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CAC Undergraduate Essay Contest

The Undergraduate Essay Contests are designed to showcase the research of undergraduate students taking Classics courses at Canadian universities. Students do not need to be Classics majors to submit their work: essays written for any undergraduate course with classical content at a Canadian university during the previous academic year are eligible.

Two separate competitions are held each year: a junior contest, for papers submitted by junior undergraduates in survey courses where no specialized knowledge of Classics is required, and a senior contest, for papers written by undergraduates in specialized upper-level courses in Classics. A separate set of prizes is awarded for each of these competitions.


Essays may be submitted by either the student or the instructor. They may be up to 50 pages in length. Up to two separate essays may be submitted for any one student, but no individual will be eligible for more than one award in any particular year.

Essays should submitted as they were submitted for the course, without revisions or corrections (with the exception of typographical errors) and with no comments or corrections by the instructor. The cover page should contain only the title of the paper: nowhere in the essay proper should any information be offered that might identify the student, the instructor, or the institution. A separate sheet should be submitted with the name of the student, his/her institution, and the submitting instructor (if applicable).

Entries should also indicate whether the essay is to be judged in the junior or the senior contest. If you are not certain which category might be appropriate, please include a brief description of the course for which the essay was written.

Judging is based on both form and content. The winning essays in both contests must be well-written, clearly organized, and free from errors of grammar and syntax. In the junior contest, winners usually have demonstrated a solid understanding of the sources pertinent to their topic and have covered their chosen subject thoroughly. In the senior contest, winners are expected to have made good use of both ancient and modern sources and to have offered new insights on their chosen topic.

Other types of submissions (for example, original works of fiction, video productions, games) will also be considered should the adjudicators judge them appropriate. All such submissions must be based on and deal creatively with ancient source material.

The contest deadline every year is August 31, to permit the inclusion of essays written for summer courses, and the results are usually announced in the November or December issue of the Canadian Classical Bulletin.


Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning entries in both the junior and senior competition, and the winners will have the option of posting their entries on the CAC website.

First prize : 150,00$

Second prize : 100,00$

Third prize : 50,00$

Essays submission

Essays may be submitted either by e-mail (MS-Word only, please) or by post to :

Bonnie MacLachlan
Department of Classical Studies
Talbot College 428
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario N6A 3K7

Essays may be submitted either by e-mail (in .doc or .rtf format only, please; i.e., not in .docx) or by post to:

Annual Deadline for Submissions : August 31st

Earlier Prize Winners


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