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Wonderland Award

Tenth-Annual Wonderland Award

About the Award

The Wonderland Award is an annual multidisciplinary competition that encourages new scholarship and creative work related to Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). The award was established in 2004 with the sponsorship of Linda Cassady.

The 1st award was made in spring 2005; speaking at that event was the great-granddaughter of Alice, Vanessa St. Clair. Since then, there have been more than 300 student submissions and the success of the program prompted USC to open the competition to students from other Southern California colleges and universities.

About the Lewis Carroll Collection

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.

This Collection was established in 2000 with a gift of over 100 books and ephemera by George Cassady, M.D., and named in honor of his parents. The following year, an endowment was established by Dr. Cassady to expand the Collection and to bring national attention to the high level of interest in Carroll’s works on the USC Campus. The Cassady Family Endowment for Lewis Carroll Studies at the University of Southern California has hosted an annual meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America and cosponsored with the Huntington Library a symposium on Carroll’s studies and their influence on modern society.

The Carroll Collection has now grown to contain more than 3,000 rare books, early pamphlets, letters, and other items related to the work of Lewis Carroll. Included in the Collection are early works Carroll inscribed to friends, books from Carroll’s own library, many copies of Carroll’s work from Alice’s library, limited collectors’ editions, and most works by major illustrators of the Alice stories. First editions of early translations into German, French, and Italian, and important bibliographic and biographical works stand side-by-side with signed copies of early movie scripts, playbills from early 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 joined the Collection.

About Lewis Carroll

Best known for his Alice books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass (1871), Dodgson’s published works concern the fields of mathematics, logic, poetry, principles of parliamentary representation, and university administration, to mention but a few. Additionally, Dodgson is renowned as the greatest photographer of children during an era when albumen plates were handmade on site and exposures commonly required a minute or more.

Entry and Judging Criteria

The format for Wonderland Award entries is limited only by the imagination. We accept a broad range of submissions, including scholarly essays, poems, performance pieces, videogames, animation, visual artworks, music, digital compositions, and films.

Prize-winners will be selected from among all eligible entries received by a panel of qualified independent judges based on a numerical point system, for a maximum of 16 points, utilizing the following criteria:

By submitting an entry, you agree all award submissions become part of the G. Edward Cassady, M.D. and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady, R.N. Lewis Carroll Collection of the USC Libraries and grant the USC Libraries a non-exclusive license to publish the entries in the future.

Judges for Wonderland X in 2014

Linda Cassady
Founder and patron for the Wonderland Award, Linda Cassady lives in the Bay Area with her husband and donor of the Cassady Lewis Carroll Collection Dr. George Cassady. Together, they collect books and art, including a large collection of Southern fiction writers and children’s books. Linda Cassady is a nurse, and she is currently working on projects in telemedicine.

Margaret Wertheim
Science writer Margaret Wertheim is the author of books on the cultural history of physics, including The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet and Physics on the Fringe, a Carroll-inspired exploration of the geniuses, mavericks, and outsiders who invent alternative theories of the universe. Wertheim founded the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles-based organization devoted to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics. The IFF has created exhibitions for museums and galleries around the world. In 2012 Wertheim was the Discovery Fellow at the USC Libraries.

Francis Bonahon
Head of the USC Mathematics Department, Francis Bonahon’s research is in the area of topology and geometry with an emphasis on 2- and 3-dimensional spaces. Most recently Bonahon has worked in the field of quantum topology (and algebra) with funding from the National Science Foundation. Bonahon’s books include Low-Dimensional Geometry: From Euclidean Surfaces to Hyperbolic Knots (a study of 3-dimensional spaces bringing together elements from several areas of mathematics).

Elizabeth Swensen
Game designer and writer Elizabeth Swensen is currently working with USC’s Game Innovation Lab. She received her MFA in Interactive Media from USC and her BA in Classics from Willamette University. Swenson is interested in shaping narrative for interactive experiences. Her game “The Hatter’s Table,” was submitted for the 2010 Wonderland Award as part of a team and is currently on exhibit at USC Special Collections.

