College of Arts & Sciences

Department Awards

The Department of English awards the Van Doren, Ledbetter, and Koa-Plumeria Literary Prizes annually. These prize opportunities available to all majors.

Mark Van Doren Prize for Poetry

The annual Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize ($1000) was first awarded in 1972. The prize became an endowed scholarship through the donations of poet Mark Van Doren’s sons, John and Charles Van Doren. Submit three to five poems for consideration.

Ledbetter Prize

The Ledbetter Prize ($500), made possible through the donation of Dr. Jack Ledbetter, is given annually to a Cal Lutheran student for the best written work in literary prose (fiction, nonfiction, and drama). One submission with a 3,000 word limit. 

Koa-Plumeria Prizes

The Koa-Plumeria Prizes (presented by John PM Dillon) includes a $500 prize for the best ENGL-111 Prose Composition and $500 for the best Morning Glory literary submission.

Sigmar Schwarz Prize

The Sigmar Schwarz Prize ($100) was first awarded in 2017 and is given to the student with the best submission for a literary criticism paper.

Submission Guidelines

Submission Deadline: March 22th, 2024.

  1. Submit all works to  
  2. When sending in submissions, be sure to send your information from a email, and specify which prize you are competing for in the subject line.
  3. If you have any questions, please email

Award Winners



Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize - Tenchi Wells

Ledbetter Prize - Cecilia Lopez  

Koa Prize - Justin Duverge

Plumeria Prize - Chandler Russell 



Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize - Angelina Leaños

Ledbetter Prize - Isabella Dephillipo

Koa Prize -

ENGL 110 

Winner: Lindsey Titus

Runner up: Smitha Janet Joseph  

ENGL 111 

Winner: Justin Stanziano 

Sigmar Schwartz - Patrick Lewis

Plumeria Prize - Zoe Monge



(awards were paused in 2021 due to pandemic)



Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize - Amelia (Lee) Cassidy

Ledbetter Prize - Riley Civerolo-Douglas  

Koa Prize - Carrollyne Aasen

Sigmar Schwartz - Nyle de Leon  

Plumeria Prize - Amelia (“Lee”) Cassidy 



Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize - Donaldo Lopez

Ledbetter Prize - Ellie Long

Koa Prize - Cole Comer

Plumeria Prize - Ellie Long 



Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize - Samantha Meyer

Ledbetter Prize - Garrett James Wyatt

Koa Prize - Isabella Breda

Plumeria Prize - Cassandra Jarin 



Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize - Imanya Supancic

Ledbetter Prize - Kayla Gibfried

Koa Prize - Julia Garcia

Plumeria Prize - Cassandra Jarin

Sigmar Schwarz Prize - Henry Studebaker