Blanche Colton Williams

Blanche Colton Williams (1879 August 9, 1944) was an American author, editor, professor of English literature, and head of the English department at Hunter College.

Williams graduated from the Industrial Institute and College (now the Mississippi University for Women) in Columbus, Mississippi in 1898. She taught English at Stanton College in Natchez, Mississippi and at Grenada College in Grenada, Mississippi, becoming department head before her departure for New York City in 1907. Williams earned a master's degree from Columbia University in 1908 and a doctorate in 1913.[1] She was hired as an instructor at Hunter College in 1910 as well.[2]:120

Williams was the first editor of the O. Henry Prize Stories, serving in that position from 1918 to 1932.[1] In 1924, Williams served as one of the judges of the first Opportunity story contest.[3] She was promoted to full professor and head of the English department at Hunter College in 1926.[1] She retired from her position at Hunter College in 1939 in order to travel and write.[4]

Blanche Williams died on August 9, 1944, in Jackson, Mississippi.[1]

Hunter College awards a graduate fellowship named for Williams.[5] The Mississippi University for Women library houses her collection of George Eliot first editions as well as copies of Williams's own books.[2]:128



  1. 1 2 3 4 "Blanche Williams, Educator, is Dead". New York Times. August 9, 1944. p. 17. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  2. 1 2 Elizabeth Anne Payne (17 November 2003). Mississippi Women: Their Histories, Their Lives. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0-8203-2502-6. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  3. George Hutchinson (1995). The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White. Harvard University Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-674-37262-7. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  4. "Blanche Williams Quits Job to Write". New York Times. May 2, 1939. p. 25. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  5. "Prizes and Awards Offered" (PDF). Hunter College. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
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