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English Department
Bradley Hall 380
(309) 677-2490 

Writing Contests

Dr. Robert DeGise Professional Writing Award

Dr. DeGise, a long-time member of the professional writing faculty, established the endowment in 1996 as a memorial tribute to the brave Americans who served in the battle of Iwo Jima in February of 1945.

James Ballowe Personal Essay Contest (1988-2011)

Administered by the Department of English from 1988-2011, the Ballowe Personal Essay Contest recognized student achievement in the personal essay. This contest was established by Professor Ballowe's family and his former students.

The Poetry of Civil Rights Contest
(2013 Winners Announced)

This competition recognizes student poetry addressing the notion of civil rights broadly conceived, not only the actual 1960s civil rights movement but also its cousin movements for human equality in subsequent decades. Many students already write poems engaging matters of politics, culture, and social justice, so this competition offered our students a larger forum for sharing those works. This competition also aligned with our Creative Writing program's conviction that poetry offers an apt form for social engagement.

This competition was a part of Bradley University's campus-wide focus on civil rights. The English Department, the Creative Writing Program and the Institute for Principled Leadership sponsored this competition.

The fall 2013 winners and their work can be viewed HERE.

The Academy of American Poets Prize

The Academy of American Poets Prize recognizes the best single poem written by a Bradley University student. Administered by the Academy of American Poets in New York at nearly two hundred colleges and universities throughout the United States, the prize has been awarded to some of our country's finest poets during their collegiate years. 

The Chester Sipple Poetry Award

The award acknowledges student achievement in creating a larger body of poetry. Students submit to this competition portfolios of five original poems. 

Celebrating the Poetry and Social Legacy of Ms. Gwendolyn Brooks
(2017 Poetry Competition)

As part of Bradley University's campus-wide celebration of the centenary of poet Gwendolyn Brooks' birth, the English Department and Creative Writing Program announce a spring 2017 poetry competition in her honor.

Addressing the broad notion of civil rights and social equality and human equality in the United States, each poet may submit one original poem influenced by the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Student poets may approach this notion from any perspective they choose, including reflections on historical figures and events, on personal experiences or those of family and loved ones, and on broad notions of social justice and equality at work in our American past and present.