Convention Awards


Sigma Tau Delta recognized excellence by awarding nearly $12,000 for the best convention submissions at the 2023 Awards Luncheon.

Isabel Sparks President’s Awards

Given for the best presentations by active student members at the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention, these awards were established in 1991 by Isabel Sparks, the fifth President of Sigma Tau Delta. Awards are given to both creative and critical papers across all submission categories. Awards are always given for creative and critical papers about the 2023 Common Reader The Rock Eaters. The 2023 Convention also features Toni Morrison as our Author Spotlight and special awards will be given to critical essays exploring her works.

Original Fiction

First Place ($500)
Emma-Li Downer
Drew University, NY
“My Heart and Liver”

Second Place ($300)
Eliana Plumb
College of the Ozarks, MO
“Mortem Obire”

Third Place ($200)
Ava Duskic
Muhlenberg College, PA
“For the Daughters Born and Different”

Julia Grunes
SUNY at Geneseo, NY
“Shoulder Blade Wings”

Honorable Mention ($100)
Anneka Weicht
Wheaton College, IL
“Golden Boy”

Creative Nonfiction

First Place ($500)
Haley Arnold
Muhlenberg College, PA
“The Gardener”

Second Place ($300)
Elizabeth Kassuelke
Bethany Lutheran College, MN
“Young, Young, Young”

Third Place ($200)
Grace Alvarado
Muhlenberg College, PA
“Recipies from the Pandemic”

Honorable Mention ($100)
Jessica Baker
Elon University, NC
“What I Want”

Original Poetry

First Place ($500)
Eunice Tan
Union University, TN
“Malayan Chorus, Our Voices Arise”

Second Place ($300)
McKinley Johnson
High Point University, NC
“Contemplations of a Changeless Nature>”

Third Place ($200)
Cassidy Pekarek
The University of Iowa, IA
“In the House of the Tenth Muse”

Honorable Mention ($100)
Aidan Melinson
Elon University, NC

Alexandra Schneider
Elon University, NC
“Exploration of Chinese and Jewish Femininity”

Caroline Geoghegan
The College of New Jersey, NJ
“There are Reasons to Forget the Womb”

Eowyn Stewart
Abilene Christian University, TX
“In the Sink”

Critical Essays-British Literature

First Place ($500)
Hannah Denton
McNeese State University, LA
“Marie de France’s Lai ‘Lanval’ as Marian Parable”

Lauren Farrell
The College of New Jersey, NJ
“The Distorted Woman and the Power of Men”

Third Place ($200)
Adrian King
California Baptist University, CA
“Necessity of Nonsense: Language in Lewis Carroll”

Honorable Mention ($100)
Joseph Morgan
SUNY at Geneseo, NY
“Emotional Hyperbole in Behn’s History of the Nun

Critical Essays (non-British)

First Place ($500)
Lauren Cox
Northwestern Missouri State University, MO
“Queer Theory in The Outsiders”

Second Place ($300)
Brandon Goins
Midwestern State University, TX
“Queer Lit on PAR”

Grey Nebel
University of North Georgia, Gainsville, GA
“An Analysis of Arabic Writing Pedagogy in the US”

Third Place ($200)
Abigail Budine
College of the Ozarks, MO
“Maturation in William Falkner’s Short Stories”

Honorable Mention ($100)
Chloe Pennacchio
Springfield College, MA
“Female Agency & False Hope in ‘The Gilded Six-Bits'”

Keturah Musuraca
Carlow University, PA
“Parallels: The Trojan War and Game of Thrones

Matt Chinique
The College of New Jersey, NJ
The Awakening: How to Fall in Love with Yourself”

Tyler Olds
Springfield College, MA
“Fact, Fiction, and Power in El Filibusterismo

Common Reader

First Place ($300)
Neyamia Powell
Park University, MO
“Literary Analysis of Peynado’s The Rock Eaters”

Second Place ($200)
Eunice Tan
Union University, TN
“Bow Lower, for its Heart Lies in the Ground”

Author Spotlight

First Place ($300)
Carolyn Bruce
Rhodes College, TN
“Mother-Daughter Self-Identification in Morrison”

Second Place ($200)
Shannon DiChristina
Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ
“Silence Speaks: Language Usage in Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Third Place ($150)
Bethany Belkowski
University of Scranton, PA
“Submission to Slavery in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy

Noora AlSabah
The American University of Kuwait, KW
“The Proper Lady vs. the Woman in Sula

Honorable Mention ($100)
Abby Eaton
Olivet Nazarene University, IL
“The World Beyond the Web”

Judson Q. Owen Convention Awards

Each year, these awards recognize critical essays and creative works by active students and alumni writing on the convention theme; this year’s theme is Colorful Colorado. The monetary prizes are given in honor of Judson Q. Owen, the first National Secretary of Sigma Tau Delta.

