Undergraduate Essay Contest

The Advisory Board for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Florida State University is proud to announce its Undergraduate Essay Contest in Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies. This contest is meant to highlight the insights and analysis possible using the sources and methodologies associated with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies across the disciplines. The winner of the contest will receive a $250 prize, presented at an awards ceremony to be held in the Spring 2024 semester.

How the Contest will work.
The contest will reward the best essay written for a classroom assignment by an undergraduate at Florida State University for the 2023 calendar year. Every professor (of any rank, from adjuncts and graduate student instructors, to full professors) can nominate one essay per semester.

To nominate an essay, professors must join the WGSS Canvas group, and agree to help out with the judging of essays, if requested. In this way, the first round of judging happens with the individual professor, the person best suited to judge the quality of work as it relates to their discipline. The requirement to help with the final round of judging, if requested, ensures that there will be representatives from all disciplines available when a campus-wide winner is selected.

Students who wrote an essay in the Spring 2023 semester that they would like nominated for the award should approach the professor of the class in which it was written, asking to be considered for nomination. All such requests should be to professors by October 31, 2023. Professors, considering all the requests, can nominate one of those essays by submitting it in the “2024 WGSS Undergraduate Essay Contest” module on the WGSS Canvas site (click on the “Modules” link on the left-hand side of the WGSS Canvas site), between November 1 and December 1, 2023. At that point, nominations for essays written in the Spring 2023 semester will close.

Students wishing to be considered for nomination for an essay written in the Fall 2023 semester should let their professor know this during the course of the semester. Professors will be able to nominate an essay written in the Fall 2023 semester using a link in the same “2024 WGSS Undergraduate Essay Contest” module starting December 15, 2023, and closing on January 31, 2024.

Students should approach professors with their requests to be nominated. Professors can let students know of their willingness to nominate an essay, and share contest details with students, but should not directly request to nominate a specific essay from a student.

Papers should be between five and twenty pages in length, and only one entry per person. If a student submits a paper for both the Spring and Fall semesters, only the Fall paper will be considered.

Please consider submitting to this contest, and thank you for both your participation and your patience with us as we work out the mechanisms that create a system that is both fair to all students across the many disciplines taught on campus, and to the graduate student and faculty volunteers who are giving their time and energy to make this happen. Questions about this contest can be directed to Prof. Charles Upchurch, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Florida State University. cupchurch@fsu.edu

FSU WGSS Website: https://ws.artsandsciences.fsu.edu/