All-College Writing Contest

The All-College Writing Contest is not being held in 2023-2024. 

The All-College Writing Contest was created to encourage interest and excellence in scholarly writing by all undergraduate students enrolled at the College. The contest is juried by faculty members from a variety of disciplines.

Students whose papers win honors in the All-College Writing Contest earn academic distinction recognized at the appropriate Honors Convocation. Winning essays are published in Lake Forest’s online publication, Lake Forest Papers, and the winner receives a cash prize.

This contest is open to all undergraduates currently enrolled at Lake Forest College. Submissions must be papers written for classes at the College.

Winner 2018–19

Maria Civitello ’20
“Perspectives of Self-Actualization in Austen’s Emma.“ A paper written for Associate Professor of English Carla Arnell’s Happiness and the Nineteenth-Century Novel course.

Honorable Mention:

Kristin A. Rawlings ’19
”Depictions of Damnation in the Beatus Manuscripts: Painting Adoptionism as Heresy.”A paper written for Visiting Professor of Art History Beth Woodward’s Hell, Damnation, and Romanesque Art course.

Winner 2017–18

Isabel Rae McKenzie ’19
“Steal then, O orator, / plunder, O poet”: Tradition and H.D.’s Re-Visionary Trilogy A paper written for Professor Robert Archambeau’s Theory of Literature course.

Honorable Mention:

Emily Staufer. “The Bad Side of Bacon: Industrial Hog Farming and Antibiotic Resistance.” A paper written for Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Brian McCammack’s Apocalypse in Post-WWII American Environment course.

Winner 2016–17

Rachel E. Jones ’17
Music as an Illustration of Emotional Structure in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

Winners 2015–16

Margo La Clair
The Narrative Similarities Between Under Fire and All Quiet on the Western Front

Winners 2014–15

Sanni M. Lindroos ’17
Elsinore’s a Stage, Too: Analyzing Shakespeare’s Hamlet through Erving Goffman’s Sociological Theories.  A paper written for Professor Richard Pettengill’s History of Drama: Greeks to Shakespeare course.

Samantha L. Miller ’17
China’s One Child Policy: Examining the Origins and Outcomes Ignored by the Media.  A paper written for Professor Siobhan Moroney’s Family Structure and Political Theory course.

Winner 2013–14

Elizabeth Hyzy ’14
The Fantastic in Jonathan Safran Foer’s  Everything Is Illuminated to Solve Holocaust Dilemmas. A paper written for Professor Benjamin Goluboff’s Jewish American Literature course.

Winner 2012–13

Alexandra Waszak ’14
The Contributions of Rape Humor to a Rape-Prone Society . A paper written for Professor Tracy McCabe’s Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies course.

Winner 2011–12

Amanda Muledy
“To One Thing Constant Never”: The Male Characters of Much Ado About Nothing . A paper written for Professor Richard Mallette’s Shakespeare course.

Winner 2010–11

Karen Larson ’11
Serious Humor in Sei Shōnagon’s Pillow Book . A paper written for Associate Professor Rui Zhu’s Topics of Japanese Thought course.

Winner 2009–10

Maria Zawadowicz
Extending Kitcher’s Account of Reduction to Other Special Sciences: A Consideration of Organic Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics. A paper written for Assistant Professor Chad McCracken’s Philosophy of Science course.

Honorable mention:

Antti Aki Eemeli Isoaho
Natives of Peru and Bolivia: A Comparison of the Political Mobilization of Indigenous Groups. A paper written for Professor Rand Smith’s Politics of Latin America course. 

Winner 2008–09

Elliot Luke
Dual Contexts, Dual Forms: A World That Stands As One. A paper written for Assistant Professor Rachel Whidden’s Rhetorical Criticism course.

Honorable Mention:

Danielle Marler ’09
Kingship in Shakespeare’s Second Tetralogy: The Amalgamation of Divine Right and Might. A paper written for Assistant Professor Chad McCracken’s Topics in Political Theory course.

Winner 2007–08

Sara Woodbury
Unity through Francis: Demonstrations of Franciscan Authority in the Animal Stories of the Saint Francis Altarpiece. A paper written for Professor Ann Roberts’ senior seminar in art history.

Honorable Mention:

Cheryl-Lynn May
These Transparent Natures are often Deceptive in their Depth:’ Early American Portrait Miniatures & Women Artists. A paper written for Professor Ann Roberts’ senior seminar in art history.

Winner 2006–7

Chris Shirley
The Ever-Fixed Mark: Ordering Same Sex Passion in Shakespeare’s Sonnets.   A paper written for Professor Richard Mallette and Professor David Spadafora’s Tudor & Stuart England course.

Winners 2005-06

Chris Shirley
‘Mistah Kurtz - he dead’: Heart of Darkness and the Collapse of Imperialism. A paper written for Professor Robert Archambeau’s English Literature II course.

Sara Woodbury
The Angels of the Najera Panels: Musical Representation and the Divine. A paper written for Professor Ann Roberts’ Northern Renaissance Art course.

Winners 2004–05

Rachel Lake
Europe’s Philosophical Crisis in the Poetry of Arnold, Hardy, and Yeats. A paper written for Professor Robert Archambeau’s English Literature II course.

Chris Shirley
Thugs and Fairies: The Gay Avant-Garde of the 1960s and 1970s. A paper written for Professor Davis Schneiderman and Professor Christopher Reed’s The American Avant-Garde course.

Winner 2003–04

Rachel Lake
The Piazza Tales: Melville’s Critique of Nineteenth Century America. A paper written for Professor Bernice Gallagher’s Nineteenth Century American Literature course.

Honorable Mention:

Rachel Sorenson
Effective Teaching in High School Mathematics. A paper written for Professor Rachel Ragland’s Secondary Teaching Methods course. 

Jenny Arnold (no PDF available)

Winner 2002–03

Jessica Delfert
Anarchic Philosophy: East and West. A paper written for Professor Rui Zhu’s Asian Thought course.

Winner 2001–02

David Smith
An Examination of the Congressional Debate of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. A paper written for Professor Sarah Fenton’s American Thought course. 

Winners 2000–01

Andrew Bayan
The Quest for Normalcy in the Jazz Age 

Kendra Greene
Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick: Ideology and the Reluctant Hero in American Movies 

All-College Writing Contest Rules

1. All Lake Forest College undergraduate students may participate.

2. Expository writing (no fiction or poetry) from any Lake Forest College course. 

3. Only one entry per student may be submitted.

4. Entries should be submitted electronically.

5. No senior thesis can be awarded the All-College writing prize.

6. Papers are judged on clarity of prose, use of evidence, and quality of argument.

7. Lake Forest College faculty members judge all papers using a blind review process.

8. Please follow these guidelines:

a. Title page should include the paper’s title, your name (your name should appear only on the title page), and the course and professor for whom the paper was written.

b. The full title should appear on the first page of text; a partial title should appear on all other pages of text.

c. Number all text pages.

d. Double-space all text.

e. All papers need to be submitted using Microsoft Word.

9. The winner will receive a cash prize, publication in Lake Forest’s online publication, Lake Forest Papers, and recognition at Honors Convocation. 

HOW TO SUBMIT: Send paper electronically to