2015 Convention Submissions Due October 27

Sarah Dangelantonioby Sarah Dangelantonio
2015 Convention Chair

Do I dare disturb the universe? Do I dare to eat a peach? Do I dare submit to the Sigma Tau Delta 2015 Convention? Of course you do!

We are quickly approaching the submission deadline and as a Sponsor of over 20 years AND this year’s convention chair, I’m telling you, DO IT. SUBMIT. You won’t regret your decision.

While it can be difficult to From-Sand-Creek-cover-smshare your work with a larger audience, even the act of preparing a submission is good practice for your future when whatever career path you choose will require you to submit work for evaluation. And with submission to Sigma Tau Delta’s convention, you could find yourself with another great reason to attend the annual convention – getting to present your work to an audience of people who love language and literature and creativity just as much as you do; folks who get a J. Alfred Prufrock reference and who love Grammarly memes. People who like to get nerdy about Oxford Commas and who live for Indie bookstores.

Look over your written work from this year and last; you likely have a critical paper or a short story or a collection of poems or other creative work that can be shared. We have a wide range of submission categories, both creative and critical, from traditional topics such as Anglo/Saxon and Middle English to ALTLIT and more; if you look, I’ll bet you can find a place where your work will fit in. There are also options for submitting roundtables and for doing a piece of new work, critical or creative, on this year’s Common Reader, Simon Ortiz’s From Sand Creek.


Albuquerque’s Old Town District

Being a member of Sigma Tau Delta means you have the skill set to produce a successful submission, and now it’s time to take the next step and get your work out there. So quit measuring out your life with coffee spoons and live large. Visit the convention submission web page for details. We may not be wandering “through half-deserted streets, /The muttering retreats/ Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels /And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells”, but we will be in the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque having a grand old time, and we’d love for you to join us!

Submission Links

Submissions Overview
Paper Submission Guidelines
Hints for Success
Evaluation Criteria
Roundtable Submission Guidelines

Submissions for 2015 Convention paper presentations and roundtable proposals are due Monday, October 27, 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT).

New Video: Words, Pictures, and Voices of Sigma Tau Delta

Carrie FitzpatrickCarrie Fitzpatrick
Vice President/President-Elect
Sigma Tau Delta Board of Directors

The year 2014 marks the 90th anniversary of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society! The history of the Society is inspiring, and its present culture and goals are equally motivational. Sigma Tau Delta is characterized by student-centered perspectives, inspired solidarity, and spirited academic achievement. Please visit the History page of our website to read the written account of the organization’s birth and growth.

To honor Sigma Tau Delta’s rich heritage, the Board of Directors authorized the making of a documentary short that highlights the people and the stories of Sigma Tau Delta through the authentic voices of you, its membership. Enjoy!

Hot Damn and Academic Accolades

Micah Dean HicksMicah Dean Hicks
Rho Epsilon Chapter
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL

Winning a Sigma Tau Delta scholarship felt amazing. It also felt surreal. I remember hearing my name announced, and people clapped, and people looked at me, and I sort of felt like I was watching it happen to some other guy, squinting at him in the distance and thinking, “Hey, he sort of looks like me. Good for him.”

It’s hard to measure all the small ways the award, the money, and the recognition helped me arrive here, at the end of a Ph.D. program.

Part of what it gave me was validation. I’ve always been pretty confident about my fiction writing, but less so about my critical work. The academic essay is a form I struggle with. It always demands more. Whatever you think you have to say, it’s never enough. You have to say more, to make it matter, to convince people (and yourself) that what you’re saying is important. I found it exhausting, like clawing a tunnel through stone with my fingernails and just burying myself in a rockslide. When I teach critical essay writing, I see my students confused and frustrated like I was. I know how they feel.

So I worked pretty hard on this essay, for the class where I wrote it (thank you, Dr. Tucker). And then I worked on it again, hours or days or forever, for the scholarship competition. Winning wasn’t just the prize or the money, it was assurance that I could beat this form if I clawed at it long enough.

scholarship-picNot to say the money wasn’t appreciated. For one thing, it was something my extended family could understand. Dollar amounts translate in ways that other kinds of academic accolades just don’t. The difference between an “Oh, that’s nice” and a “Hot damn, son.”

And at the time, I needed it. I’d applied to seven graduate schools, at a cost of around $100 each. The place I ended up, a master’s program in teaching, was great in a lot of ways and I still draw on those tools (thank you, Dr. Dee), but it wasn’t where I wanted to be. So a few months later, I applied to schools again, twice as many this time, to finally end up in a master’s program in creative writing in Mississippi.

Having worked on the essay for the award helped me later, in a way I wouldn’t have expected. When it was time to apply to Ph.D. programs and I needed a good critical sample to send with my fiction, I looked at the work I had done as a master’s student and wasn’t happy with any of it. I’d learned enough to be frustrated with what I had produced. So I broke out my essay from a couple of years ago, the one that at least had been vetted by the award, and sent it to one of my graduate professors for feedback. She went back and forth with me on it for a week (thank you, Dr. Gehlawat). And now I’m here, finishing my dissertation, having relied on that essay all along the way.

Which reminds me. Thank you, Sigma Tau Delta.

Start your scholarship essay now. The Sigma Tau Delta deadline for the following scholarships is November 10. 

Scholarships Open to Undergraduate Students
Junior Scholarships
Senior Scholarships
William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship
Part-Time Undergraduate Scholarship
P.C. Somerville Awards for Future Teachers
Study Abroad Scholarships

Scholarships Open to Graduate Students
Graduate Scholarships
William C. Johnson Distinguished Scholarship

Scholarships Open to Alumni Epsilon Chapter Members
Alumni Epsilon Scholarship