Undergraduate Essays in the English Language

Two prizes of $3,500 each are open for competition to undergraduate students for essays of high literary merit in any field of learning. Submissions should be addressed to the non-specialist. Essays or theses that form part of the regular work in a course may be offered in competition. If a thesis chapter is submitted, it must be modified so that it stands alone as a complete essay. Essays already submitted for prizes outside of Harvard University are not admissible. Essays that are already published are not admissible. Essays submitted for publication (but not yet published) are acceptable.

Essays submitted to the competition must not exceed 7,500 words, including notes and references. Each manuscript must have a title page that conforms to the required specifications (see the title page template below), including a one-sentence epitome of the essay and a word count. A pseudonym is required. Inquiries should be addressed to the Prize Office at prizes at fas.harvard.edu.

Bowdoin Prize Title Page Template




Essay Title


Class of Year [e.g., Class of 2023]

Submitted for:
Undergraduate Essays in the English Language

Epitome: [A one-sentence description of the essay]

Word Count: [no more than 7,500 words]










Deadline: 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2023