Each year the Cadigan Prize for Younger Writers and the Julia Fonville Smithson Memorial Prize award Bucknell undergraduates for extraordinary poetry and prose.

Cadigan Prize for Younger Writers

The Cadigan Prize for Younger Writers is judged each year by recent contributors to West Branch, Bucknell's professional literary journal, and recognizes outstanding works of poetry and prose by Bucknell undergraduates. First and second place prizes, as well as honorable mentions, are awarded in each of two genres: prose, which includes both fiction and creative nonfiction, and poetry. The awards are made possible by the generous support of Robb Cadigan '86 and his wife, Joan Daughen Cadigan '86.

Julia Fonville Smithson Memorial Prize

On May 13, 1977, at the age of twenty-three, Julia Smithson '76 died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. A Bucknell graduate with a major in English, Julia was married to Lowell W. Fritz, who graduated in the same year. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Guy Smithson, Jr., of Knoxville, Tennessee. Donations made to a fund to perpetuate her memory have enabled the Department of English to establish the Julia Fonville Smithson Memorial Prize, to be awarded annually to students whose dedication to the sharing and the making of literature carries into the future the spirit of Julia Smithson.

Cadigan Prizes for Younger Writers

The 2016-17 judges were Gina Franco (poetry) and Katharine Haake (fiction and creative nonfiction). Gina Franco, author of the book of poetry The Keepsake Storm, teaches at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Katharane Haake is the author of the novel The Time of Quarantine and other works of fiction and teaches at California State University, Northridge.

2016-17 Winners

Explore selections from the 2016-17 winners: Daniel Barnum-Swett '17, Lauren Hudson '18, Emily Pursel '20, Jordan Walker '17, Leslie Markevitch '18, Celina C. Antonellis '18 and Emily Ryan '18.

Submitting Your Work

Please submit your literary work via the Stadler Center application portal by Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 at midnight. Notification is in January. Winners will be invited to read their work at the Annual Student Reading in April.

Julia Fonville Smithson Memorial Prizes

The Smithson Prizes in Creative Writing are awarded by the Creative Writing Program on the basis of overall writerly performance, portfolio quality, and literary citizenship. Students are nominated and selected by the professors of the Creative Writing Program.

2017 Winners

Explore selections from Jackson Pierce-Felker '18 and Jackie Nicoletti '18

Annual Student Reading


Join us on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Each year the Annual Student Reading in April gathers the winners of the Cadigan Prizes for Younger Writers and the Julia Fonville Smithson Memorial Prize for a formal reading in Bucknell Hall.

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