Wheaton College Color Logo

E. Beatrice Batson Essay Contest


This essay contest recognizes outstanding research papers about Shakespeare and Christianity written by Wheaton College undergraduates.


Award winners will be announced at the E. Beatrice Batson Shakespeare Society Annual Lecture on March 19, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Award winners receive substantial prizes: $500 for first place and prize money for second place or honorable mentions varies. Award winners are also published in Wheaton Writing: A Journal of Academic Essays, alongside winners of the Jameson Critical Essay Contest and the Jameson First-Year Writing Contest. Members of the Shakespeare Advisory Board serve as judges, and a member of the Shakespeare Council serves as director of this contest.

Essay Qualifications

  • The essay must richly address at least one of Shakespeare’s works (e.g, a poem or play).
  • The essay should be written from a distinctly Christian perspective (e.g., engaging the Bible, Christian history, theology, or a Biblical worldview).
  • The essay should be persuasive and should cite a minimum of six secondary sources.
  • The essay must be original, written by the student submitting the essay.
  • The essay must have been written as a part of a course at Wheaton College (or during study abroad). The course must have been completed within the last two years. If the paper was not written as a part of a course at Wheaton College, then it must be accompanied by a recommendation from a Wheaton College faculty member.
  • Only one essay per student per year is to be submitted.
  • An essay cannot win both a Jameson Critical Essay Contest prize and an E. Beatrice Batson Shakespeare Essay Contest prize.

Essay Submission

  • The essay should not include the author’s name. Instead, it should include the student’s ID number.
  • Two hard copies of the essay should be submitted to the English department on the third floor of Blanchard Hall.
  • When submitting the essay, the author should complete a Contest Entry Form (available in the English department).

Essay Deadline

February 14, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.

This contest is sponsored by the Batson Shakespeare Society and the Writing Center.