The Calista Cummings Award

An Akron schoolteacher who taught math with poetry, Calista Cummings created and edited Akron’s earliest successful literary magazine, The Akron Offering. Working with limited assistance, inadequate funding, and an inexperienced local publishing industry, she provided a forum for Midwestern authors to exchange original literature in 1849 and 1850. Her magazine only survived for twelve monthly numbers, but Cummings' editorial work, characterized by a “clear head” and a “kind heart,” was fondly remembered for many decades.


  • Undergraduate: $100

    Graduate: $100

Who can enter:

  • All UA graduate and undergraduate students

Submission Guidelines:

  • Students must submit three copies of a paper on a topic in American Literature before 1900.

  • Paper must be written for a class during the preceding academic year.
  • Cover sheet must include (1) student name; (2) email address; (3) class for which the paper was written; (4) student id#.
  • Students must use a header with page numbers and the last name of the author on each page.
  • Students should submit papers to the “Cummings Award” mailbox in the English Department.