Scholarships and Awards

These scholarships and prizes offer rewards to excellent students of English literature and promising writers at Valparaiso University.


The Department of English has awarded creative writing major Anna Bedalov from Waukesha, Wisconsin, with the Paul F. Phipps Merit Scholarship for the 2020–2021 academic year.
Henry W. and Laura M. Prahl Scholarships have been awarded to English major Gwyneth Hoeksema of Grand Rapids, Michigan; English and creative writing major Rebecca Stockham of Clive, Iowa; English major Grace Biermann of Valparaiso, Indiana; and English major Noelle Canty of Park Forest, Illinois.
The Department has awarded Vera Sieb Scholarships for 2020–2021 to English education major Erin Bendy of Culver, Indiana; creative writing major Abigail Seeber of Portage, Michigan; English major Anne Stewart of Kouts, Indiana; and creative writing major Veronica Campbell of Poplar Grove, Illinois.

For further information, contact John Ruff at 464-5284


The Sieb Scholarship

Established 1966
Each spring the department announces the recipient(s) of the Vera L. Sieb Scholarship, established by Floyd W. Sieb in honor of his sister, who taught English for many years at Valparaiso High School. The scholarship is normally awarded for the senior year but may be awarded to an outstanding student or students for the junior year. The amount of the awards will vary depending on endowment performance, but generally ranges upward from $1,000. Awards are made solely in recognition of the merit of an English major’s work.

The Paul F. Phipps Merit in English Scholarship

Established 1994
An appropriate memorial to the work of Professor Paul F. Phipps, a distinguished member of the English department for almost 40 years, this scholarship encourages excellent students of literature and language. The scholarship, created by Professor Phipps’ widow, Arline Phipps, and the English department, is based solely on academic performance and merit. It is awarded each year to a sophomore or upperclass English major.

The Margot Ann Uehling Prize for Writing

Established 1992
This scholarship honors the memory of Margot Ann Uehling, a gifted writer and teacher of literature. It awards the undergraduate student who writes the best essay during the academic year. Any undergraduate may submit up to one essay, either personal or scholarly, of 1,000 words or more. There are no restrictions on subject or format. The winner will be chosen by members of the English department and notified mid-summer. Submissions should be sent as an attachment in an e-mail to UehlingPrize@Valpo.Edu by a deadline announced during spring semester.

The Wordfest Writing Contest

Established 1977

Seven prizes are awarded to Valpo students in this annual contest, which is associated with Wordfest, the Valpo English department’s celebration of books and authors:

  • The Wordfest Poetry Award
  • The Wordfest Short Fiction Award
  • The Wordfest Creative Nonfiction Award
  • The Wordfest Dramatic Writing Award
  • The Wordfest Critical Essay Award
  • The Academy of American Poets Award
  • The Anna Zink Springsteen Prize

Cash prizes will be awarded in all categories. The judges will choose first-, second-, and third-place winners, as well as works recognized for honorable mention in each genre.

All Valparaiso University undergraduate students are encouraged to compete. Students may submit to more than one category. Submissions are limited to one entry in each: poetry, short fiction, critical essay, and creative nonfiction.

Submit your works (short story, creative nonfiction, critical essay, poetry, dramatic writing) by e-mail as Word attachments (addressed to Each genre must be in its own Word file attachment. Also, include a cover note containing your name, campus address, phone number, age, home postal address, e-mail address, genre(s) submitted, and title of the work(s) submitted. Guidelines must be followed. Deadline will be announced in March. The contests are sponsored by Wordfest of the English department.

If you have any questions, contact Professor Allison Schuette or Professor Edward Byrne in the English department.

The Anna Zink Springsteen Prize

Established 1985

This prize is awarded to a senior, usually an English major, who has made a substantial contribution to campus literary life, preferably with special gifts in poetry composition.