CAC Undergraduate Essay Contest

The Undergraduate Essay Contests are designed to showcase and reward exceptional research done by undergraduate students taking Classics courses at Canadian universities. Applicants 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. The Junior contest is for papers written by undergraduates in survey courses where no specialized knowledge of Greek or Latin is required. The Senior contest is for papers written by undergraduates in specialized upper-level courses in Classics. There are separate prizes for each of these categories:

  • First prize: $150
  • Second Prize: $100
  • Third Prize: $50

Essays may be submitted by either the student or the instructor on the student’s behalf, electronically if possible from a university email address. They should be sent in .pdf format to Professor Christer Bruun: christer.bruun@utoronto.ca.

There should be no indication of the student’s identity on the essay document itself. Instead, the required information should be provided in full on the Application Form (a link will soon be provided). The essay should be submitted as written for the course, without revisions or corrections, with the exception of typographical corrections. Normally it will not exceed 20 pages in length (excluding bibliography), in 1.5 spacing.

Students may submit only one essay per year, but may submit another essay in a subsequent year. A winner in the Junior category may submit another paper in a later competition, at the Senior level. In a case where there is uncertainty about what category (Junior or Senior) is appropriate for the paper a brief description of the course for which the essay was written may be supplied with the accompanying documentation.

The judging is based on both form and content. The winning essays in both Junior and Senior levels must be well written, clearly organized and free from errors of grammar and syntax. In the Junior contest normally winners will have demonstrated a solid understanding of the sources pertinent to their topic and have covered their chosen subject thoroughly. In the Senior contest the winners are judged to have made good use both of ancient sources and modern scholarship, and to have offered valuable insights on their chosen topic. Submissions other than written essays may be considered, such as original works of fiction, video productions, musical compositions and games. All such entries must be based upon and deal creatively with ancient source material.

The deadline for submitting material to the competitions is August 31st. The winners will be notified in November and will be announced in the Canadian Classical Bulletin for that month.

Awardees since 1999