Reading in Tamagawa Garden

Essay Competition

We hold an annual Essay Competition, adjudicated in the spring/summer. Prizes are awarded for the best essay in the following categories:

  • English 115
  • English 125
  • English 135/Film 101
  • Second Year English Courses
  • Upper Level English Courses
  • Innovation Award in English

[Innovation Award Description: This award acknowledges innovative student projects produced for VIU English Department courses. Innovative projects demonstrate a critical intervention and/or a creative approach to communicating ideas and arguments. Nominations should indicate how and why the project makes an innovative intervention in form and/or content, practices and/or presentations].

Nominated essays in each category are vetted by our Awards Committee, and students who’ve submitted work to the competition will be emailed notification of their results. The winning submissions will be published on VIUSpace, and winners’ names will be listed on a poster celebrating their work.

The exceptional work of past winners can be viewed on VIUSpace

If your essay has been nominated for submission to the Essay Competition, follow the guidelines below for submission.

English Department Essay Competition Guidelines

  1. All submissions must be works written by students for VIU English courses and must be recommended to the competition by English instructors. 

  2.  Each student may contribute a maximum of two submissions per competition.

  3. When your essay is nominated, you will receive a form that has been partially completed by your English instructor. Before submitting your essay to the competition, you must complete the remaining parts of this form. When filling out your form, make sure to include a current email address, mailing address, and phone number. Communication about the Essay Competition results often occurs in the summer, so you should include an email address that you check regularly even when off campus.

  4. Submit a clean copy of your essay in Word format via email attachment to

  5. Submit the form as a scanned email attachment to .

  6. The deadline for all submissions to the competition is the second Friday in May. Essays submitted past this date will not be included in the competition.