Writing Contests

Detailed guidelines for these contests are distributed by the Classics Department each year. Contact a faculty member if you have any questions. 

Harold J. Ralston Classics Writing Contest

This annual writing contest for works written in English on classical themes is open to any student enrolled full or part time at Monmouth College during the current academic year. Prize money of up to $350.00 will be divided between however many submissions are determined to be particularly excellent. The author of the entry determined to be best will be recognized at Honors Convocation. Students’ entries may be in the form of an essay, short story, play, poem, or any other form of original writing.

Dr. Harold J. Ralston Dr. Harold J. Ralston

Dr. Harold J. Ralston, professor of Classics and Psychology and chair of the Classics Department at Monmouth College from 1947 until 1970, illustrated through his career the diverse roles that Classics plays in the modern world. His family has endowed this prize in his honor.




Bernice L. Fox Classics Writing Contest

This contest is open to any student enrolled full-time in high school anywhere in the world during the current school year. An award of $250 will be given to the author of the best entry, which may take the form of a short story, essay, play, poem, or original literary work of any other sort. The topic of the contest changes each year; for 2024, participants are asked to work with a theme of “Olympians as Olympians, Achieving in Unconventional Ways”

The Fox Classics Writing contest was established in 1985 by Dr. Tom Sienkewicz and the Classics Department at Monmouth College to honor Bernice L. Fox, to promote the study of Latin and the Classics in high schools, and to recognize the good work of high school students.

Dr. Bernice L. Fox Dr. Bernice L. FoxDr. Bernice L. Fox taught courses in English, Latin, and Greek at Monmouth College from 1947 to 1981, and served as chair of the Department of Classics from 1970 until her retirement in 1981. Throughout her long and dynamic career, she worked tirelessly to promote the Classics in Illinois high schools and colleges. She is also the author of Tela Charlottae, the Latin translation of E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In 1991, Monmouth College conferred on her the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. She died in 2003.