Montclair State University. All papers submitted must have a cover sheet listing 1) the student's name; 2) the name and number of the class for which the paper was written; 3) the date the paper was turned in; 4) the name of the professor who taught the course.

12. Do I need to turn in the paper with the professor's marks and corrections?

No. You may turn in a clean copy and make any minor revisions you wish.

13. May I submit a paper I have already submitted for an award or scholarship?
If the paper has not previously won an award or scholarship and meets the criteria for timing (written since January 2017), then you may submit a paper you have submitted before.

14. May I apply for a scholarship or award if I am a graduating senior or graduating graduate student?

The answer to this question differs according to the award or scholarship in question. Graduating seniors may not apply for the following awards:  Frank G. McGuire, Bessie Saslaw Solomon, Shari Kandell, and Vivian L. Kwiatek.  A graduate student about to graduate may not apply for the Mary Bondon Scholarship.

15.  For which awards are graduate students eligible?

Graduate students are eligible for the Murray Prosky Prize, the Vivian L. Kwiatek Scholarship, the Mary Bondon Scholarship, and the Lawrence H. Conrad Memorial Scholarship.

16. Who chooses the students who win the scholarships and awards
There is a separate committee for each award. Each committee is composed of faculty members familiar with the criteria for that particular award.

17. May I find out who is on the committee for the award / scholarship I'm applying for?


18. When is the application due, and are late submissions accepted?

The deadline for submissions changes every year, and students are urged to consult the Scholarships and Awards web page of the English Department web site after the call for submissions goes out, usually at the end of the third week of February. In 2018 the deadline is 10pm on Monday, March 26.  Late submissions will not be accepted unless there has been a weather-related campus closure or a documentable power outage.  In such a case, the new deadline will be two business days after the original one.

19.  What happens if I win a scholarship or an award? 

All students who applied for scholarships and awards will receive an email message notifying them when the list of the winners has been posted on the English Department bulletin board. The list is usually posted about 3 weeks after the application deadline. Students who have been selected for scholarships and awards will also be notified by telephone and by email.

You and two guests will then be invited to the Awards Night ceremony, which will be on the evening of Wendesday May 9, 2018, from 6:30 to 8:30pm. More information about the ceremony will be given to you when you are notified about the scholarship or award. In most cases, the university cashier will subtract the dollar amount of the award from the money you owe the university. If you are a graduating senior and do not owe any money to the university, you will receive a check for the appropriate amount. (This applies unless the award criteria exclude graduating seniors.  See question 14 above.)

20. I can’t seem to access the 
Canvas page for English Department Awards.  What should I do?
First, check your email inbox to see if you’ve received an invitation to join the Canvas Awards pages.  If you haven’t, write for help to either of the Awards co-coordinators, Professor Lucy McDiarmid ( or Professor Ana Schwartz (  They can send you an invitation to join the Canvas group for the Awards.

21. I have a question that isn't mentioned on this page.  How may I find out the answer?
Write either to either of the Awards co-coordinators, Professor Lucy McDiarmid ( or Professor Ana Schwartz (

FAQ for Creative Writing awards: Pieces do NOT need to have been written for a class 

FAQ for creative writing awards 
CW1.  May I submit material for an MSU creative writing award I have won in the past?

CW2.  May I submit material for an MSU creative writing award that wasn't written for a class?

CW3.  Do I need to include a personal statement?

No. For creative writing awards, you do not need to include a personal statement.

CW4.  Do I need to be an English major or minor?
No. The awards are open to any undergraduate student at MSU.

CW5.  What are the limits on what to submit?
Fiction: One story or excerpt from a longer piece (must be labeled as such), limited to twenty pages total, double-spaced.
Flash Fiction: a single piece of fiction under 1,000 words, not including the title. It must be self-contained, not part of a larger work. 
Nonfiction: One piece of nonfiction writing, limited to twenty pages total, double-spaced.
Poetry: Submit a maximum of three poems. If you are submitting more than one poem, the limit is 60 lines per poem. If one long poem, the limit is 150 lines.

CW6.  Whom do I contact for further questions?
Prof. David Galef, Creative Writing Program Director, at