The Peggy Seigel Writing Competition
Rewarding excellence in both history research and writing

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 competition! 

First prize went to Leeann Sausser for her paper, "Friend of the Slave, Enemy of Emancipation: Indiana Quakers and the Abolition Question, 1826-1857." Honorable mentions were awarded to Katie Martin, Rachel Fulk and Claire Crane.

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

Goals and purposes of the competition

The goal of this competition is to encourage undergraduate research in the rich archival sources available in Indiana and to reward excellence in both history research and writing. 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. Many areas of the state’s past especially in the areas of women’s and African American history as well as the history of peace issues and social justice have received limited attention. The purpose of this competition is to reward students who look into these topics and produce work that extends our knowledge of these vital areas of Indiana history.

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 February 15, 2016 for this year’s competition. Those whose proposals are accepted will be notified within two weeks of their entry’s submission. These students will be expected to submit their completed papers by April 7, 2016.

Judging and outcomes*
The papers in this completion will be evaluated by a panel of judges with professional expertise in writing and history appointed by the Peggy Seigel Prize 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 as well as in the database of Indiana sources maintained by the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.

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

Peggy Seigel
Peggy Seigel

About Peggy Seigel

Downloadable Entry Form

For more information, contact:

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


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