Established in 1979 with a grant from Alice and Franklin Cooley, the
Towson University Prize for Literature is awarded annually for a
single book or book-length manuscript of fiction, poetry, drama or
imaginative non-fiction by a Maryland writer. The $1,000 prize is
granted on the basis of literary and aesthetic excellence as determined
by a panel of distinguished judges appointed by the university. The
first award, made in the fall of 1980, went to novelist Anne Tyler.
Dr. Franklin Cooley was a noted medievalist and
bibliophile. A native Marylander, he was associated with the University
of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, both as a student and a
teacher, over a period of 40 years. He earned his bachelor's and
doctoral degrees at Hopkins and his master's at Maryland. Except for a
three-year period of teaching at Hopkins during the course of his
doctoral studies, he spent most of his career specializing in medieval
literature at Maryland, where he was named professor emeritus upon his
retirement. Dr. Cooley died in 1989; Alice Cooley died in 1997.
Franklin and Mrs. Alice Cooley have been benefactors of Towson
University since 1974. They established an endowment for the acquisition
and care of books, journals and records in 20th century English and
American poetry, and donated their extensive collection of modern poetry
to the university's Cook Library. They also established an endowed
scholarship for the fine arts and contributed generously to the College
of Liberal Arts Endowment. The Towson University Prize for Literature is
a gift designed to enhance the knowledge and appreciation of
prize shall be awarded on the basis of aesthetic and literary
excellence for a single book or book-length manuscript of fiction,
poetry, drama or imaginative non-fiction.
The work must have been published within the three
years prior to the year of nomination or must be scheduled for
publication within the year in which nominated. Self-published works will not be considered.
The author must have resided within the State of
Maryland at least three years at the time of nomination and must be
a resident of the State of Maryland at the time the prize is
awarded. Verification of residence may be required.
winning author must grant to Towson University the right to quote from the
winning work in any publicity related to the prize.
Any individual, institution, group or publisher may
nominate one or more works for the prize.
Panel of Judges
Organized by the English Department, Towson University
applicant must submit three copies of each work, in
bound form if it has been published and in typewritten, double-spaced
manuscript form, if not. If a manuscript is submitted, a copy of the
contract or the letter of acceptance from the publisher indicating the
proposed date of publication must be enclosed.
completed nomination form must accompany each submission of three copies.
submissions become the property of Towson University and will not be
The deadline for submission of all materials is June 15.
Dr. George Hahn, Chair
Department of English
Towson, MD 21252-0001
University is in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations
that prohibit illegal discrimination. The university does not
discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.