America Essay Contest

Essay Contest


JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest to foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen's work. Several hundred students compete for scholarship awards each year.

The contest is open to students world-wide in three divisions: 

  • High School:  students and home-schooled students enrolled at the high school level during the contest year

  • College/University:  students enrolled in at least six credit hours of course work at a junior college, college, or university during the contest year

  • Graduate School:  students enrolled during the contest year in at least three credit hours of graduate course work at a college or university leading to an advanced degree 

Membership in JASNA is not required to enter the contest.

2018 Contest Topic


Jane Austen's Persuasion was first published in 1818, and to commemorate the anniversary JASNA is inviting essays that address the following:

The trio of faith, hope and charity all feature in Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion. Discuss how possessing or lacking these qualities affects a character's behavior and drives the plot. You may focus on one quality or examine the interplay of two or all three. You may include more than one character in your discussion.

Teachers and Mentors:  Please download the 2018 contest poster/flyer to display in your classroom or distribute to interested students.

Submissions


The deadline for 2018 Essay Contest submissions is May 20, 2018.  

Visit our Submissions page for important rules about formatting and submitting an essay. 

Essay Contest Awards


JASNA awards scholarships to winners in each of the three divisions: 

  • First Place:  $1,000 scholarship and free registration and two nights’ lodging for JASNA’s upcoming Annual General Meeting (Transportation to the conference is not provided.)
  • Second Place:  $500 scholarship
  • Third Place:  $250 scholarship 

Winners and their mentors each receive a one-year JASNA membership. In addition, each winner receives a set of Norton Critical Editions of Jane Austen's novels. The winning essays are published on this website.

Questions?


Please review the Essay Contest FAQs. If you still have questions, contact Meg Levin at essay-contest@jasna.org.   You must use “JASNA Essay Contest” in your subject line.

Teachers are invited to have their students enter the American Freedom Essay Contest to win a free field trip of Historic Philadelphia for their entire class.

In honor of Constitution Day, The Constitutional Walking Tour wants students to give their views about American freedom. The American Freedom Essay Contest challenges educators to get their students to write a 100-300 word essay on the importance of freedom in their lives. Entries will be judged in Elementary School, Middle School and High School categories with the winner in each category earning a free field trip with The Constitutional Walking Tour for his/her class.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR EDUCATORS

  • Step 1 - Review The Constitutional's many free educational resources available at by visiting www.TheConstitutional.com/1787.
  • Step 2 - Prepare for the contest by having your students find an example of a freedom like Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Assembly in The Philadelphia Inquirer or your local hometown newspaper.
  • Step 3 - Have your students write their own individual essays on "How a particular American freedom (i.e., Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Vote, Freedom of Assembly) makes people's lives better."
    Elementary School Students (grades 1-5) are required to write an essay of approximately 100 (one hundred) words. Middle School Students (grades 6-8) and High School Students (grades 9-12) are required to write an essay not to exceed 300 (three hundred) words.
  • Step 4 - Collect the essays from your students.
    Note: All entries for grades 3-12 must be typed. Entries for grades 1-2 can either be typed or handwritten in neat legible writing, by an adult if necessary.
  • Step 5 - Review the Contest Terms & Conditions
  • Step 6 - Submit the essays from your students by Friday, October 13, 2017.

    All entries can either be submitted online at www.TheConstitutional.com/essay or via the U.S. Mail to the address below:

    American Freedom Essay Contest
    c/o The Constitutional Walking Tour
    P.O. Box 2066
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Please note that each essay entry submitted via U.S. Mail must also include the contest entry form (PDF format). Handwritten entries from grades 1-2 must be submitted in hard copy along with the contest entry form via U.S. Mail to the address above.

USE THE NEWS to prepare for the contest by finding an example of a freedom like Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Vote or Freedom of Assembly in The Philadelphia Inquirer or your local newspaper. Write how this freedom makes people's lives better.

Winners 
Winners are usually announced some time in early December each year.

Previous Winners 
You can read previous years' winning entries in the American Freedom Essay Contest by clicking here.

Entries become the property of The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia and may be published. Please read the contest's full terms and conditions.

To sumbit essays online, please complete the form below. Alternatively, you can mail in your hard copy essay submission along with a completed entry form - Click here for mail-in details (PDF Format). For questions, call 215.525.1776 or email us at info@TheConstitutional.com.

Deadline for entries is Friday, October 13, 2017.

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