Brigham Young University Text Logo

Vera Hinckley Mayhew Student Creative Arts Contests

Aesthetic fade on organization bar The graphic representing the organization's identity

Essay Contest Rules

  1. This contest provides a total award this year of $1,700 to the winners and any outside judges. Generally the judges will divide the award money among more of fewer than four winners. However, depending on the quality of the essays, the judges may divide the money among more than four winners, even giving the entire amount to the first place essay. Or, if the judges feel that the submitted essays are not good enough, they may withhold some or all of the awards.
  2. The Mayhew Committee may announce a subject for the contest in any given year. In such instances, all essays must deal with that subject. No subject has been specified for the 2015-2016 competition, however. Students may choose their own topics, restricted only by standards of propriety and good taste. Personal essays are welcomed in this category.
  3. The contest jury will judge the essays on the basis of organization, development, freshness of language, originality, perception, and general literary merit. The essays should appeal to the intelligent lay reader.
  4. Although writers may do research and background reading for their essays, the jury will reject research papers. Occasional footnotes are acceptable, but writers should try to make their credits an integral part of their papers. Writers should also avoid frequent long quotations.
  5. Essays must be no longer than 8,000 words. Manuscripts are to be typed in a 12-point font, double spaced, with 1-inch margins. The number of words in the essay should appear in the upper right hand corner of the first page.
  6. All entries are to be submitted between February 1 and February 6, 2017 before 5:00 p.m, and the winning essays will be announced at an awards ceremony later in the semester. Entries should be uploaded to the Mayhew website. No hard copies will be accepted in the College of Humanities office.
  7. The Mayhew Committee will appoint a jury of essayists and critics (selected from the BYU faculty and elsewhere) to judge the essays.
  8. Each student submitting an entry will upload a PDF file of their entry and fill out the appropriate information giving name, address, and telephone number and certifying (a) that he or she is eligible by proper enrollment at BYU to enter the contest, and (b) that the entry submitted is the student's own creative work. The student's real name will appear only to the Mayhew contest organizers.

Important note: In addition to the specific rules above for the Essay Contest, see the "General Regulations" giving information on all Mayhew Student Creative Contests. Both the general regulations and the specific rules for each contest should be followed by every student who enters one or more of the contests.

All submissions require a cover sheet (filled out online) and must be submitted online. Online submissions will open on February 1st, 2016.

Contest Contact Information

Professor Pat Madden
Essay Contest Chairman
4142 JFSB, Telephone 422-6439