CHESTERTOWN, Md. (AP) — Washington College officials say they will now hand out the nation’s must lucrative undergraduate literary award at a ceremony in New York and not on the campus of the small Eastern Shore school.

Officials say the ceremony will allow the winner of the Sophie Kerr Prize to get more recognition and hobnob with publishing executives and writers.

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This year’s prize will be handed out on May 17, five days before graduation.

College leaders say another benefit will be to eliminate the sense of disappointment that many students feel on graduation day when they find out they didn’t win.

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As part of the change, the Sophie Kerr committee will also narrow candidates to a field of five or six finalists.

The value of the prize has been as high as $68,000.

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