Essay Contest

JASNA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Essay Contest.  Please check back in November to see the topic of the 2017 contest.

To foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen, JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest.  Support is generously provided by a grant in memory of the late Russell Clark and in honor of William Phillips, educators and leaders in JASNA’s Greater Chicago Region.

Students interested in the life and works of Jane Austen are encouraged to enter.  The Essay Contest is open to students world-wide at the high school, college/university, and graduate school levels of study.  Entrants do not need to be members of JASNA.  Students must be enrolled full-time or part-time in coursework during one or more semesters/quarters of the contest year.  Home-schooled students at the high school level are also eligible.  Part-time is defined for the college/university level as a minimum of six credit hours and for the graduate level as a minimum of three credit hours leading to an advanced degree.

Attention teachers: Click here to download a poster suitable for printing and displaying in your classroom.

2016 Essay Contest

Essay Contest Topic: In keeping with the theme of our annual meeting, Emma at 200: “No One But Herself,” JASNA is looking for essays that address the following:

Education is a running theme in Emma. For instance, there are teacher/pupil relationships, a school, and former and aspiring governesses.  Discuss how this emphasis shapes the plot, develops characters or reflects the views of the period.

The Submissions page includes important rules about format and submission of essays and a link to the official Essay Contest entry form.  Entries must be submitted online by May 15, 2016.

Essay Contest Awards

JASNA awards scholarships to the winners in each of three divisions: High School, College/University, and Graduate.

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

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