Education & Social Sciences

The Peggy Seigel Writing Competition

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 competition! 

First prize and a check for $1000 went to Emily Lyon for her paper, “’All Quiet on the Muscatatuck’: Finding Information in Rural Indiana during the Civil War.” Liz Hilt was awarded a $500 second prize for her piece, “’The Way to Go is to Integrate’: The Politics of Integration at Crispus Attucks High School.” Honorable mentions of $200 each were awarded to Soren Rasmussen and Claire Crane.

For more information on the winners and for links to their papers, please click here.

Goal and purposes of the competition

The goal of this competition is to reward Indiana undergraduate students for original writing using archival sources related to Indiana history. Peggy Seigel’s own work in the history of Indiana through the years has uncovered rich resources in the various libraries and historical centers and societies of the state that are waiting for a scholar’s attention. New digital sources are increasingly available. Many areas of the state’s past especially in the areas of women’s and African American history, peace issues, refugee placement, and social justice have received limited attention. Excellence in research and writing will determine winning papers.

Requirements of research paper
Submissions should be scholarly papers based on original research dealing with the Indiana history. An eligible piece will support a well-defined thesis with appropriate primary source materials. The paper must both demonstrate knowledge of the relevant scholarly work on the topic as well as suggest how its findings fit into the existing body of work in the appropriate field. The citations and overall style should conform to the standards laid out in the Chicago Manual of Style for foot or endnotes and include a full bibliography. The paper must be between 15 and 30 double-spaced pages in length.

Entries may be submitted by those who are currently enrolled as undergraduate students and by those who are no more than 12 months beyond college graduation by the due date for initial proposals.

Procedure for entry
Entries will go through a two-stage process. The initial phase will require the submission of an entry form and a brief abstract of the proposed research topic with a description of the major types of primary sources that will be used. The entry form must also be accompanied by a signed agreement from a faculty member or other professional mentor who will provide feedback to the student on preliminary drafts of the proposed work. Entry forms and proposals must be submitted no later than March 1, 2017 for this year’s competition. Those whose proposals are accepted will be notified within two weeks of submission. These students will be expected to submit their completed papers by April 12,2017.

Judging and outcomes*
The papers in this competition will be evaluated by a panel of judges with professional expertise in writing and in subject areas related to the competition. They will be appointed by the competition’s committee. The judges may award a $1000 cash prize and possible additional cash awards as the panel deems appropriate. Winners will have their papers published on this web page.

*The judges may choose not to make any awards in a given year.


About Peggy Seigel

Downloadable Entry Form

For more information, contact:

Katherine Tinsley
Dept. of History & Political Science, Manchester University


2015 Winners' Essays
Leeann Sausser
Katie Martin
Rachel Fulk
Claire Crane 

2014 Winners' Essays
Rebecca Cunningham
Sara Elaine Jackson
Abigail Neuman
Kristine Ruhl