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Department

English Awards and Scholarships 

The English Award for Achievement in Literary Study

This award honors the senior English major whose study of literature shows unusual industry, achievement, and depth of understanding. A book is presented to the recipient of this award on Honors Day at the Humanities Division Awards Ceremony.

The Richebourg G. McWilliams English Award

This award is named for a former member of the English faculty who served from 1929 until 1971, who chaired the department for many of those years, and who held the title of Mary Collett Munger Professor of English. Mr. McWilliams was a scholar as well as an effective teacher, and he had a particular interest in the literature and history of French exploration along the Gulf Coast. The award honors the senior English major whose literary study has shown unusual personal engagement, industry, and intellectual growth. A book is presented to the recipient of this award on Honors Day at the Humanities Division Awards Ceremony.

Patricia Finley Watkins Writing Scholarship

The Patricia Finley Watkins Scholarship was established in 1984 through the generosity of Mrs. Watkins. Preference in awarding the scholarship is given to rising juniors or seniors who are majoring in English and who have evidenced a strong desire and talent to become writers. Recipients of this scholarship are recommended by the English faculty. Mrs. Watkins was an artist and writer who was long active in the cultural life of Birmingham and in literary activities at Birmingham-Southern College. Her book of poetry, Another Realm, was published in 1982, and her works have appeared in other literary publications.

The English faculty holds a competition for this scholarship every spring. Current recipients may reapply. This year, the deadline for portfolios is Friday 6 April. Portfolios must be in the hands of the Humanities Division Secretary in Phillips Science 101 by 4:00 that day. Requirements for the portfolio appear below.

  • All manuscripts must be typed and double-spaced in a standard 12-point typeface.
  • The portfolio must consist of no more than 2 stories (maximum 20 pages), 10 poems (maximum 20 pages), and 20 pages of non-fiction prose.
  • The portfolio should be arranged in a particular order and accompanied by a cover letter (single-spaced) that (1) discusses the applicant's growth as a writer and future plans in the profession and (2) discusses the individual works in the portfolio and their arrangement.
  • The applicant's name must not appear on any of the manuscripts, only on the cover letter.
  • The portfolio and cover letter must be submitted in duplicate, using separate envelopes for each copy.

The winner(s) will be announced on Honors Day at the Humanities Division Awards Ceremony. Recent awards have been for $1000-2000. Winners also receive a copy of Mrs. Watkins' book and a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style.