Russell McGaughey Award
The Russell McGaughey Award was established in 2010 for the best piece of literary criticism. This can include criticism about books, about book-to-film adaptations, or other works of literature. The award was named to honor the work of Russ McGaughey who taught literature at Humboldt State University in the English department. In 2016, this award was replaced with a broader award in critical analysis that is more inclusive of the range of work produced by students in English Studies.
Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
An annual competition sponsored by Humboldt State University’s Department of English, the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest was established in 1983 and remained active until 2005. Its purpose was to encourage short story writers and honor Raymond Carver, who received his Bachelor’s Degree in English from HSU in 1963. While attending Humboldt State University, he studied under Richard Cortez Day and served as editor for the Toyon. He is considered by many to be one of America’s great short story writers. The late author was a creative icon whose work has become a touchstone for an entire generation of writers. Works of fiction include “New Paths to the Waterfall,” “Cathedral,” and “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” Each year, the contest received hundreds of submissions from around the world, accepting over nine hundred entries in 1993. Submissions were reviewed by HSU students and judged by a different established author every year. The winners were published in the Toyon and awarded a five hundred dollar cash prize.
Sherri DeBrowski Award
The Sherri DeBrowski Award, no longer active, was given to women artists who present work in multiple medias. This award was active between the years of 2000 and 2009, and it started as a memorial award for a student and previous staff member of Toyon, Sherri DeBrowski, who suffered with breast cancer, and later died with other complications. Originally it was funded by an outside source, but they dropped it soon after fearing they couldn’t keep up with the financial obligation. Professor Emeritus Jim Dodge funded it personally for a few years before dropping the award in 2009.
Ruth Mountaingrove Award
The Ruth Mountaingrove Award for Work in Form, no longer active, was given to a piece of poetry written in traditional forms, such as a sonnet or a sestina. The award started in 2001, and lasted until 2010, and Ruth Mountaingrove, an elder member of the local poetry community, funded the award herself in her later years.