Franz & Ann Schneider Essay Contest

English Department Writing Contest
English 101 Writing and Core Literature Courses

Established c. 1997 by Franz and Ann Schneider

Portrait of Franz Schneider
Professor Emeritus Franz Schneider
Franz Schneider was born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1928. He was the middle of five brothers in a Catholic family that staunchly opposed the Nazi regime. Before he was 16, he was drafted into the army out of high school with his brothers in 1944 to serve in an anti-aircraft battery during World War II. He went AWOL in 1945. “Those years had a lot to do with the way I look at things,” shared Schneider, who believed that “poetry keeps us in touch with ourselves.” He came to the United States in 1948, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in humanities from Washington State College in 1952. While in Pullman, he met Ann McRae, who came to WSC from Aberdeen, Washington. Schneider went on to earn his master’s degree in English in 1959 and a doctorate in comparative literature, both from the University of Washington.

He was one of the first tenure-track lay faculty hired at Gonzaga University, and led the charge to create a chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and write the first Faculty Handbook that would incorporate the basic principles of the AAUP. In addition to his service as a professor of English and department chair, Schneider was the director of Gonzaga’s Honors Program from 1965-1967 and a member of the Board of Regents. He was published in and contributed to several academic and literary journals, and was a well-respected poet, translator and critic. Schneider was awarded an honorary degree from Gonzaga in 1985 and was named a Professor Emeritus in 1993. He was also the recipient of the Alumni Great Teacher Award and the Gonzaga Distinguished Service Award. Schneider’s impact on students for his nearly four-decade career at Gonzaga was both legendary and immeasurable. He was an inspirational teacher with an infectious love of language and a vocal champion of liberal arts education.

A plaque in tribute to the Schneider Family hangs in the hallway of the English Department.

2023-2024 Call for Submissions

The Gonzaga University English Department is pleased to announce a writing contest for the best student writing projects from the past year’s ENGL 101 Writing courses and Core literature courses (excluding ENGL 193, FYS). All Gonzaga students enrolled in these Writing and Literature courses with assignments written between April 7, 2023 and April 5, 2024 are eligible to participate.

  • 2-submission limit per person, and a student may not win more than one award per category
  • All projects will be evaluated by the English 101 and Core Literature Writing Contest committee
  • Cash prizes (amounts to be announced later) will be awarded for the two categories.
  • Questions? Please direct them to John Eliason at

To Participate in This Contest

Please visit our Zagtivities portal to read the Contest news article and follow the directions for the submission form.

All submissions are due no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 2024.

Thanks for your interest in this writing contest!