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Department of English
University of Mississippi

Awards, Scholarships, and Financial Aid

2023 Award Winners: 

Literary Scholarships:

Drane Lester: Emily Suh

Alton Bryant: Syd Guntharp, Catherine Carter, and Natalie Gumm

Creative Writing Awards (thanks to readers Marina Leigh, Janeth Jackson, and Christy Connor!)

Evans Harrington:

Ellis Farese, Poetry, “muscadines”

Natalie Gumm, Fiction “Dodging Kisses and Doubting Love”

Ella Somerville:

Max Hunt, Poetry “Tender”

Rebekah Cook, Fiction “Broken Ribs and Relic Diseases”

The Department of English has a variety of funds that support awards and scholarships for our majors and graduate students.

To apply for the undergrad awards and scholarships, click here.

DEADLINE: March 31, 2023

All applications require:

·  At least a 3.0 GPA overall and a 3.5 GPA in English courses at the time of application

·  One letter of recommendation from an English Department faculty member, emailed directly from the faculty member to Professor Caroline Wigginton, Director of Undergraduate Studies,

·  Unofficial UM transcript and, when applicable, a transfer equivalency report

·  A writing sample in which you discuss a literary text. Suggested length: 5-7 pages. This paper can have been written for a class. Applicants for the Elmo Howell British Literature Award should submit a paper about British Literature.

The W. Alton Bryant Award for Rising Juniors

Two scholarship awards; each award is $1500 per semester for four semesters


Mrs. W. Alton Bryant established the award in memory of her husband, a former member of the English Department and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. The award will be granted to a deserving English major who will begin their junior year of study in the fall semester. It provides $1500 per semester for four semesters, as long as the recipient continues as an English major and maintains at least a 3.0 overall and a 3.0 in English courses.

Elmo Howell British Literature Award

One scholarship award of $1000 for the academic year 2023-2024

Elmo Howell established this scholarship in 2002 to assist deserving students in the English department whose main line of study is British literature. The recipient will be a full-time undergraduate English major with an emphasis in British literature.  Priority will be given to those with at least 9 hours of courses in British literature (completed or currently enrolled in) or 6 hours of British literature at the 300 or above level (completed or currently enrolled in).

Drane Lester Award for Rising Seniors

One scholarship award of $1000 for the academic year 2023-2024

The Drane Lester Award honors a member of our community and is for rising seniors. Primary consideration will be given to students who are 1) members of a group traditionally underrepresented in undergraduate education (African-American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander) or 2) first-generation college students.


The Evans Harrington Creative Writing Award

Dr. Thomas L. Vinson of Columbus, Mississippi, established this scholarship fund in 1987 for deserving English students. The recipient will be the freshman or sophomore who shows the most promise in creative writing.

*Submit no more than one manuscript per category: fiction (1 story, 15 pages maximum) or poetry (up to 3 poems)

*Deadline: March 31, at noon

Please email a pdf of submissions to

*Please write which contest you’re entering in the email’s subject line

The Ella Somerville Award

Given to the junior or senior who demonstrates the most talent in either fiction and poetry:  two $250 Awards

*Submit no more than one manuscript per category: fiction (1 story, 15 pages maximum) or poetry (up to 3 poems)

*Deadline: March 31, at noon

Please email a pdf of submissions to

*Please write which contest you’re entering in the email’s subject line


Hattie Burke Jackson College of Liberal Arts Scholarship

This scholarship fund was established in 2004 to honor Hattie Burke Jackson and to provide scholarship assistance to female students who are majoring in one of the following fields: Classics, English, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Physics. The recipient must be a resident of Yalobusha, Calhoun, Lafayette, or Grenada Counties, and must maintain a 3.0 G.P.A. on all courses. There is no application process.

The Polly Franklin Williams Scholarship in English

This scholarship fund was established in 2001 by Dr. Parham H. Williams, Jr., of Orange, California, to encourage deserving students to major in English, thereby enriching their lives through the study of the world’s great literature and through the mastery of the English language. The recipient will be an entering freshman or transfer student majoring in English.  Selection is based on financial need and academic credentials.  For additional information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

English majors can learn about opportunities for many additional awards, scholarships, and financial aid from the College of Liberal Arts and Office of Financial Aid.