2015 Essay Contest: Grand Prize Winner

Congratulations to Marina Shkuratov, the Grand Prize Winner of this year’s Signal Grace $1,000 Scholarship Essay Contest. Over several evaluation rounds these last two months, judges considered and ranked essay submissions from students across the nation. Out of a field of talented students, Shkuratov’s essay stood out to the judges with its clear framework punctuated by acute observations and tasteful flourishes.

In addition to the Grand Prize Winner, TM would like to recognize the following students, as their essays were her personal favorites this year. These are the “Author’s Choices”:

Melissa Allen
Briah Bates
Esther Burns
Amanda Celli
Franciska Hauer
Elizabeth Mitchell
Tyler Smith

Thank you, students, for sharing your wonderful work!


  1. Hello T. M. Yates,

    Thank you for hosting this scholarship program. And congratulations to Marina Shkuratov and all the other people mentioned. Good job!

    • Hi Esther,

      You’re very welcome! It’s my pleasure; it’s inspiring to see so much great work. :)

      Next year’s scholarship opportunity will likely go live around March. It will probably be a little different format. (I’d love to have a poetry competition, but haven’t confirmed anything yet.) Please email me at tmyates@outlook.com if you have any ideas. And check back in March if you’re interested!


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