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
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's novel Persuasion, JASNA invited essays that address the following theme:
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.
The deadline for 2018 Essay Contest submissions was May 20, 2018. JASNA will begin accepting submissions for the 2019 contest in November when the new essay topic and the latest contest rules are posted.
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.
Please review the Essay Contest FAQs. If you still have questions, contact Meg Levin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Use “JASNA Essay Contest” in your subject line.