Essay Contest

JASNA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Essay Contest.  Please check back in November to see the topic of the 2016 contest.

To foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen, JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest, with support generously provided by the Sonia Raiziss Giop Charitable Foundation.

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.

2015 Essay Contest

The 2015 Essay Contest topic aligns with the JASNA Annual General Meeting theme, “Living in Jane Austen’s World”:

Examine a single Jane Austen novel or several and show different ways characters engage with their culture, views, mores, or living conditions.  How does participation in their world affect each character’s development?  You might look at how a character approaches material culture, physical or emotional space, interpersonal relations, social class, wealth, or gender.  You may consider elements of Jane Austen’s world that have inherently negative or positive influences on characters and events in the novels.

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 e-mailed by May 15, 2015.

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 You must use “JASNA Essay Contest” in your subject line.