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Annual Essay Prize

The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies gives two Susan Ford Wiltshire 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.

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 (excluding bibliography).
  • Graduate submissions should be 20-25 pages (excluding bibliography).
  • We will not accept essays that have been previously published or considered for publication.
  • We will not accept essays that are pending grades.
  • One submission per person!

Essays are judged on the following criteria:

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

winners of the 2021 Susan Ford Wiltshire Award

Undergraduate: Joseph B. Miller, “Christian Nationalism and LGBTQ+ Cultural Flows”

Graduate: Benjamin B. Schwartz, “We, the People’s Plaza…”: Nashville’s 2020 Uprising and Its Implications for Activism”