Announcing the Tolkien and Lewis High School Essay Contest

For three years, up until this past summer, I was director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn. One of the initiatives we launched was an annual Tolkien and Lewis High School Essay Contest, which elicited entries from high school students from all across the United States.

If my memory serves me correctly, the winners of the competition came from Texas, Alaska, and California. The prize was presented each September at our flagship Tolkien and Lewis Celebration. Although I’ve now moved on from Aquinas College, I’m delighted to say that the Tolkien and Lewis Essay Contest has moved on with me. In my new capacity as Tolkien and Lewis Chair of Literary Studies at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, I will be overseeing this year’s essay contest and will be one of the judges of the submitted essays.

Knowing that many of those who read this journal are involved in high school education, I’d like to give details of this year’s contest in the hope that the word will be spread as widely as possible.

All high school students interested in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are cordially invited to submit an essay to this year’s contest, which is sponsored by Holy Apostles College and Seminary in partnership with Homeschool Connections.

Homeschool Connections has provided a prize of $500 for the writer of the winning essay.

Subject to quality, the winning essay will be published in the St. Austin Review, the Catholic cultural journal of which I am the editor:

Essays can be on any topic related to the works of Tolkien and/or Lewis. Essays should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words and should be sent as Word documents to The entry deadline is March 1, 2018.

I would ask that all high school educators relay these details to their students, thereby helping to make the contest a huge success. All those who are not directly connected with educating high school students could help to spread the word by sending the link to this article to as many people as possible. I am very grateful for your support.

JOSEPH PEARCE is a senior fellow at The Cardinal Newman Society and editor of its journal. He is a senior contributor at The Imaginative Conservative and senior editor at the Augustine Institute. His books include biographical works on C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn and Belloc.

Copyright © 2018 The Cardinal Newman Society. Permission to reprint without modification to text, with attribution to author and to The Cardinal Newman Society, and (if published online) hyperlinked to the article on the Newman Society’s website. The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Cardinal Newman Society.