College of Arts and Sciences

Scholarships for the Department of English

Awards for the Department of English

  • The Leland Essay Contest for students in ENG 100, ENG 180, and ENG 280. Essays must be submitted to the WIU Writing Program office located in 129 Simpkins Hall.
  • The Graduate Program administers several awards and fellowships, including the Conger Essay Award, Mahoney Fellowship, and Walker Fellowship.
  • Three creative writing awards: The Lois C. Bruner Literary Nonfiction Award, and the Cordell Larner Awards in Fiction and Poetry. 

Application

Please consider donating to one or more of these worthwhile scholarships. To donate please go to the WIU Foundation Office and we thank you for your willingness to support our outstanding students!

Alfred J. Lindsey Memorial Scholarship

Criteria:

Must submit writing samples (10 page maximum)

Undergraduate:

  • Major in English or English Education
  • Completed at least 60 semester hours by the end of the spring semester
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA in major and minor

Graduate:

  • Demonstrates, contributions to, and excellence in, the field of English or English Education
  • Minimum cumulative 3.5 GPA

Terms:

Award amount, determined by annual interest earnings on the endowment, is to be applied to the student's account ½ fall and ½ spring. In any year in which there are no qualified applicants, income may be accumulated or reinvested in the endowment at the discretion of the administrator of the fund. When accumulated income is sufficient for more than one scholarship, two or more recipients may be selected.

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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Beth M. Stiffler Scholarship in English

Criteria:

  • Junior or Senior English education major preparing for a career in teaching
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Two recommendation letters from English 384 or 439 faculty
  • Submit short  (1-2 pages) statement of purpose
  • Have been accepted in the Teacher Education Program

Terms:

Award amount is determined by annual interest earnings on the endowment

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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English Department Scholar of the Year

Criteria:

  • Junior or senior English or English Education major
  • Must have an outstanding GPA
  • Evidence of commitment to the field of study outside the classroom (membership in English student clubs, etc.) desirable but not mandatory

Terms:

Award amount will be determined by the annual interest earnings on the endowment

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

Yes. Student must reapply each year and enter the applicant pool.

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Fritz and Wanda Renick Scholarship Endowment

Criteria:

  • Must be a junior (60 semester hours) at the completion of the semester of application
  • Must be majoring in English
  • Must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Financial need is not a consideration

Terms:

The awards will be based on earnings in the endowment with a recommendation of two awards be given. The awards will be applied to the recipient's student account ½ in the Fall and ½ in the Spring semesters.

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Deadline for Application:

April 1 with a recipient being chosen by May 1

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

Yes. Maintain a 2.75 or greater GPA and make satisfactory progress towards degree completion

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Dr. Irving Garwood Shakespearean Scholarship

Criteria:

  • English major
  • Junior or senior
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Must manifest an exceptional interest in Shakespeare
  • Recommended by a member of the Department of English Shakespearean faculty

Terms:

Award amount is determined by the department based on the account balance

Selection Process:

The Shakespeare faculty submits recommendations to the Department of English. Applications are then sent to the students who have been recommended. Completed applications are returned to the Shakespearean Faculty to be ranked; they may ask for interviews with the students.

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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John and Barbara Blackburn Scholarship

Criteria:

  • Junior or senior class level
  • English major at WIU
  • Minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA
  • Preference will be given to those who plan to teach at the elementary or secondary levels and can document community service and/or active involvement in university activities
  • Financial need is a consideration

Terms:

Award amount is $2,000. 

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

Yes. Student must maintain a 2.75 or great GPA and make satisfactory progress toward degree completion.

