News | March 15, 2023

18th Annual Wonderland Awards: Call for Entries

British Library

A handwritten page of the original manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, illustrated by the author.

The Wonderland Awards, run by the University of Southern California Libraries and open to students from all California universities, encourage new scholarship and creative work related to Lewis Carroll.

The primary purpose of the award is to promote and encourage the use of the G. Edward Cassady, M.D., and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady, R.N., Lewis Carroll Collection, held in Doheny Library at USC. Lewis Carroll (the pen name for Charles Dodgson) is best known for his books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass (1871). His others published works concern the fields of mathematics, logic, poetry, principles of parliamentary representation, and university administration. Additionally, Dodgson is renowned as one of the greatest photographic portraitists of the 19th century.

This collection was established in 2000 and has now grown to contain more than 4,000 rare books, pamphlets, letters, and other items related to the work of Lewis Carroll including inscribed editions, books from Carroll‘s own library, and most works by major illustrators of the Alice stories. There are also signed copies of movie scripts, playbills from stage adaptations, Victorian-era playing cards, and pop-up books. More recently, comic books, graphic novels, manga editions, literary parodies, computer games, movies, and original art work related to Carroll and his Alice books have been added to the collection.

The Wonderland Award calls on graduate and undergraduate students in any field of study, and currently enrolled in accredited California colleges and universities, to interpret the works of Lewis Carroll. Examples of previous entries and winners are available at the competition site here where entrants call also fine full details of what the judges are looking for and advice on researching entries. The inaugural awards were hosted in 2005 and there are now more than 400 student submissions in the Wonderland Awards Archive.

First prize is $3,000; Second prize is $1,500. Deadline for entries is April 3, 2023 and winners will be announced on April 26, 2023.

Judges will accept a broad range of submissions including scholarly essays, poems, performance pieces, videogames, animation, visual artworks, music, digital compositions, and films. Among the range of criteria for judging is how well the submission reflects the spirit and sensibilities of Lewis Carroll, including his thoughts, interests, sense of humor, and whimsy.