We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 JASNA Essay Contest, an annual event open to high school, college/university, and graduate school students worldwide.
To mark 200 years of Northanger Abbey, which can be described as a book about books, students were asked to discuss how Jane Austen used fiction, poetry, or plays, either explicitly or indirectly, in the novel.
The entries were evaluated in two rounds by 21 judges, and the top 3 essays in each division were selected for scholarship awards. This year's winners are listed below, and their essays are posted in the Publications section of this site under Essay Contest Winning Entries so that you can enjoy their creative efforts. The names of the students whose entries received honorable mention are also posted online.
High School Division
- First Place: Aislinn H. Niimi, Pennsylvania AP Homeschoolers Online Classes
"'Everything They Ought to Be': Conduct Literature in Northanger Abbey"
- Second Place: Monica Colon, Waco, TX
"Prescriptive or Descriptive?: Redeeming the Novel in Northanger Abbey"
- Third Place: Zoe C. Wong, Pennsylvania AP Homeschoolers Online Classes
"Reading the World: Beneath the Surface of Books and People in Northanger Abbey"
- First Place: Matthew F. Zipf, Columbia University, New York, NY
"More than Just a 'Good Read': Literature and Character in Austen’s Novels"
- Second Place: Alex Skopic, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA
"Her Dark Materials: The Gothic Novel as Socio-Political Critique in Northanger Abbey"
- Third Place: Anna M. Schilke, Houghton College, Houghton, NY
"Mere Information and True Knowledge: Jane Austen on Books"
Graduate School Division
- First Place: Leta M. Sundet, University of Dallas, Dallas, TX
"A Curious Absence of Books: Education in Northanger Abbey"
- Second Place: Jennifer E. Tinonga-Valle, University of California, Davis, CA
"'Those Quotations Which Are So Serviceable': Decoding Context and Reading Literary Collection in Northanger Abbey"
- Third Place:
First-place winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and have been invited to attend the 2019 AGM in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, in October. JASNA provides complimentary registration and two free nights in the conference hotel. The second- and third-place winners in each division will receive $500 and $250 scholarships, respectively. In addition, all winners and their mentors will receive a one-year JASNA membership, and each winner will receive a set of Norton Critical Editions of Jane Austen's novels.
Many thanks to all the participants and judges, and congratulations to the winners for their excellent work!