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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 The Emily Chamberlain Cook Prize in Poetry are awarded for the most outstanding single unpublished poem. Both graduate  and undergraduate students are free to write at any length, 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 is awarded annually to two graduate and two undergraduate students for 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 2019-20

We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self defeating path of hate....  We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood—it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect....  We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace...and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.  Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard?...Or will there be another message—of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise, we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.... And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day...when “justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Previous Winners

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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