The Class of 1870 never forgot their alma mater.  Fifty years after their graduation, they published their own alumni magazine, which they called The Golden Chain of Fifty Links.  In it, they announced the creation of a yearly literary award of "not less than $50 to be awarded to a student member of the 'English Writer's Club' who, in the judgment of the English faculty, shall have produced the best original composition--story, essay, drama, etc.--in verse or prose."

The first 1870 prizes were given at the commencement exercises of 1920, the fiftieth anniversary of the graduation of the Class of 1870.

Five awards are given to students who submit the best original works in the categories of Academic/Scholarly, Creative Non-fiction, Fiction, Poetry, and Playwriting/Screenwriting.  Please find the last five (5) years' award winners listed below.  For an exhaustive list of past recipients, please email the department at

Year Category Recipient
2023 Academic/Scholarly Jenna Nahhas
Creative Non-Fiction Areli Hernandez
Fiction Savannah Brantley
Playwriting/Screenwriting Emma Foster
Poetry Savannah Brantley
2022 Academic/Scholarly Annie Marazita
Creative Non-Fiction Halima Elmajdoubi
Fiction Katerina Barry '22
Playwriting/Screenwriting Isabella Tinti-Kane
Poetry Dmitri Ashakih '22
2021 Academic/Scholarly Annie Marazita
Creative Non-Fiction Molly Berrey '21
Fiction Isabela Bernstein '23
Playwriting/Screenwriting Sarah Jonassen '22
Poetry Katie Peterson '22
 2020    Academic/Scholarly Capri Pappas '20
Creative Non-Fiction Madison Williams '20
Fiction Alexander Emerson
Playwriting/Screenwriting Jack Dugan '20
Poetry Charlotte Gross '20
2019 Academic/Scholarly Cat Giacalone '21
Creative Non-Fiction Adrian Burr '19
Fiction Natalie Foust '21
Playwriting/Screenwriting Merritt VerSteeg '19
Poetry Anthony Padget-Gettys '20