Wesleyan University will expand opportunities for incoming students for its Hamilton Prize for Creativity, which was established in 2016–2017 academic year in honor of Wesleyan alumni and Hamilton creators Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail.
Over the past two years, more than 1,000 students have submitted stories, poetry, songs, plays, and screenplays for consideration. A committee of Wesleyan alumni in the arts, headed by honorary chairs Miranda and Kail, reviewed submissions and chose one winner each year to receive a scholarship to attend Wesleyan.
“In the first two years running the Hamilton Prize, the committee was mightily impressed by the caliber of submissions, and found it difficult to pick just one winner. The creative works by incoming students displayed such a range of talent, and comparing, say, a short story to a song, posed certain challenges,” said Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth. “Therefore, this year we’ve decided to recognize superlative creativity in each category.”
This year Wesleyan received over 400 submissions. Entries will be considered in the categories of Prose, Poetry/Song, and Screenplay/Playwriting. As in past years, the grand prize winner will receive a four-year scholarship. Now honorable mentions will be awarded in each of the other categories, along with $5,000 grants to support the students’ future creative endeavors.
All three recipients will also be awarded free admission to the Wesleyan Writers Conference in June.
“Producing creative work is a deeply personal process, and each of us expresses ourselves in a unique way,” said Miranda. “It’s been a privilege to co-chair the Hamilton Prize Selection Committee and to read the work produced by so many talented young people. I look forward to seeing what members of the Wesleyan Class of 2023 share with us.”
This year, actors and Wesleyan alumni Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Transparent, Get Out) and Beanie Feldstein ’15 (Lady Bird, Hello, Dolly!) and radio personality Angela Yee ’97 (co-host of The Breakfast Club) join a selection committee that also includes honorary chairs Miranda and Kail, among others.