Signet Classic 22nd Annual Student Scholarship Essay Contest
Students must read Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. Choose one of the following essay contests:
- How is Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl still relevant more than two hundred years after slavery has been abolished? Be specific about how the treatment of oppressed people today reflects the treatment of slaves in the book and what can be learned from Harriet Jacobs’ story.
- Harriet Jacobs’ experiences suggest that slavery negatively impacts not only the slave, but also the slaveholder. In what ways are the masters and mistresses in the book corrupted by slavery? Why does this occur?
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a story of survival and even success in an almost impossible situation. What about Harriet Jacobs’ character accounts for her ability to overcome?
- What special circumstances did slaves face in motherhood? How do these women cope with or adapt to their situation? In what ways do they protect and preserve the next generation?
- What are the differences between the Christianity practiced by slaves and the Christianity practiced by slave owners? Is religion depicted more convincingly as a force for progressive change or as a way to preserve the status quo?
How to enter:
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 (#1, #2, #3, #4 or #5)
- Certification by teacher that the essay is the student’s original work
- Essays must be at least two and no more than three double-spaced pages, computer or typewritten (please do not staple submissions). Please include four (4) copies (including four (4) cover letters) of each essay submitted. Entries must be mailed to Penguin Publishing Group, Academic Marketing Department, Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest #22, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014. To be eligible, all entries must be postmarked by April 14, 2017and received on or by April 21, 2018. Submissions by fax, email or any other electronic means will not be considered.
- Entries will not be returned. By entering the Contest, contestants agree to abide by these rules, and represent and warrant that the entries are their own and original creations, and do not violate or infringe the rights, including, without limitation, copyrights, trademark rights or rights of publicity/privacy, of any third party.
- Entries are void if they are in whole or in part illegible, incomplete, damaged or handwritten. No responsibility is assumed for late, lost, damaged, incomplete, illegible, postage due or misdirected mail entries.
Essays submitted without a cover letter on school letterhead or cover letters that do not include the above details will be disqualified.
- Eligibility: Grades 11 and 12
- Length: Minimum of two, but no more than three, double-spaced pages
- Submission must be typed
- Submission must be the original work of the student.
- See Mrs. Taylor for submission instructions.
- Awards: Five grand-prize scholarships of $1,000
Click here to visit the Signet Classic Essay Contest website.