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The Department of English offers numerous awards for students. These awards include:

Creative Writing Awards

These awards acknowledge exceptional undergraduate work in RIT Creative Writing courses.

  • Open to currently enrolled RIT students
  • 3 Creative Writing categories: Poetry, Prose, Creative Nonfiction
    •     Analog and digital entries welcome
    •     Each category has specific submission guidelines
  • Work must have been written in an RIT Creative Writing course within the past year
  • Students self-nominate by submitting required materials
  • Annual submission (by students) deadline in March
  • Winners read their work at the April Creative Writing Awards ceremony
  • Read here for past winners
  • Read here for submission details


Language Science and Computational Linguistics Student Excellence Award Fund

The fund awards undergraduate and graduate students for demonstrated excellence in language science/computational linguistics, with attention to project/research achievements.

  • Open to currently enrolled RIT undergraduate or graduate students
  • Nominations are made by Language Science Faculty Group
  • Annual nomination (by faculty) deadline in Spring    


Robert Root Endowed Award for Excellence in Literature

This award is for a graduating undergraduate student demonstrating excellence in the study of literature.

  • Open to one currently enrolled, graduating RIT student
  • Nominations are made by English Department faculty
  • Nominations made for students meeting these requirements:
    •     Minimum of 3.5 GPA in ENGL courses
    •     Exceptional contribution to RIT that draws on ENGL coursework and/or the study of literature
  • Application must include:
    •     Three best examples of the student’s accomplishments in the field of English and study of literature (e.g., top three papers, papers and presentations, papers and student group or extracurricular activities related to literature)
    •     Student-compiled portfolio of work in all ENGL courses taken
    •     Cover letter
    •     Letter of recommendation/support from at least two English Department faculty
  • Annual nomination (by faculty) deadline in March


Kearse Student Honor Awards

The Kearse awards recognize students who have written the most outstanding research papers or projects in areas of study in the College of Liberal Arts. There is one faculty-nominated awardee from each COLA department. Henry J. and Mary Geirin Kearse, lifelong advocates of education, endowed the award.   

  • Open to currently enrolled RIT students for papers written in College of Liberal Arts courses
  • One awardee from each COLA department
  • Student writing projects are nominated by English Department faculty, who select one to represent the department
  • Administered by the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office
  • Annual nomination (by faculty) deadline in March
  • Winners are presented their awards at the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Writing Awards in April


Stan McKenzie Prize for Writing in the First Year

The McKenzie Prize honors students from First Year Writing courses for comprehensive portfolios of writing, research and critical reflections. Submissions are open to faculty nominations or student self-nominations. The award is administered by the University Writing Program.

  • Open to currently enrolled RIT students for work completed in an RIT First Year Writing course
  • Open to faculty nominations or student self-nominations
  • Administered by faculty of the University Writing Program, based on a full writing portfolio of work including multiple drafts, revisions and a reflection statement
  • Annual nomination deadline in February
  • Winners are awarded at the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Writing Awards in April
  • For submission details and required forms, see

Updated 9/2017