Awards and Scholarships

Spring 2017

Deadline for submissions:  March 13, 2017 by Noon 

UPDATE:  Deadline for submissions extended until April 5, 2017 by Noon for these two awards:

  • Bonita M. Cox Award for Classical and Medieval Literature
  • Kichung Kim Scholarship

Ceremony:  May 2017

Note: Prior graduates are not eligible. Award values are estimates only and will be determined after endowment distributions are finalized; amounts may be distributed to more than one awardee.

GUIDELINES: Submissions not following these guidelines will not be considered.

Each submission must include a cover sheet with your name, student ID, your status as undergraduate or graduate student, the title of the award you are applying for, and your email address.

Submit only one entry per student.

  • DO NOT put your name on ANY page of your submission except the cover sheet.
  • Include the last 4 digits of your student ID # in the upper right hand corner of each page.
  • Submit all entries by email as a Word doc or PDF to:  If access to email is unavailable, hand deliver to the English Department office FOB 102.  All hard copies will be scanned to a PDF version; originals will be destroyed.
  • Check the Scholarship and Awards Information Board in the English Department building (FOB) for additional information.


Scholarships Available by Student Submission:


Bonita M. Cox Award for Classical and Medieval Literature: Awarded for outstanding achievement in classical or medieval studies. The recipient will demonstrate achievement by writing the best paper addressing an arguable classical or medieval issue or theme in literature or history (e.g., the uses to which Dante puts flower metaphors as an important structural element in the divine comedy). The essays may be on any topic and from any discipline. Preference shall be given to those essays that demonstrate a clear connection between the past (classical or medieval periods) and the present.

Eligible students: Junior, Senior & Graduate students taking 6 units or more. Essays must be double‐spaced, follow the format of the MLA Style Sheet & should be 12‐25 pages. ($500)

The Academy of American Poets/Virginia de Araujo Prize: Monetary award for best submitted poem. Open to any undergraduate or graduate student (taking 6 units or more). This prize is judged by a distinguished poet not affiliated with SJSU. A maximum of three poems may be submitted; no longer than 150 lines each. ($100)

Kichung Kim Scholarship: Scholarship awarded to an SJSU student majoring in English. Submit an essay based on American/Ethnic American Literature. Eligible students will be enrolled full time, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and demonstrate financial need. ($1000)



Scholarships Available by Faculty Nomination:


Shirley Nelson Iverson Scholarship: to a freshman English major with intentions of becoming a high school teacher ($250)


The Shelby A. Sweeney Beowulf Prize: for outstanding achievement in in a course in which students read untranslated literature from the Old English literary period. The recipient must have been enrolled in a course in Beowulf or Old English/Anglo Saxon literature in which the literature is read in its original language. The recipient will be nominated by the professor(s) teaching the courses in which the untranslated literature is read. ($250)



Scholarships Available by Faculty Nomination and Subsequent Student Submission:


James Phelan Literary Awards:

Faculty teaching across the Creative Writing curriculum (English 71; undergraduate and graduate workshops) will nominate EXCEPTIONAL undergraduate and graduate students for verse and prose work the students have produced in the following categories:

  • metrical verse
  • free verse
  • short story
  • personal essay

All faculty can nominate for the critical essay category:

• critical essay

All categories will have a graduate and an undergraduate competition.

The top three students in each category will be asked to submit a writing sample which will be judged by an appropriate committee.



First Year Writing Award 2016-2017

Deadline for submissions:  February 10, 2017

Ceremony:  May 2017


  • 1st Prize - $200 Spartan Gold Card.
  • Honorable Mention - $150 Spartan Gold Card


Awards in two categories:

Print-based Texts - may include essays, personal reflections, letters to the editor, rhetorical analyses, profiles, and more.

Multimodal Projects - may be videos, website, or even internet memes. However, they do not have to be digital.

Talk to your instructor and let them know that you want your work to be considered. 

For more details, download the First Year Writing Award flier.