Sean Bouchard
Game designer and develop Sean Bouchard is currently working with USC’s Game Innovation Lab. His work has been featured at the IGF Student Showcase, the IndieCade Festival, the Meaningful Play conference, and TEDxUSC. His game “The Hatter’s Table,” was submitted for the 2010 Wonderland Award as part of a team and is currently on exhibit at USC Special Collections.

Richard Hatem
Writer/Producer for ABC's "Once Upon A Time," "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," and "Grimm," Richard Hatem graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts with a Bachelors degree in film production. Hatem wrote the screenplay for the 2002 film “The Mothman Prophecies,” and he currently teaches writing for television at the UCLA Extension School.

Special thanks to Mark Medernach, Executive Producer at Duck Studios, an animation studio in West Los Angeles for his input on this year’s animation submissions.

How to Submit Your Entry

All students must fill out the online application form and attach their artist statement using the link below. In order to ensure complete fairness during the judging process, we ask that students submit their entries without identifying information (name, school, etc.) on the project itself.

When possible, the electronic files should be attached to the online form. These will be used for the potential publication of submissions later by USC. The student submission is judged on quality and presentation so the student may find it beneficial to provide a hard copy of any print-based or art submission.


For all entries that need to be submitted in person (artwork or other types of three-dimensional objects), please contact:
Abby Saunders
University of Southern California
Doheny Memorial Library, Room 226
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0189
(213) 740-3672

Where to Start

To get ideas and learn more about the life and work of Lewis Carroll, explore the G. Edward Cassady, M.D., and Margaret Elizabeth Cassady, R.N., Lewis Carroll Collection. Visit the USC Libraries Special Collections in Doheny Library, Room 206, to view rare Carroll-related books, illustrations, and artwork. We are currently at work on a bibliography of the entire collection. Please check back soon for more information!

Previous Winners

Previous winners include molecular biology graduate student Andrew Woodham, music industry graduate student Veronique Van Pelt, specialized journalism graduate student Brandon Reynolds, critical studies doctoral candidate Ghia Godfree, biomedical engineering major Arvind Iyer, English doctoral candidates Natasha Alvandi and Jonathan Hamrick, undergraduate theatrical design major Lauren Tyler and creative writing major Charles Mallison. You can see many of their entries in our virtual Wonderland exhibition. You may also browse a list of all the previous submissions through our online Finding Aid.

Facebook Group

Visit the USC Libraries Wonderland Award Facebook page for contest updates, images from past Wonderland Award ceremonies, and resources you can use to complete your entry.

Participating Institutions

Students from the following universities and educational institutions are invited to submit entries for the USC Libraries Wonderland Award:

  • Alliant International University Library
  • American Film Institute
  • Antioch University
  • Art Center College of Design
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Biola University
  • Cal Poly Ponoma
  • California Baptist University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Chapman University
  • Claremont School of Theology
  • Concordia University
  • CSU Dominguez Hills
  • CSU Fullerton
  • CSU Long Beach
  • CSU Los Angeles
  • CSU Northridge
  • CSU San Bernardino
  • Fielding Graduate University
  • Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Hebrew Union College
  • Hope International University
  • La Sierra University
  • Loma Linda University
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • The Master's College
  • Mount St. Mary's College
  • National University
  • Occidental College
  • Otis College of Art and Design
  • Pacific Oaks College
  • Pepperdine University
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • San Diego State University
  • Southwestern Law School
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of La Verne
  • University of Redlands
  • University of San Diego
  • University of San Diego Libraries
  • University of Southern California
  • Vanguard University of Southern California
  • Western State University College of Law
  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Westminster Seminary California
  • Whittier College
  • Woodbury University

Additional Questions

For all questions regarding the competition, contact Abby Saunders at (213) 740-3672 or