Vote for Liz

Liz Scoville

December 5, 2012

By Emily Laidley '14

Senior English major Elizabeth Scoville is one of three finalists in a worldwide recitation contest sponsored by W.W. Norton and Co., an independent publisher of renowned literary anthologies.

For the online competition, Scoville chose to read Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare, one of the Bard’s most celebrated sonnets on love. She said the choice was easy since the piece was one of her favorites that she had already memorized for an earlier class on Shakespearian works.

“It was really fun just to do,” said Scoville, who added she was humbled by her selection. “It wasn’t as nerve-racking.”

Published in 1609, Sonnet 116 speaks of how true love endures despite adversity and the passage of time. Scoville, with the help of assistant English professor Dr. Danielle Glassmeyer, recorded her best rendition and sent a link of the video to Norton editors.

Editors from the prestigious publisher judged all of the video entries and chose three finalists for the six works listed in the competition.

“I found out about a week and a half ago that I was a finalist,” Scoville said.

Scoville’s recitation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 can been viewed and voted on the W.W. Norton's website along with the videos of her two competitors from Vermont’s Bennington College and a high school in the Philippines.

Winners of the competition will be chosen by both popular vote, along with the votes of Norton editors. The first-place winner will receive a cash prize and his or her name will be listed in the acknowledgements in a Norton anthology.

“Right now I’m trying to get as many people as possible to vote for my video. Voting ends on Friday, Dec. 7,” Scoville said. “People can vote once per computer; so you can use your computer or your smart phone or your iPod or your iPad or really any online device.”

Dr. Glassmeyer said the contest, which started as an enjoyable exercise for some six students, has become an unexpected rallying point for the Department of English.

“It’s exciting to see something start as educational fun and turn into something that has a greater reach than expected,” she said. “It’s created a sense of community.”