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Essay Contest


JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest to foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen's works in new generations of readers.

Students world-wide are invited to compete for scholarship awards 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.

 
2022 Contest Topic


Illustration of Mrs Jennings teasing Marianne

Mrs. Jennings teasing Marianne at dinner. Illustration by Hugh Thomson.

The 2022 Essay Contest topic relates to the theme of our upcoming Annual General Meeting: Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility.

Family relations loom large in this book, and Austen has more than one story to tell, with four sets of siblings and notable mothers. Essays can focus on relations between siblings or pairs of siblings, between mothers and their offspring, or perhaps on characteristics (apart from sense and sensibility) embodied by a related or unrelated pair.

Family trees for the main characters are available here.  

Teachers and Mentors: Please help us spread the word about the Essay Contest. Download the 2022 contest poster/flyer to display in your classroom and distribute to interested students.

Submissions


The deadline for submissions is Thursday, June 2, 2022. Be sure to visit the Submissions page to review the contest rules and eligibility requirements before entering.

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 will each receive one year of memberships in JASNA and a set of Norton Critical Editions of Jane Austen's novels. The winning essays will also published on this website.

Questions?


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

Submission Guidelines ›

Learn about Essay Contest rules and formatting requirements.

Winning Essays ›

Read the insightful essays that placed first, second, and third in past Essay Contests.

Essay Contest FAQs ›

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the contest.

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”

Northanger Abbey