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Dr. John Castle Memorial Scholarship

Criteria:

  • The applicant must be a full-time (12 s.h.) freshman who majors in English
  • Must have a composite ACT score of 26 or better and a sub score in English of 27 or better
  • This scholarship may be awarded in two ways:
    • a fall semester applicant:
      • must be a freshman with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better. In the event there is no fall recipient, then a spring semester freshman may apply.
    • a spring semester applicant:
      • must be a second semester freshman with a cumulative 3.0 GPA for the first semester and 3.0 or greater GPA in English courses taken at Western Illinois University

Terms:

The awards will be based on earnings in the endowment

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Deadline for Application:

March 1

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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John Merrett Scholarship in English Literature

Criteria:

  • Applicants must be upper classmen or graduate students majoring in literature and making acceptable progress toward a degree
  • An original essay written on a topic in English Literature must be submitted with the application
  • Grade point average, financial need and personal potential will be taken into consideration

Terms:

Award amount will be determined by the Department of English and based on annual interest earnings on the endowment

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee. 

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

Yes. Student must meet criteria above and reapply to enter the applicant pool

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The Karen Mann Essay Award

Criteria:

  • English major or minor, or Film minor
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Junior or senior standing
  • Must submit original essay written for a class in British or European literature or film

Terms:

The amount of the awards will be based upon the availability of funds

Selection Process:

Selection of award recipient(s) shall be made by a separate panel of judges made up of WIU English faculty that possess special expertise in creative writing

Applications:

Submission of essay to the WIU English Department will serve as application. Contact the WIU English Department for the approved format for submission of writing sample.

Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No. This is an annual writing contest. New submissions will be judged each year.

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Lila S. Linder English I Scholarship

Criteria:

  • Female student majoring in English
  • Sophomore standing achieved through continuous full-time attendance at Western
  • Demonstrated dependability, leadership and service
  • Achievement and maintenance of academic excellence or a demonstration of steady improvement and service showing potential for growth in English composition, creative writing, speech or other areas of the English curriculum

Terms:

Award amount will be determined by the annual interest earnings on the endowment but should not be less than $500, applied in equal disbursements ½ fall and ½ spring to the student's university account

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

Yes. Student will continue to recieve the annual award until graduation as long as all criteria is met.

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Lila S. Linder English II Scholarship

Criteria:

  • Male student majoring in English
  • Sophomore standing achieved through continuous full-time attendance at Western
  • Demonstrated dependability, leadership and service
  • Achievement and maintenance of academic excellence or a demonstration of steady improvement and service showing potential for growth in English composition, creative writing, speech or other areas of the English curriculum

Terms:

Award amount will be determined by the annual interest earnings on the endowment but should not be less than $500, applied in equal disbursements ½ fall and ½ spring to the student's university account

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

Yes. Student will continue to receive the annual award until graduation as long as all criteria are met.

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Drs. Nai-Tung and Lee Hsia Ting English Scholarship

Criteria:

  • Undergraduate or graduate majoring in English
  • Undergraduate must be junior class standing with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Entering and current graduate students must have a minimum cumulative 3.5 GPA
  • Preference given to students enrolled at WIU from mainland China
  • Demonstrate outstanding contribution to the field of English

Terms:

Award amount will be determined by the annual interest earnings on the endowment.

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

Yes. Recipient must continue to major in English as a full-time student, and maintain the minimum required GPA.

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Olive Fite American Literature Scholarship

Criteria:

  • Full-time student
  • English major
  • Have completed at least 6 semester hours of American Literature courses
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Recommended by a member of the American Literature faculty
  • Two letters of recommendation are required

Terms:

Award amount will be determined by the annual interest earnings on the endowment.

Selection Process:

Applicants are selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Deadline for Application:

March 1

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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Dr. Paul Blackford British Literature Scholarship

Criteria:

  • English major
  • Enrolled full-time (12 s.h.)
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Courses in British Literature
  • Recommended by a member of the British Literature faculty

Terms:

Two awards are given. The award amounts are determined by annual interest earnings on the endowment, and historically have been $300 each.

Selection Process:

The Student Affairs Committee of the Department of English sends names of eligible students to the British Literature Faculty for recommendation. Applications are sent then to the students who have been recommended. Completed applications are returned to the British Literature faculty to be ranked; they may ask for interviews with students. The Student Affairs Committee will act on the recommendations of the British Literature faculty and send the name of the winner on to the Department Chair for implementation.

