CSCL/SCMC Undergraduate Essay Prize for Distinction in Critical Writing

The deadline has been extended! Submit your essays to by noon on Friday, April 22nd.

The Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature is thrilled to announce its  inaugural undergraduate essay competition for distinction in critical writing. This award is open  to all undergraduate students enrolled in CSCL or SCMC courses in Fall 2021 or Spring 2022.  Recipients of the award will be honored at the end of the semester. First  prize = $150; Second Prize = $100; Third Prize = $75.  


• Authors must be an undergraduate student enrolled in either a fall or spring CSCL or SCMC course in the current academic year. 

• Submitted essays must be original work written to fulfill an assignment for a CSCL or SCMC course. 

• Essays must be works of critical prose, focused on theorizing, analyzing, and/or interpreting one or multiple literary, cultural, and/or media texts.  

• Authors must be registered students as of April of the current academic year at the  University of Minnesota in order to receive the award. 

• Only one entry per student is eligible for submission. 


Submission Guidelines 

1. Prepare a cover sheet with your name, email address, and information about the course for which the essay was written (including course #, title, semester, and instructor name).

2. Prepare a typed, double-spaced, paginated, clean copy of your essay. Remove your name, but not the essay title. 

3. The essay must be no shorter than 10 pages and no longer than 20 pages. It must be  formatted with standard 1-inch margins, size 12 print, and standard font (such as Times New Roman).  

4. Any citation style is acceptable as long as it is consistent.  

5. If applicable, attach the assignment that the essay was written to fulfill. If it was not written for a specific assignment, please include context for how you formulated your topic in consultation with your professor. 


Please attach your cover sheet, essay, and assignment and send it to, with  the subject line: “Undergraduate Essay Prize 2022.” The competition deadline is 12:00pm noon on Friday, April 22nd

*All essays will be reviewed carefully by a panel of judges consisting of faculty, P&A faculty,  and/or graduate students in CSCL/SCMC.*

**Please direct all initial inquiries and questions to Cesare Casarino ( and/or Graeme Stout ( **

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