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Israel Writing Award

Apply now for the 2016 Israel Writing Prize

Phoebe Bradford

Phoebe Bradford (2014 Israel Writing Award Winner), pictured with Myra Sklarew (literature professor Emerita), and Laura Cutler (managing director).

The Center for Israel Studies is now accepting submissions for the 2016 Israel Writing Prize contest. The annual writing prize was created by literature Professor Emerita Myra Sklarew in memory of her relatives Benjamin and Eva Wolpe Reinkel, in honor of her uncle Harry Rinkel, and in honor of her late sister, Janice Eanet. The winner will be awarded a certificate and prize of $180.


To be eligible for the award, students must be currently enrolled as undergraduate students at American University. Submissions must be related to Israel and may run the full gamut from poetry and personal essays to class research papers. The winner will be judged by a committee of professors through a blind review process. Said Michael Brenner, Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies and director of the AU Center for Israel Studies, "we are always impressed by the variety of submissions which reveal the complexity of Israel: its people, its place in the larger world, its history, and its future."



  • Students should e-mail their entries to by March 1, 2016.
  • Class papers are acceptable, as are creative writing submissions.
  • Papers will be judged anonymously by a panel of AU professors.
  • The winner will be notified by April 15.


Awardees will be announced in late spring semester.

Awardees will receive a certificate and monetary prize of $180.

Awardees may be acknowledged in AU publications and may be recognized at other appropriate university venues.


Past Recipients of the prize have included:

2015: "Identity in Question: The Development of the Hybridized Identities of Second and Third Generation Beta Israel"
Martha Cramer

2014: "Meduzot's Magical Multiplicity"
Phoebe Bradford

2013: "Life in Landscape Researched Memoir: My Nation is at War with My State"
Daniel Munayer

2012: "Ancient Societies, Modern Diplomacy: Analyzing the Relationship between The People's Republic of China and The State of Israel"
Robert Pines

2011: "Understanding the Role of the OneVoice Movement" How does the OneVoice Movement Contribute to Peacebuilding?"
Lauren Barr

2010: "A Narrative Approach to Conflict: The Role of Dominant Narratives in the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict"
Brian Banks

 About the Center for Israel Studies Myra Sklarew Israel Writing Prize

In recognition of her deep commitment to understanding of Israel and her love of writing, Literature Professor Emerita Myra Sklarew established this annual student prize. The prize is in memory of her uncle and aunt, Benjamin and Eva Wolpe Reinkel, and in honor of her uncle Harry Rinkel.

Myra Sklarew was educated at Tufts University and the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. She studied bacterial viruses and genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory with Salvador Luria and Max Delbruck and conducted research on memory and frontal lobe function of Rhesus monkeys at Yale University School of Medicine. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, fiction and essays including Harmless (Mayapple Press, 2010), The Witness Trees (Cornwall Books U.S./London/Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture, 2000, reprinted 2007), Lithuania: New & Selected Poems (Azul Editions, 1995), and the forthcoming research study, A Survivor Named Trauma: Holocaust and the Construction of Memory as well as a new collection of poems, Sing, Little Collar Button. Awards include the American University Scholar/Teacher Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, National Jewish Book Council Award in Poetry, Anna David Rosenberg Award from the Judah Magnes Museum, and the Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of American, shared with Erica Jong. She is former president of the Yaddo Artists Community, and Professor Emerita in the Department of Literature, American University. She serves on the advisory boards of Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University and the Center for Israel Studies at American University. She currently serves on "A Splendid Wake", and archival project to document poets and poetry activities in the nation's capital from 1900 to the present.