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Deadline for Application:

March 1

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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Richard T. Thornberry Scholarship - English

Criteria:

  • English graduate student
  • Applicants must be graduate students who have completed at least one semester of graduate work at WIU
  • Each applicant will submit a graduate-level paper with his/her application, along with a letter from the faculty member for whom the paper was write, and one additional letter of recommendation
  • The award will be granted on the basis of the paper, graduate grade point average and letter of recommendation

Terms:

Award amount will be determined by the account balance and applied in equal disbursements ½ fall and ½ spring to the student's university account

Selection Process:

The Graduate Committee of the Department of English will review the applications and send a ranked list of three candidates to the departmental Scholarship Committee

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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The Ron and Leslie Walker Graduate Fellowships

Criteria:

  • Graduate student who has completed no fewer than 12 and no more than 18 semester hours of English at the graduate level by the end of the spring term
  • Student must continue in the graduate program in the subsequent fall term
  • Submit a substantial written sample of the student's work on the graduate level

Additional Information:

One award is intended for a student in the "literature" option and the other for a student in the "writing" option of the graduate program

Graduate students who meet the criteria may either apply to the Department of English or be nominated by a graduate English faculty member by March 15

Terms:

Award amount is $2,000

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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The Sig, Jeanette and Dean Johnson Scholarship in English and Journalism

Criteria:

  • One scholarship each will be given to:
    • An undergraduate student majoring in English
    • An undergraduate student majoring in Journalism
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA at WIU or transfer 3.0 GPA for new transfers
  • Preference is for an underrepresented minority who has proven financial need
  • An essay submitted from an English or Journalism class
  • A record of outstanding contributions to the success of the English and Journalism departments or a departmental student organization. Contributions to the success of university student organizations (including athletic teams) and university-wide activities will also be taken into account.

Terms:

Amount of each award is $1,000 to be disbursed 1/2 fall and 1/2 spring to the student's university account

Selection Process:

Students must submit a paper along with the application form to the Department of English or Department of Journalism. Each department's Scholarship Selection Committee will review and make their selection. This scholarship is awarded each fall semester with the paper and application due by March 15th.

Application and Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department Chair
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Western Illinois University
Department Chair
Department of Broadcasting and Journalism
1 University Circle
Sallee Hall 306
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-2888

Application Deadline:

March 15th

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

Yes

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Syndy M. Conger Essay Award

Criteria:

The award is given to the best formal academic paper written by a WIU undergraduate or graduate student for a course in the English Department

Terms:

The award consists of a $1,000 stipend.

Additional Comments

Drs. Syndy and James Conger hope this award will inspire recipients to value the many uses of language and to help them invest in their future with a major book purchase, an application fee or a research trip

Selection Process:

Award recipient is selected through the Department of English Graduate Committee

Applications:

To apply, submit essay to the Department of English. Essay must have been written for a course taken in the Spring, Summer or Fall of the previous calendar year.

Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

Deadline for Application:

April 1, 4:30 p.m.

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Wanninger Family Scholarship

Criteria:

The candidate must be a full-time student pursuing a degree in either English education or a BA in English, music education or performance in vocal music

Terms:

Award amount depends on annual interest rate. The scholarship will rotate between the School of Music and the Department of English. The award will be applied to the student's university account and may be applied ½ fall and ½ spring or all in one semester

Additional Comments:

Proficiency examinations in performance, history and theory are required of music candidates. The candidate(s) will present a vita and/or application to the appropriate department or the WIU Scholarship Office

Selection Process:

Recipient will be selected by the Department of English Scholarship Committee or School of Music Scholarship Committee

Applications:

School of Music or Department of English

Inquiries:

Western Illinois University
Department of English
124 Simpkins Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1103

or

Western Illinois University
School of Music
122 Browne Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
(309) 298-1544

Is this Award or Scholarship Renewable?

No

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