Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Sharon Walsh Essay Contest

Did your teacher tell you that you wrote a fabulous essay for your UCWR 110 class this year and nominate it for the Walsh Essay Contest? Were you contacted about your teacher's nomination and do you want to share your essay with a wider audience? If so, submit it to the contest!

History: This student essay contest was established in honor of Dr. Sharon Walsh, a much-valued and long-time Writing Instructor in the Writing Program and English Department here at Loyola.                       


As a teacher Sharon maintained the highest standards, requiring that all of her students do their best possible work. She was devoted to helping her students write well and spent many hours with them in individual conferences. In addition, she conceived and for fifteen years directed the "Shared Text Project," in which students came together through shared readings and activities such as symposia and panels related to the common text.

Dr. Walsh published and distributed a collection of student essays each semester to highlight effective and engaging student writing. Sharon published three Casebooks in Argument (with Evelyn D. Asch) for composition courses with Wadsworth: Just War (2003), Civil Disobedience (2004) and Immigration (2004).

To continue her legacy of writing pedagogy and scholarship, the essay award was generously created by friends, colleagues, and family, in memory of Dr. Walsh's intellectual contributions and dedication to her students. 

Eligibility: Students eligible to submit to the contest must complete UCWR 110 during the 2018–2019 academic year. All essay submissions must be written for a UCWR 110 course and nominated by the instructor of that course.

Deadline: Nominated essays written during Fall Semester must be received by 5:00 p.m., Monday, February 25, 2019. Nominated essays written during Spring Semester must be received by Monday, April 8, 2019.

Submission Details: When submitting an essay, please include the following:

  • Name, title of essay, UCWR 110 section, semester course was taken, name of instructor, contact email address, and home mailing address.
  • Submissions should be formatted in Word and include an MLA Works Cited page (if applicable). Please send all submissions to Professor Kevin Quirk at kquirk@luc.edu with “Sharon Walsh Essay Submission” in the subject line.
  • Fill out, sign and attach a copy of the Essay Release Form along with your submission.
  • Submissions will be judged by members of the Writing Program faculty.
1st Place - $100 2nd Place - $75 3rd Place - $50