Winning Essays for 2009

2009 Essay Topic: Siblings in Jane Austen’s Novels

The topic of the 2009 Essay Contest was aligned with the Annual General Meeting theme, “Jane Austen’s Brothers and Sisters in the City of Brotherly Love.” Students were invited to submit essays on the following topic:

Siblings abound in Jane Austen’s novels. Some siblings act as foils to each other; others are in competition; still others are mutually supportive and encouraging. Examine the importance of siblings in one or two Austen novels. Discuss how they function in the novel and how they embody larger themes. You may focus on one sibling relationship or you may compare relationships, either within a novel or between two novels.

High School Division

First Place Winner: Connie Chen, Davis Senior High School, Davis, CA
Essay: The Four Other Misses Bennet: Reflections of Elizabeth’s Developing Empathy
Mentor: Sarah O’Keefe, Davis Senior High School, Davis, CA
Second Place Winner: Tanmayi S. Pai, Campbell High School, Smyrna, GA
Essay: Two Heads are More Evil than One: the Crawford Siblings in Mansfield Park
Mentor: Sumana Pai, Mother
Third Place Winner: Erin T. Heraty, York Community High School, Elmhurst, IL
Essay: A Couple of Very Silly Sisters

College/University Division

First Place Winner: Joanna L. Thaler, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Essay: Re-Discovering the Gardiner Family
Mentor: Professor Lance Bertelsen, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Second Place Winner: Amanda N. Payne, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Essay: Jane Austen and Emily Brontë: An Unlikely Literary Sistership
Mentor: Professor Janine Barchas, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Third Place Winner: Rachel S. Holt, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC
Essay: Thicker than Water, Thinner than Ice: Sibling Relationships in Mansfield Park
Mentor: Professor Sarah English, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC

Graduate Division

First Place Winner: Katherine E. Curtis, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Essay: Troubled Sisterhood: When Sisters Become Rivals in Mansfield Park
Mentor: Meredith L. Curtis, Mother