The Newton-Blanchard Prizes, which were first awarded in 2016, reward creative writing by undergraduates across the disciplines. One prize recognizes achievement in fiction-writing, and a second goes to an undergraduate who has excelled in non-fiction writing.
The prizes were funded through a generous endowment created by Blake T. Newton III ’64 and Belle Blanchard Newton. According to the proposal, the two annual awards “are intended to be made to student writers from across the undergraduate spectrum who have curiosity, imagination, humor and a facility for clearly communicating their thoughts, discoveries and passions.”
A call for submissions will be sent out annually in the spring. A submission for the fiction prize must be one full-length, original short story (max 15 pages). Excerpts from novels or other, longer pieces of fiction, as well as illustrated manuscripts or works in translation, will not be considered. A submission for the non-fiction prize must be an original article or essay (max. 15 pages). It should be vivid and dramatic; combine a strong and compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element; and reach beyond a solely personal experience for some deeper meaning. Essays should not be reviews or opinion pieces, but tell true stories and be factually accurate.
Past winners are:
2020: Ferdison Cayetano ‘20, “Watsonville’s Burning" (Fiction), Christina McBride ’20, “Plant Perception” (Non-Fiction)
2019: Sara Franklin-Gillette ’19, “Prettiest Picture” (Fiction), Zach Meredith ’19, “The Past is Prologue: Race and the Rise of Professional City Planning in Williamsburg before 1969” (Non-Fiction)
2018: Yi Liu '19, “The Sign” (Fiction), Talia Wiener ’20, “Hope for the Future: Alaskan Community Works to Revive Native Languages” (Non-Fiction)
2017: Hunter Blackwell ’18 (Fiction) “Don’t Last Always” (Fiction), Erika Ayala, “Mariposa Negra” (Non-Fiction)
2016: Alison Rodriguez ’17 “Girlhood” (Fiction), Natasha King ’16 “Connection is a Sea Urchin” (Non-Fiction)