Here is great news for budding young writers. US high school juniors and seniors are eligible to enter the Signet Classics 16th Annual Student Scholarship Essay Contest for a chance to win $1,000 award prize!
This year’s competition book is Jane Austen’s Emma. Essays must be based on the five topic selected by Signet. Here are the details from the official contest website:
Select one of the following five topics:
- In the “Introduction” to the Signet edition, Margaret Drabble writes: When Jane Austen embarked on her novel Emma, she is said to have said, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” (pp. v) What is there about Emma that people might not like? Give specific examples from the novel. How does this reflect your own opinion about Emma? Explain.
- Will Emma and Mr. Knightley be happy once they are married and settled? What passages in the novel led you to this conclusion? What differences or conflicts in these characters might lead to stress or dissatisfaction in their union?
- Curiously, four of the major characters, Emma, Frank, Jane and Harriet, are children raised by surrogate parents. How do you think their family situations influence them as adults? Consider their personalities, behavior, values, relationships. Choose at least two of these characters and discuss the ways their backgrounds influence the course they take in the novel. Use specific details.
- Emma experiences several painful events and realizations that alter her understanding of herself and jolt her out of her complacency. Discuss three or four of the most important events which trigger her development into a mature and compassionate young woman from a clever but self-centered adolescent.
- The Victorian writers who followed Jane Austen later in the nineteenth century often depicted a dramatic range of social classes. In contrast, Austen’s focus in Emma is more narrow, essentially only depicting the middle class since none of the characters are either extremely wealthy or extremely poor. Nevertheless like the larger outside world, the society is quite rigidly stratified. How is community depicted? What defines each group economically, culturally and socially?
Be sure to check out the Official Rules for 16th Annual Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contestand read the winning essaysfrom the 15th Annual Contest.
The deadline to submit your essay is April 13, 2012 so don’t delay. Best of luck to all you budding Janeites in the US.
© 2007 – 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose
Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest is open to high school juniors or seniors. The scholarship contest is sponsored by Signet Classics, a publisher of paperback reprints of classics and scholarly works. Five high school juniors or seniors can each win a $1,000 scholarship award to be used toward their higher education plus a Signet Classics library for their school.
- Open to 11th and 12th grade full-time matriculated students who are attending high schools located in the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, or home-schooled students between the ages of 16-18 who are residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia. Void where prohibited by law. All state and local restrictions apply.
- Employees of Sponsor and its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates or other parties in any way involved in the development, production or distribution of this Contest, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible to participate in this Contest.
How to Apply:
To be considered for the contest, candidates must submit an essay. The essay topic can be found at the given link: http://www.penguin.com/services-academic/essayhome/
- Matriculated students: Four (4) copies of the essay should be mailed by an English teacher on behalf of the student (each English teacher may submit only one junior and one senior essay). Each of the four (4) copies of the essay should include a cover letter on school letterhead and includes the following details:
- Student’s full name, grade, address, e-mail and home telephone number
- Name of high school
- Name, email and daytime telephone number of English teacher submitting essay (please include summer contact information if different from school year contact information)
- Name, e-mail and daytime telephone number of the school’s administration officer
- Topic selected
- Certification by teacher that the essay is the student’s original work
2. Home-schooled students: Four (4) copies of the essay must be mailed by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of the student. Each of the four (4) copies of the essay should include a cover letter on the parent/legal guardian’s letterhead that certifies that the student is home-schooled and includes the following details:
- Student’s full name, address, e-mail and home telephone number
- Student’s equivalent grade
- Name and daytime telephone number and e-mail of the sponsoring parent/legal guardian
- Topic selected
- Certification by sponsoring parent/legal guardian of home-schooled student that the essay is the student’s original work
Essays submitted without a cover letter on school letterhead or cover letters that do not include the above details will be disqualified. Entries must be mailed to:
Penguin Publishing Group, Academic Marketing Department, Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest #20, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.
- There are five (5) prizes available and each prize includes a check in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).
- Each prize also includes a Signet Classics Library for the winner’s school library, or public library in the case of a home-schooled winner.
To be eligible, all entries must be postmarked by April 14, 2016 and received on or by April 21, 2016.
Link for More Information: