Carleton Essay Competition

The English Department oversees the judging of four writing contests that are sponsored by the college.  We encourage Carleton students (from any year or major) to enter their work in these contests.  Prizes are awarded for prose fiction, academic essay, poetry, and humor, and announced at the annual Honors Convocation.  There is a monetary award for each prize.

The 2018 deadline for all four competitions is Friday, April 13 at 5 PM.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Upload contest submissions to Dropbox using this link. Please be sure to fill in your name (first and last) and your Carleton email address when uploading your file to Dropbox.  THIS IS THE ONLY TIME YOU'LL USE YOUR NAME.
  2. The first page of your entry should include a title page, which should list the title of the work and the name of the contest you are entering (but NOT your name).
  3. Entries must be saved as Microsoft Word documents; no PDFs, please.  When saving your Word file, please use the following title format: "[Name of literary prize]-[Title of your work].docx".  For brevity's sake, please use the following abbreviations for the names of the prizes: "1885," "Curran," "Huntington," and "Strauss."  YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR anywhere in the file you submit as your entry.
  4. Prose entries should be in double spaced format with numbered pages.
  5. Students may enter more than one contest, but must submit a DIFFERENT manuscript for each contest entered. A single composition can be entered in only one contest.

  The Prizes and Past Prize Winners

The Bachelor of Humanities

Carleton University’s Bachelor of Humanities is Canada’s premier program in the Great Books. Humanities students read the most influential books and study the most exciting ideas in all the traditional arts disciplines—literature, philosophy, history, art, music, political theory, and religion.

Students in the Bachelor of Humanities enthusiastically debate questions such as: What is the good life? What is the best form of political organization? What is the nature of beauty? Graduates of the program continue on to a wide variety of interesting careers.

Students are encouraged to pair their Humanities core with more detailed study of a particular subject, by doing a combined honours or a minor. The Bachelor of Humanities is unique in offering a degree in Humanities and Biology, for students planning to go to Medical School, and a joint degree in Journalism and Humanities.

Essay Contest

The Bachelor of Humanities invites submissions for its fifth annual High School Essay Contest. All High School or CÉGEP students are invited to submit an essay, of no more than 1000 words in length, answering the following question:

Is the unexamined life not worth living?

The contest winner and runner-up, as chosen by a panel of professors in the Bachelor of Humanities program, will receive $500 and $250 respectively.  The deadline for submissions is 15 January 2018, and contest results will be announced by the end of March 2018.

Submission Instructions

Essays must include a title page that clearly indicates the author’s name, High School or CÉGEP, and contact information (including a phone number and email address).

Essays must be submitted electronically, by filling out the following form, and attaching the essay in Microsoft Word or PDF format.


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