About the UCI Writing Awards

The John Hollowell Composition Program Awards

The Composition Program Awards are named in honor of Dr. John Hollowell, who served as UCI’s Director of Composition for 23 years, retiring in 2005. The Composition Program prepares students for the communication challenges of the 21st century by emphasizing rhetorical know-how across a range of genres, media, and disciplines.


The Nora Folkenflik Memorial Essay Awards

This prize was established in memory of Nora Folkenflik, daughter of Humanities Core instructor Vivian Folkenflik and Professor Emeritus of English Robert Folkenflik. In the years before she died in January 1995, Nora followed the debates and developments of the Core Course with great enthusiasm. Her firm belief in the significance of the Humanities for an ethically and politically committed life provided a model and inspiration for many people at UCI and in the many communities that Nora touched.


The Ariel Miranda Caldwell Memorial Short Story Award

The Ariel Miranda Caldwell Memorial Short Story Award is named in memory of Ariel Miranda Caldwell, the daughter of Barbara Caldwell, staff member in the Department of English. The fiction writing courses allow students to work towards an Emphasis in Creative Writing and teach students to craft fiction, evaluate manuscripts, and discuss relevant literary texts.


The David Israelsky Award for Excellence in Writing

This David Israelsky Award for Excellence in Writing recognizes a meritorious undergraduate English for the best essay or critical research paper on a literary topic.


The Bret Baldwin Memorial Poetry Award

When UCI Ph.D. candidate Bret Baldwin died unexpectedly in the summer of 1996, he was completing his doctoral dissertation on Ezra Pound and Marshall McLuhan. He thought everyone who enjoyed reading poetry should try writing it from time to time, and he always encouraged undergraduates who brought him their poetry to read. This award celebrates Bret’s love of poetry and teaching.


The Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Poetry

The Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Poetry celebrates undergraduate poetry and the skills that bring important young writing to a new stage in the Creative Writing Emphasis.


The Howard Babb Memorial Essay Award

Professor Howard Babb was one of the nine members of the original faculty of the Department of English and was twice chair of the department, from 1968 until 1972 and from 1976 until his untimely death in June of 1978. The Howard Babb Memorial Essay Award is the oldest writing award established at UCI, and is given to the best essay on a literary topic by an undergraduate.


The Literary Journalism Writing Award

Literary Journalism majors read, study, and write nonfiction prose that has transcended the limits of daily journalism. This has evolved into a distinct branch of literature and adopts the aims and techniques of the finest fiction. The program provides majors with a solid foundation in nonfiction writing and an equally solid background in areas such as literary history, which together help make them more informed writers.


The Scott Kaufman Memorial Writing Award

This award recognizes the best story written in an LJ 20: Intro to Literary Journalism class within the previous three quarters. It is named in memory of Dr. Scott Kaufman (Ph.D., English ’08), who was a longtime TA for the Literary Journalism program during his time at UCI, and who helped design the curriculum for LJ 20 as it is currently taught today. Established in 2016, the award honors Scott’s commitment to teaching, writing, and journalism.


The Upper-Division Writing Awards

The Office of the Campus Writing and Communication Coordinator recognizes excellence in writing in upper-division courses. The courses are embedded throughout UCI in students’ major courses of study. As discipline-based courses, they introduce students to the major ways of communicating knowledge within the disciplines. These awards recognize achievement in specific disciplines.