Robert Woodham Daniel Freshman Prize For Expository Writing

The Daniel Essay Prize is open to any first year students whose essay is nominated by a faculty member. Faculty members may nominate one essay from each course open to first year students.

Competition Rules:

1. The competition is open to freshmen enrolled in the College for the academic year.

2. An entry should be a piece of expository prose of approximately 1,000—1,250 words which has been submitted in response to a written assignment.

3. Essays will be judged on development of thought, clarity, style, organization, and mechanics.

4. Entrants are permitted any assistance (e.g., from the instructor, or tutors, or classmates, or secondary material) available to everyone working on the same assignment.

5. Essays must be double spaced, and submitted as a Word document. The student's name should appear only on the cover page with the title and relevant class information. The title should be repeated at the top of the first page of text. Neither the student's name nor the instructor's comments should appear after the cover page.


1. Instructors of classes open to freshmen are entitled to one nomination for each of these classes.

2. A nominated essay and the written assignment to which it responds must be in the hands of the Director of Writing-Across-the-Curriculum by Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, for essays submitted during the Advent Semester, and by Friday, June 15, 2018, for essays submitted during the Easter Semester.

3. The anonymity of authors will be preserved as fully as possible in the final judging, which will be done in June by a representative faculty panel.


The author of the best essay will receive $150 prize money, Second prize will be $100 and third prize will be $50. These prizes for expository writing are given in memory of Robert Woodham Daniel, a Sewanee alumnus who was for many years Professor of English and Chairman of the Department of English at Kenyon College.

Past Winners: 

       1st place: Mr. Bramwell Atkins, “Magrezza and the Transformation of Suffering and Desire” (English)
       2nd place: Mr. Luke Williamson, “Medusa’s Reciprocal Gaze in the British Museum’s Item 1867,0507.396” (Classics)
       3rd place: Mr. Luke Williamson, “On Duality and Race in ‘Eve of Janus Debutante Ball” (English)

       1st place: Mr. Patton Tu, “The Higher Hybrid” (Medieval Studies)
       2nd place: Ms. Christina Higgs, “Macbeth’s Deadly Sin” (English)
       3rd place: Ms. Morgan Jennings, “Form in Twelfth Night” (English)

       1st place: Ms. Dayla LaRocque, “A Good Laugh Never Hurt Anyone...Or Did It?” (Politics)
       2nd place: Ms. Fleming Smith, “King Lear: Women’s Weapons” (English)
       2nd place: Ms Gretchen Steele, “An Exploration of Space in Horton Foote’s Courtship” (English)
       3rd place: Ms. Nora Walsh-Battle, “Thicker than Water: Family Dynamics in The Tempest and The Glass Menagerie” (English) 

       1st place: Ms. Katy Davenport, “Mortal Koil: The Function of Pastimes in Kevin Wilson’s ‘mortal kombat’” (English)
       2nd place: Mr. Zach Loehle, “The Strength and Stability of Athenian and Elizabethan Misogyny” (English)
       3rd place: Mr. Jack Russell, untitled essay on Billy Collins’ Sonnet (English)