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Atwood Society Awards

2024 Award Submission Guidelines

Note specific guidelines for each category, and please contact the appropriate judge for more information if necessary. Please submit in English and in Microsoft Word or PDF if emailed as attachment. Deadline for receipt of submissions is December 1, 2024. Essays should be written (or books should be published) between Dec. 1, 2023 and Nov. 30, 2024. Contact the category judge for exceptions or clarifications.

  • Best Book on Atwood and Her Work: Please email Dunja Mohr for instructions: dunja.mohr@uni-erfurt.de.
  • Best Anthology or edited collection on Atwood: Please submit one review copy of the book (no email submissions) to Dr. Karma Waltonen, University Writing Program, University of California-Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616.
  • Best Article-Length Published Text on Atwood (in a scholarly journal or book chapter): Email Debrah Raschke for instructions at draschke@semo.edu.
  • Best Dissertation on Atwood and Her Work (selection of 2500-5000 words): Email Lauren Rule Maxwell at lauren.maxwell@citadel.edu for instructions.
  • Best Graduate Essay or MA Thesis: Email submission to Denise Du Vernay at dduvernay@luc.edu.
  • Best Undergraduate Essay: Email submission to Lauren Rule Maxwell at lauren.maxwell@citadel.edu. 

Note: Judges of the Atwood Awards reserve the right to not declare an award winner for a given category if no submissions of high quality or that fit the criteria are received.

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Congratulations to the 2023 winners of the
Margaret Atwood Society Awards!

Best Book on Atwood and Her Work:The Fiction of Margaret Atwood, by Fiona Tolan, Bloomsbury 2023.

Best Article: “The Shape of Your Absence: Coming to Terms with Loss and Grief in Margaret Atwood’s Dearly” in Canadian Studies (June 2023), by Pauline Montassine, Université de Reims

Best Graduate Essay or MA Thesis: “Prelapsarian Ustopias: Reversing the Genetic Fall in Octavia E. Butler’s Lilith’s Brood Trilogy and Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy,” by Maya Hollander, MPhil thesis, Cambridge

Best Undergraduate Essay (tie): “Through Double Doors,” by Maria Dunlap, California State University, Northridge, and “The Art of the Fragmented Narrative in Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin,” by Mina Baniewicz, Saint Xavier University (Chicago)


Congratulations to the 2022 winners of the
Margaret Atwood Society Awards!

Best Article-Length Published Text on Atwood:

“Veganism, ecoethics, and climate change in Margaret Atwood’s ‘MaddAddam’ trilogy”
by Tatiana Prorokova-Konrad in The Routledge Handbook of Vegan Studies, Ed. Laura Wright

Best Graduate Essay or MA Thesis:

“Appeasement and the Apocalypse: The Road to Corporate Neo-Feudalism Foretold in Atwood’s Oryx and Crake,” by Zach H. Allen, Southeast Missouri State

Best Undergraduate Essay:

“If This Goes On: The Invisible Thread Connecting The Edible Woman and Oryx and Crake,” by Eduardo Rincon from the University of Texas

Congratulations to the 2021 winners of the
Margaret Atwood Society Awards!

Best Anthology or edited collection:
The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood, 2nd Edition, by Coral Ann Howells

Best Graduate Essay:
“The Patchwork Quilt Narrative and Reader as Quiltmaker: Narrative Structure in Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace and The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Olivia Guillet, The Citadel

Best Undergraduate Essay:
“Death by Depiction,” by Lara Meintjes, Williams College

Congratulations to the 2020 winners of the
Margaret Atwood Society Awards!

Best Edited Collection:
“Who Knows What We’d Make of It, If We Ever Got Our Hands on It?” The Bible and Margaret Atwood
, edited by Rhiannon Graybill and Peter J. Sabo
Special Commendation for an Edited Collection:
Early Writings by Margaret Atwood, edited by Nora Foster Stovel and Donna Couto
Best Graduate Essay:
“Food, Consumption, and Nostalgia in Atwood’s Maddaddam Trilogy,” Brittni Cebulak, Southeast Missouri State University

Congratulations to the 2019 winners of the
Margaret Atwood Society Awards!

Best Anthology:
Karen A. Ritzenhoff & Janis Goldie: The Handmaid’s Tale: Teaching Dystopia, Feminism, and Resistance Across Disciplines and Borders.

A Special Commendation went to Madeleine Davies & Bethany Barnett-Sanders, for Second Sight: The Margaret Atwood Learning Journals.

Best Undergraduate Essay:
Xana Torres Gonzales: “The Future of the LGBTQ+ Community According to Margaret Atwood”

Best Graduate Essay/MA Thesis:
Janna Harner: “Inherited Radicalism in The Handmaid’s Tale

Congratulations to the 2018 winners!

Best Undergraduate Essay:
Two-way tie:
1. Margaret Fruehwirth: “Wendigone and Not Coming Back”

2. M.J. Sousa Oliveira: “‘Slightly Acid on the Tongue’: Food and Subversiveness in The Handmaid’s Tale”

Best Graduate Essay/MA Thesis:
Christine Briggs: “Mean Girls: Socialized Gender Construction and (Pre)Adolescent Interfemale Aggression in Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye

Best Article-Length Published Text on Atwood:
Two-way tie:
1. Megan Cannella: “Feminine Subterfuge in Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last,” which was published in Worlds Gone Awry: Essays on Dystopian Fiction, ed. John J. Han, C. Clark Tripplet, and Ashley Anthony (McFarland, 2018)

2. Ulla Kriebernegg: “‘Time to Go, Fast Not Slow’: Geronticide and the Burden Narrative of Old Age in Margaret Atwood’s ‘Torching the Dusties,’” in the European Journal of English Studies 22.1 (Summer 2018) 46-58

Congratulations to the 2017 winners!

