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competitive contests

Samuel C. Irving Prize for American Wit and Humor

Description. The Samuel C. Irving Prize for American Wit and Humor is awarded for the best anecdote, story, poem, drawing, or play illustrative of American wit and humor. Both graduates and undergraduates may apply.

History of the Prize. The Regents' Minutes of September 12, 1911, note acceptance of the following gift:

Prizes and Honors / Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prizes in Poetry and Prose

Description. The Eisner Prizes in Poetry and Prose contests are open to all UC Berkeley graduates and undergraduates in any department. Prose submissions may include novels, plays, or a collection of short stories. Prose submissions should be a substantial body of work with a representative 20-30 pages earmarked. Poetry submissions should be a collection of poems with a minimum of 25 pages to a maximum of 40 pages.

Prizes and Honors / Emily Chamberlain Cook Prize in Poetry

Description. The Emily Chamberlain Cook Prizes in Poetry are awarded for the most outstanding unpublished single poem of no more than 45 lines. Both graduate and undergraduate students are free to write in any meter and upon any subject. Up to four winners may be chosen at the judge's discretion.

Prizes and Honors / Academy of American Poets Prize

Description. The Academy of American Poets Prize is open to all students of UC Berkeley in any department. This prize is awarded for the best poem or group of poems. Awards are for one winner and one honorable mention. No prize money is awarded to authors whose submissions receive honorable mention, but they will receive a certificate from the Academy. The names of winners will be published in the Academy's newsletter. 

Prizes and Honors / Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prizes in Photo-Imaging

Description. The Eisner Prizes in Photo-Imaging are open to all UC Berkeley graduates and undergraduates of any major.

History of the Prize.  In 1963, Samuel Marks established an endowment of $250,000 for the advancement of the arts on the Berkeley campus, in memory of his stepdaughter, Roselyn Schneider Eisner, an artist and sculptor. The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Arts recommended the money be used to establish prizes in each of the Creative Arts.

Prizes and Honors / Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller Essay Prize in Philosophy

Description. The F.C.S. Schiller Essay Prize in Philosophy is open to all UC Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students of any department. This prize is awarded for the best essay on a specified topic relating to the work of Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller. Submissions up to 10 pages will be accepted. This biennial contest is offered in even-numbered years.

Prizes and Honors / Nicola de Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition

Description. The Nicola De Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition is awarded for the best original completed musical composition. The prize competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students of any major. The composition is required to be a piece composed during your matriculation at UC Berkeley. Submit a score and, if possible, a recording of the composition. For music that is not notated (such as fixed media pieces, improvised performances, and so on), submit a recording with a note about the work and why it is not notated.

Prizes and Honors / Anne and Benjamin Goor Prize in Jewish Studies

Description. The Anne and Benjamin Goor Prize in Jewish Studies will award up to four prizes anually for the best undergraduate and graduate essays on research in any area of Jewish Studies. Creative works are not eligible. The essays must have been written after the previous year's submission deadline and must have been written while the authors are registered students in good standing at UC Berkeley.

Prizes and Honors / Thomas G. Rosenmeyer Greek Translation Prize

Description. The Thomas G. Rosenmeyer Greek Translation Prize is awarded to a graduate or undergraduate for the best translation of classical English into an appropriate classical Greek style. Appropriate styles include those of Plato and of the classical Attic orators, but other styles appropriate to the content are not excluded, such as the style of Herodotus, or even verse composition. The selection will normally be formal English prose and will be 350 to 500 words in length. 

History. The Rosenmeyer Prize was established in 1995.

Please review the General Rules for Competitive Prizes

Contest deadlines vary. Please check the Prizes and Honors home page for this prize's deadline.

Thomas G. Rosenmeyer Greek Translation Prize Passage 2020-21

Instead of treating each other’s party as the opposition, we treat them as the enemy. This must end. We need to revive the spirit of…being able to work with one another. When I say that, and I’ve been saying it for two years now, I’m accused of being naive. I’m told, “Maybe that’s the way things used to work…but they can’t work that way anymore.” Well, I’m here to tell you they can, and they must if we’re going to get anything done…. Too many…seek not to overcome our divisions, but to deepen them. We must seek not to build walls, but bridges. We must seek not to have our fist clenched, but our arms open. We have to seek not to tear each other apart but to come together. You don’t have to agree with me on everything, or even on most things, to see that what we’re experiencing today is neither good nor normal…. Hate never goes away, it only hides. And when it’s given oxygen, when it’s given an opportunity to spread, when it’s treated as normal and acceptable behavior, we’ve opened a door in this country that we must move quickly to close…. Today, we’re engaged…in the battle for the soul of the nation. The forces of darkness, the forces of division, the forces of yesterday are pulling us apart, holding us down and holding us back. We must free ourselves of all of them…. We cannot and will not accept an economic equation that only favors those who have already got it made; everybody deserves a shot at prosperity…. We can disagree about how as we move forward, but we must take the first steps. It starts with how we treat one another. How we talk to one another. How we respect one another…. Now, we have our work…to bind up our nation’s wounds. To move past shadow and suspicion. And so we, you and I together, we press on, even now…. It cannot be that here and now…we will allow the government of the people, by the people, and for the people to perish from the earth. No, it cannot. And it must not. We have it in our hands, the ultimate power. The power to vote…. We must vote. We will vote. No matter how many obstacles are thrown in our way… Let us join forces to fight the common foes of injustice and inequality, hate and fear…. You and I are part of a covenant, a common story of divisions overcome and hope renewed. If we do our part, if we stand together, if we keep faith with the past and with each other, then the divisions of our time will give way to the dreams of a brighter, better future. This is our work. This is our pledge. This is our mission. We can end this era of division. We can end the hate and the fear. We can be what we are at our best.... We can do this.

Previous Winners

2019-20: Joshua Benjamins and Daniel Squire ($1,500)


2018-19: Daniel Squire ($2,500)


2017-18: Daniel Squire ($1,000)


2016-17: Daniel Squire ($1,400)


2015-16: Michael Zellmann-Rohrer ($1,000)


2014-15: 1st prize: Tom Recht ($750); 2nd prize: Michael Zellman-Rohrer ($250)


2013-14: Tom Recht and Michael Zellmann-Rohrer ($500 each)


2012-13: Tom Recht and Michael Zellmann-Rohrer ($500 each)


2011-12: Tom Recht ($700); Michael Zellmann-Rohrer ($300)


2010-11: Tom Recht and Michael Zellmann-Rohrer ($500 each)


2009-10: Tom Recht ($1,000)


2008-09: Boris Rodin ($750); Honorable Mention: Joel Street ($250)


2007-08: Nardini Pandey ($500)


2006-07: Boris Rodin Maslov ($500)


2005-06: Boris Rodin Maslov ($500)


2004-05: Boris Rodin ($500)


2003-04: William Michael Short ($500)


2002-03: Jon Christopher Geissmann ($500)


2001-02: W. H. Shearin ($500)


2000-01: Dylan Sailor ($500)


1999-00: Dylan Sailor ($500)


1998-99: Dylan Sailor ($500)


1997-98: Dylan Sailor ($500)

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