Shapiro Essay Revision Contest offers prizes to student writers

February 14, 2017 | UToday
By Madison Vasko

Monday, Feb. 20, begins one of the most highly anticipated writing revision competitions among UT undergraduates. Presented by the Department of English Language and Literature, students from any major are invited to revise a badly written essay for a chance to win 15 prizes ranging from $75 to $500, with both freshmen and sophomores being guaranteed three of the prize spots.

“The Shapiro Essay Revision Contest is the largest and most inclusive writing contest on campus as all undergraduates are eligible to attend the contest sessions. They do not have to be enrolled in an English class to participate,” said Dr. Deborah Coulter-Harris, senior lecturer in the UT Department of English Language and Literature, and director of the contest for the 10th year.

“This contest is meant to enhance the student experience at UT, and it reflects on the English Department’s student-centered philosophy,” she added.

Named after Dr. Edward Shapiro, professor emeritus of economics, the Shapiro Essay Revision contest seeks to recognize students for the craft of good writing. Prize money from the contest helps to defer the cost of tuition, fees and books for UT students.

No advanced registration for the contest is required, and students may attend any of the nine available sessions. Pens, dictionaries and thesauruses are allowed, but electronic devices will not be permitted.

All contest sessions will be held in Memorial Field House Room 2420. Students should arrive with their supplies and UT ID 15 minutes early to register. Sessions will be held:

• Monday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.

• Tuesday, Feb. 21, from noon to 2 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

• Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 5 to 7 p.m.; and 7 to 9 p.m.

• Thursday, Feb. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Submissions will be reviewed the week after the contest closes, and the judges will announce the winners the week after spring break. This year’s judges from the English Department are Dr. William Free, professor; Michael Hiser, Sara Yaklin, Suzanne Smith, Dr. Elliot Adams and Dr. Rosemary Kurek, senior lecturers; and Alexandra DeRosa, visiting instructor.

Winners of the competition will be invited to attend the Shapiro Festival gala in April.

For more information, contact Coulter-Harris at or 419.530.4416.

Click to access the login or register cheese