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2021 Essay Contest

Winning Entries

Topic: Jane Austen in the Arts

Jane Austen played the piano, embroidered, and attended art exhibits and the theater. The arts also played a role in her novels. In your essay, discuss how Austen uses the arts—whether to reveal character, address social standing, advance the plot, or otherwise make a point. 

High School Students: You may discuss her use of the arts in just one of her novels, though you are welcome to refer to more. 

Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Discuss Austen's use of the arts in more than one novel. You may use the same art form in each or contrast different arts.

  View the list of essays awarded "Honorable Mention."


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Meg Levin, Chair
Carol Moss


High School Division

Katie Allen

Courtney O. Carlisle
(First Round Only)
The John Dewey Academy
Great Barrington, MA

Jessica Connolly
Trinity College
Dublin, Ireland

Susan Durst
Boise Public Schools (retired)
Boise, ID

Judith Elson

Kathleen Flynn

Mayra Garcia
Charlotte-Meckenlenburg Schools
Charlotte, NC

Norah Glickstein
McMaster University
Hamilton, ON

Kelly Helm
Washington & Jefferson College
Washington, PA

Jeanie Lewis
Loyola University
Chicago, IL

Keiko Parker
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Sue Scott
Wake County Library 
Raleigh, NC

Sarah Shepherd

Gina Sipley
Nassau Community College 
Garden City,  NY

Amy Stallings
College of William and Mary 
Williamsburg, VA

Alisa Thomas
Toccoa Falls College
Toccoa Falls, GA

Lisa Tyler
Sinclair Community College
Dayton, OH

Chris Wilkes
Pacific University (emeritus) 
Forest Grove, OR

College/University Division

Pauline Beard
Pacific University (emerita)
Forest Grove, OR

Rosa Beyer
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

MarJean Corkran
Enterprise State Community College,
Enterprise, AL

Susan Cotellesse
Northeast Lakeview College 
Universal City, TX

Rebecca Duncan

Rose Engelfried

Maria Spray
(First Round Only)

Judith Umbach
University of Calgary
Calgary, AB

Susan Weisgrau
Akiba Hebrew Academy (retired)
Bryn Mawr, PA

Graduate School Division

Elaine Bander
Dawson College (retired)
Montreal, QC

Deborah Knuth Klenck
Colgate University
Hamilton, NY

Pat Michaelson
University of Texas
Dallas, TX

Second Round Only

Lety Banks
University of California
San Diego, CA