The Ruth Vande Kieft Prize, sponsored by the Eudora Welty Society, is awarded annually for the best essay on Eudora Welty by a beginning scholar. The prize carries with it an award of $300, and the prize-winning essay will be published in Eudora Welty Review.

The competition is open to applicants who have not held a full-time academic appointment for more than four years. Independent scholars and graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Essays should be 20-30 pages (including notes), original, and not under submission elsewhere or previously published. Send submissions via email in a word document to and include a brief curriculum vitae. Author’s name should not appear on the typescripts. Please identify essays as submissions for the Ruth Vande Kieft Prize

Past winners:

2018 – Jill Fennell “An Economics of Apathy: Anxieties of Capital and Care in Delta Wedding
2017 – Kelsey E. Moore “‘As if a rabbit had run over her grave’: Gothic Girlhood in Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding”
2016 – Cliff Hudder “Race, Nature, and Decapitation in Eudora Welty’s ‘Curtain of Green'”
2014 – Donnie McMahand and Kevin Murphy “’Remember right’: Disenfranchised Grief and the Commemoration of Queer Bodies in Welty’s Fiction and Life.”
2013 – Jacob Agner “A Collision of Visions: Montage and the Concept of Collision in Eudora Welty’s ‘June Recital’”
2012 – Kathryn Stelmach Artuso “Transatlantic Rites of Passage in the Friendship and Fiction of Eudora Welty and Elizabeth Bowen”