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Annual Essay Prize

The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies gives two awards each spring — one for the best undergraduate essay ($100 prize) and one for the best graduate essay ($200 prize). The submitted essays must be on a topic concerning gender, race, ethnicity, class, and/or sexuality. They must have been written during the previous calendar year (spring, summer, or fall 2019).

Essays should be submitted electronically to Barbara Kaeser ( with the subject line “Wiltshire Prize Submission 2020” by 5:00pm on Monday, April 13, 2020. 

The competition is open to students in all schools and colleges of the University, including graduating seniors.

  • The essay can be written for any university course or requirement.
  • It can use any methodology or approach.
  • It must be prose, not poetry.
  • Undergraduate submissions should be 8-10 pages.
  • Graduate submissions should be 20-25 pages.
  • We will not accept essays that have been previously published or considered for publication.
  • We will not accept essays that are pending grades.
  • One submissions per person!

Essays will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Originality
  • Creativity
  • Insight
  • Clarity of Analysis
  • Quality of Writing


To submit an essay, go to the “Forms” tab in the header and download the Susan Wiltshire Ford Essay Competition Cover Sheet. Include this cover sheet with your essay. Do not include your name on headers or footers within the essay. If you have questions, please contact Barbara Kaeser (