Loyola University Chicago

Writing Program

Sharon Walsh Essay Contest

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
Civil Disobedience

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.


The Contest

The Sharon Walsh Essay Contest celebrates high-quality student writing produced in UCWR 110 classes. In memory of Dr. Walsh's intellectual contributions and dedication to her students, and to continue her legacy, the essay award was generously created by friends, colleagues, and family.  Major essays written for a UCWR 110 class during the Fall and Spring semesters of each academic year are nominated by their instructors and judged by a committee of Writing Program faculty.


Students eligible to submit to the contest must complete UCWR 110. All essay submissions must be written for a UCWR 110 course and either self-nominated or nominated by the instructor of that course.


Stay tuned for more information regarding deadlines for essays nominated during AY 2020-2021.

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 Julie Fiorelli at jfiorelli@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, which will be judged by members of the Writing Program faculty.


The contest offers small monetary awards for first, second, and third place essays, as well as the possibility of having winning essays published in the UCWR 110 textbook Everything’s an Argument. In recent years, prizes were as follows:

 1st Place - $100

2nd Place - $75

3rd Place - $50