Undergraduate Awards

The English department awards four prizes to undergraduate writers each year:

  • The Vivian Nellis Memorial Prize, awarded to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in creative writing during his or her years at GW
  • The Astere E. Claeyssens Prize in Playwriting
  • The Academy of American Poets College Prize
  • The Hasan Hussain Award, awarded to two graduating seniors in the English and Creative Writing major for excellence in thesis for either fiction or poetry

Departmental Honors

Emily Anderson
Laura Feigin
Darci Frinquelli
Erica Manoatl
Emma Martin
Rajiv Menon
Sean Mooney
Samuel Munford
Candice Shang
Makala Skinner
Margaret Wexler


  • The Astere E. Claeyssens Prize for the best original work in playwriting:
    Emily R. Murphy
  • The DeWitt Clinton Croissant Prize for the best essay on drama or the theatre
    Margaret A. Ilersich
  • The E. K. Cutter Prize for excellence in the study of English
    Rajiv K. Menon
  • The Alice Douglas Goddard Prize or the student earning the highest cumulative average in American literature courses
    Tay Tufenkjian
  • The Hassan Hussein Prize for the best theses in the English and Creative Writing Major
    Jason Krasner (fiction)
  • The Student Poetry Contest for the best poem
    Chen-Wen Lo
  • The Vivian Nellis Memorial Prize for special promise in Creative Writing:
    Elizabeth J. Lothian
  • The Sylvia S. Speck Prize in English Literature for exemplary academic achievement in English literature:
    Emma M. Martin
  • The Academy of American Poets Prize
    Chelsea Kerwin

An English Experience

Anya Firestone

Recent GW graduate and English major Anya Firestone fell in love with Paris while studying abroad. Returning for a residency program after graduation, Firestone worked on her own mixed media art, received advice from curators, artists, designers and writers, and had her art showcased at the Parsons Paris Gallery.