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Paul and Kate Farmer Writing Award Recipients

The Paul and Kate Farmer English Journal Writing Award is given to authors of the best articles published in English Journal during the previous volume year. Eligible entrants must be high school teachers and may include those on leave or not currently teaching.

2014 Award Commiteee

Chair:  Alan Brown, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC

Committee:  Jocelyn Chadwick, Janis Mottern-High, Katie Greene, Dan Bruno, Courtney Morgan, and Caitlin Murphy


2014 Winners

English Journal, November 2013Donna Canan, for “I Hear America Sing: Promoting Democracy through Literature

In this article, Canan encourages the use of student choice and classroom blogs as tools for teaching literature and developing student voice in a democratic society. Emphasizing a range of texts from the Library of Congress’ list of Books That Shaped America, Canan demonstrates how required and supplementary reading can foster dynamic discussions in the English classroom and in a global community.

Purchase the November 2013 issue.

English Journal, September 2013David Peter Noskin
, for “Toward a Clearer Picture of Assessment: One Teacher’s Formative Approach

In this article, Noskin describes his process for creating a unit plan surrounding Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Building on the thematic connections of truth, guilt, sympathy, and hypocrisy, and utilizing the process of backward design from Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design, Noskin depicts the successes and challenges of aligning curricular and instructional choices to appropriate standards even after twenty-five years of dedicated teaching.

Purchase the September 2013 issue.


Honorable Mentions

English Journal, March 2014Michael Pagliaro, for “Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Determining the Criteria for Graphic Novels with Literary Merit

In this article, Pagliaro presents a rationale for evaluating the literary merit of graphic novels and describes his process for creating a rubric to measure commonly observed characteristics of award-winning novels. In describing the history and evolution of graphic novels and their potential for building multiliteracies and promoting global culture, Pagliaro encourages English teachers to consider the advantages of connecting narrative text with visual literacy.

Purchase the March 2014 issue.

English Journal, January 2014Jennifer Isgitt and Quentin Donnellan
, for “Discussion-Based Problem Solving: An English-Calculus Collaboration Emphasizes Cross-Curricular Thinking Skills

In this article, Isgitt and Donnellan describe the possibilities that abound from truly collaborative professional development. Isgitt, an English teacher, and Donnellan, a math teacher, describe their experience in helping students develop effective questioning techniques in order to promote active discussions and interdisciplinary problem-solving in their respective classrooms. Written in the alternating voices of the two authors, this article reinforces the importance of cross-curricular planning and communication in secondary schools.

Purchase the January 2014 issue.


The awards presentation will be held at the Secondary Section Luncheon on Saturday, November 22 during the NCTE Annual Convention in Washington, DC.


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