Convention Theme ($200)
Christopher Pham
University of Colorado at Boulder, CO

Helena Mazzarella
Adrian College, MI
“What Does Politics Have to Do with Motherhood?”

Jessamin McSwain
Stephens College, MO

Beth DeMeo Poetry Award

This award is given yearly to honor excellence in convention presentations for “Critical Work on Poetry or a Poet.” Beth DeMeo was an active member of the Sigma Tau Delta organization, having served as a Chapter Advisor, Eastern Regent, and President of Sigma Tau Delta. Over her many dedicated years of service, Beth planned and hosted several annual conventions. Additionally, she continued to serve on committees and always participated in judging convention submissions. In particular, Beth enjoyed being part of the small group who ranked the student submissions that were eligible for convention awards, particularly in poetry. Beth was both a lover of poetry and an accomplished poet herself. It is fitting to celebrate her life and her commitment to our group by presenting this annual convention award in her memory.

First Place ($500)
Mary Freund
The University of Texas at Dallas, TX
“Escaping Herbert’s ‘Collar’ of Earthly Anxieties”

Maxwell Kresock
High Point University, NC
“Yeats’s Nightingale and the ‘Artifice of Eternity’”

Second Place ($300)
Samantha Segreto
The College of New Jersey, NJ
“Room for [N]o [O]ne: Zong!’s Self-Less Witness

Honorable Mention ($100)
Grace Neighbours
East Texas Baptist University, TX
“Ritual as it Relates to Memory in Seamus Heaney”

Sophie Neubert
Saint Vincent College, PA
“Femininity and the Virgin Mary in DiPrima’s Loba

Stemmler/Dennis LGBT& Awards

Sigma Tau Deltans Kevin Stemmler and Larry Dennis are sponsoring the Stemmler/Dennis LGBT& Awards to be given annually for outstanding convention work representing or celebrating the LGBT community and its literary contributions. The award acknowledges the variety of voices that have too often been ignored in scholarship and in creative work. In addition to providing representation for our Society’s membership, the award compensates for the historical lack of LGBT recognition, specifically in academic settings.

Creative Works

First Place ($300)
Skye Cowley
Southwestern Oklahoma State University, OK
“My Queer Experiences through Poetry”

Second Place ($200)
Lorah Murphy
Marist College, NY
“The Men I Do Love, the Women I Love More”

Honorable Mention ($100)
Ren Parks
Illinois College, IL
“We Kept our Heads Down”

Zoe Colvin
Stephens College, MO

Honorable Mention ($50)
Elias Kerr
University of Scranton, PA
“Trans [Re]incarnation—[Re]born to This Body”

Critical Essays

First Place ($300)
Natalie Marroquin
University of North Georgia, Gainsville, GA
“Out of the Closet and into the Coffin”

Third Place ($150)
Adriel Warren
Austin Peay State University, TN
“Queer Coming-of-Age in Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight'”

Matthew Keller
SUNY at Geneseo, NY
“Gender Nonconformity in Northanger Abbey'”

Honorable Mention ($100)
Mackenzie Dwyer
The College of New Jersey
“Killing the Corporate Author: Queer Theory and Luca”

Other Convention Awards

Sigma Tau Delta values creative and scholarly contributions that represent diversity of abilities, races, and creeds, and we present special awards for the best among these submissions. Sigma Tau Delta also awards Alumni papers, and Sigma Kappa Delta (our sister organization at two-year schools) also rewards excellent submissions by their members.

Beyond convention submissions, the organization also gives prizes for “Outstanding Chapter Displays” (posters displayed and judged during Convention).

Alumni Awards ($250)

Rebekah Brown
Wayland Baptist University Alum
“Pogroms & Pakhlava”

Shaun Anderson
Utah State University Alum
“So They Say”

Sigma Kappa Delta ($250)

Aysia Walton
Horry-Georgetown Tech College, SC
“Scenes from a Psychotic Episode”

Chapter Displays

First Place ($100)
Rho Tau Chapter
Utah State University, UT

Second Place ($75)
Alpha Psi Nu Chapter
The University of Texas at Dallas, TX

Third Place ($50)
Alpha Upsilon Phi Chapter
University of North Georgia, Gainesville, GA