David D. Anderson Award

The David D. Anderson Award for Outstanding Essay in Midwestern Literary Studies recognizes a scholarly article that makes a substantial contribution to exploring ideas, authors, and places related to Midwestern literature. The awardee wins a $1,000 prize and gives a plenary talk at the SSML Symposium.


Any critical essay of at least 3,000 words that was first published in the previous year in a peer-reviewed periodical or edited book collection. Essays published in MidAmerica or Midwestern Miscellany are not eligible, although publications by SSML members in other peer-reviewed journals or edited collections may be nominated.


Submit essays using this nomination form. Nominations are preferred by November 30, but will be accepted until December 31 of each year.

Questions? Please contact award coordinator Andy Oler at andy.oler [at] erau [dot] edu.

2021 Award Winner (Guest Judge: Dr. Theresa Delgadillo)

Meg Gillette, Keeping Queer Company in the Short Fiction of Alice French. American Literary Realism, vol. 53, no. 2, 2021, pp. 138-158. 

2021 Honorable Mention Essays:

Lydia R. Cooper, The Problem of Trans-Figuration: Gender, the Jesuits, and the Ojibwe in Louise Erdrichs The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. GLQ, vol. 26, no. 4, 2020, pp. 621-647.

Allison Hammer, “Epic Stone Butch: Transmasculinity in the Work of Willa Cather.” Transgender Studies Quarterly, vol. 7, no. 1, 2020, pp. 77-98.

Previous winners of the award


The Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature exists to support the study and dissemination of work in Midwestern literature, art, film, and scholarly study.

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