Persuasions #15, 1993                                                                                                                                                    Pages 260


The Sixth Annual JASNA Literary Competition



English Department, College of DuPage

Glen Ellyn, IL




In August 1992, Trudy MacFarland did the initial mailing of 610 flyers for the JASNA 6th Annual Literary Competition from the labels, flyers, and envelopes that I sent her.  In the past I did the initial mailing.  Because of the growing publicity and inclusion of the competition on data bases and reference books, I sent over 375 additional flyers in response to inquiries for information on the competition.

From this initial distribution and additional mailings, we received 29 entries, sixteen undergraduate and high school essays and thirteen graduate essays, representing the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.  In 1992, there were twenty undergraduate and eleven graduate essays.  Multiple submissions were received from Meredith College (North Carolina), Concord College (Minnesota), California State Hayward, and California State Long Beach.

Jan Fergus, Gene Koppel, and Catherine Lynch Sadler read and voted on the graduate papers; and Edith Lank, Mary Marshall, and Inger Thomsen read and voted on the undergraduate papers.  Each judge had five votes that could be divided between one, two, or three papers.  In each division, $750 was awarded to the first place essay, $250 to the second place essay, and honorable mention to the third place essay.

For the second year, the judges chose Ray Tumbleson of Seattle, Washington, a graduate student at the University of Washington, to receive first prize for graduate students.  His essay “ ‘Suspense and Indecision:’ Austen’s Revision of Persuasion” was described by one of the judges as “clearly the best.  His compression of language and ease of expression, his understanding of historical background, his power of analysis made his, the shortest essay, the best.”  The judges also chose Deborah Jean McVea, a graduate student at Cambridge University, the second place winner of 1990, to receive second place.  One judge comments on her work, “Ms. McVea demonstrates the same kinds of depth and understanding as Tumbleson, clearly showing the nature of the improvements of the final chapters in reference to the whole novel.”  Andrew Bouman of the University of California, Berkeley, and Mary J. Pierce of Mankato State University (Minnesota) shared honorable mention.

Sarah English, Associate Professor of English at Meredith College, encouraged her students to enter the undergraduate competition, and three of her students were winners.  The judges chose Jackie Flynn Webb’s essay “Saved by the Fell” for first place.  Ms. Webb, of Raleigh, NC, is a Senior at Meredith.  Sheryl Long, a Junior at Meredith, received the second prize for her essay “Faulty Perfections.”  Kristin Mundy (Junior at Meredith) and Shelby Jackson (Junior at Catholic University of America) shared honorable mention.

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