The Jane Austen Society of North America is marking its 40th anniversary this year. Although much has changed since its inaugural meeting in October 1979, the Society’s purpose remains the same: to foster the study, understanding, and appreciation of Jane Austen’s works, life, and genius.
JASNA 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.
In honor of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, we welcome essays on the following:
Northanger Abbey can be described as a book about books. There is, of course, the well-known “defense of the novel,” but characters also discuss their reading habits, name specific novels and even consider history books.
In her works, Austen often makes use of fiction, poetry or plays, either explicitly or indirectly. Explore how she does this in Northanger Abbey. Depending on your division, you may need to bring in one or more other novels as well. Check the essay contest website for more detailed instructions for content, format and submission.
- Entries MUST address the current essay topic or they will not be considered.
- Entries must be submitted by the student through the official Essay Contest Submission website. Visit here. Duplicate entries are not allowed. Each submission will be confirmed by e-mail using the address supplied.
- The student must complete the official online entry form, which includes a stipulation that the essay is the student’s original work and has not been published elsewhere.
- Entries may include a statement about the student’s mentor; however, a mentor statement is not required.
- Entries must be submitted before midnight PDT on the published deadline date.
- Contest judging is conducted anonymously. Personal information about the student, school, and mentor must appear ONLY on the entry form and not in the essay. Make sure your software does not automatically put your name on each page.
- Your essay and the entry form must be uploaded to the Essay Contest Submission site. If you have difficulties, please contact Meg Levin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The deadline for 2019 Essay Contest submissions is June 3, 2019.
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.
For full details, visit the official website by clicking here.