Announcement of the 2021 Mary E. V. McClanahan Graduate Essay Prize


Classics Graduate students are invited to submit essays to be judged by a committee of three faculty members. The writer of the essay judged to be the best will receive $1,500 and will present his or her essay as a lecture to the department, to be followed by a reception. Even very good seminar papers are likely to have a better chance if they have been revised and improved; hence the fall submission deadline.


Graduate students enrolled in the Department of Classics at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Fall 2021 semester are eligible to submit essays in the field of Classics, broadly defined. These will usually have been written for seminars and courses here, but essays originally written at other institutions are also eligible. Essays should be between four and six thousand words in length, although shorter submissions may be considered. If the essay includes a research apparatus (footnotes, bibliography, image captions), these should not be included in the word count. A student who has won the prize may not compete a second time.

Submission deadline:

Electronic versions of the essays (.docx, .doc, or .pdf)
should be submitted to Steve Slater ( by Monday, September 20, 2021.  The winner will be announced by Monday, October 4, 2021.


In addition to the cash prize ($1500) the winner will present his or her essay to the department in a public lecture to be followed by a reception. 


The papers will be judged anonymously. The selection
committee consists of three faculty members in the Department of Classics. The committee may decide not to award the prize.  In exceptional circumstances, the committee may decide to acknowledge more than one paper in whatever way they deem appropriate, e.g. designating a paper as an honorable mention, splitting the prize money, or sponsoring two lectures.  The announcement date, due date, and amount of the prize may vary from year to year.

Judges for this year’s competition are Professors Sarah James (Committee Chair),
Lauri Reitzammer,and Zach Herz.