Best MA Dissertation: Eleanor March: “Unique Incarceration Events”: The Politics of Power in Margaret Atwood’s Prison Narratives

Best Undergraduate Essay: Talea Hughes: The Pen is Also the Sword: Examining the Female Artist’s Power in Lady Oracle.

Congratulations to the 2016 winners!

Best Undergraduate Essay: Madison Gretzky for “After the Fall: Humanity Narrated in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy.”

Best Book: Jackie Shead’s monograph Margaret Atwood: Crime Fiction Writer. The Reworking of a Popular Genre (Ashgate: 2015).

Congratulations to the 2015 winners!

Best Undergraduate Essay: Ariel McLean for “The Woman and her Heart or the Woman and A Heart?”

Best Graduate Essay: Alex Tammaro for “Frog in a Jar: Amphibianism in Surfacing.

Best Article: Jennifer Murray for “For the Love of a Fish: A Lacanian Reading of Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing, Literature Interpretation Theory 26:1 (2015): 1-21

Best Edited Collection: Karma Waltonen, ed. Margaret Atwood’s Apocalypses (Cambridge Scholars Publishing)

Best Book: Reingard M. Nischik for Comparative North American Studies: Transnational Approaches to American and Canadian Literature and Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan)

Congratulations to the 2014 winner!

Best Undergraduate Essay: Abbie Lahmers, “Knowledge and Secrecy in Alias Grace

Congratulations to 2013 winners!

Best Dissertation: Jackie Shead, “Bodily Harm: The Game of Clue and the Spy Thriller”

Best Undergraduate Essay: Tina Burchette, “The Split Self in Atwood’s ‘Miss July Grows Older'”

Congratulations to 2012 winners!

  • Book: The Political in Margaret Atwood’s Fiction: The Writing on the Wall of the Tent by Theodore F. Sheckels, Randolph-Macon College
  • Best Article Published in a Scholarly Journal or Anthology:  Debrah Rashke, Southeast Missouri State University, “Framed Identity: Finding Lunch in Atwood’s ‘Death by Landscape,” Mosaic 45.3 (2012): 65-80
  • Graduate Essay/MA Thesis: “The Management of Life in Atwood’s Dystopian Fiction” by Ashley Theissen, Indiana University
  • Undergraduate Essay: “The Concept of Survival and Margaret Atwood’s Recent Texts” by Lia Techand

Congratulations to 2011 winners!

  • Best Article-Length Published Text on Atwood: “Going Wendigo: The Emergence of the Iconic Monster in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Antonia Bird’s Ravenous,” by Danette DiMarco, published in College Literature in Issue 38.4, Fall (October) 2011
  • Best Ph.D. Dissertation: Appropriations of Shakespeare’s King Lear in Three Modern North American Novels, by Anna Lindhé, Lund University, Sweden.
  • Best graduate essay by Avital Gad-Cykman: “On the Field with Postmodern Feminism and Cat’s Eye: A Poststructuralist Literary Analysis of Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood”

Congratulations to 2010 winners!

  • Book: Reingard M. Nischik for Engendering Genre: The Works of Margaret Atwood (U of Ottawa P, 2009; published too late in 2009 to be submitted for the 2009 contest).
  • Ph.D. Dissertation: No Submissions
  • Best Article Published in a Scholarly Journal or Anthology: Paul Huebener (Ph.D. candidate at McMaster University) for “Dark Stories: Poet-Audience Relations and the Journey Underground in Margaret Atwood’s The Door and Other Works”  (It appeared in Studies in Canadian Literature 34.2 [2009]; this issue was actually published in early 2010.)
  • Graduate Essay/MA Thesis: Crystal A. Vaughan‘s MA thesis titled “Language, Translation, and the Inscription of the Female Body in the Works of Margaret Atwood,” submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 2010.
  • Undergraduate Essay: Jocelyn Carver for “Song and Praise: Importance of Hymns in Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood” (Carver is a student at Randolph Macon College.)

Congratulations to 2009 winners!

  • Book: Ellen McWilliams for Margaret Atwood and the Female Bildungsroman
  • Ph.D. Dissertation: Kiley Kapuscinski for Dames of Distress: Female Violence and Revised Social-Cultural Discourses in the Fiction of Margaret Atwood, Queen’s University.
  • Best Article Published in a Scholarly Journal or Anthology: Shuli Barzilai for the chapter “The Party Consciousness When Texts Get Together in Margaret Atwood’s ‘Bluebeard’s Egg,'” in Tales of Bluebeard and His Wives from Late Antiquity to Post Modern Times.
  • Graduate Essay/MA Thesis: Yvonne O’Keefe, “Women in the Nineteenth Century: Their Performative Roles in Relation to Class and Gender in Irish and Canadian Literature,” University of Limerick [MA thesis focusing on Anne Enright’s The Pleasure of Eliza and Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace]

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