MHC Student Essay Contest 2015

Contest Theme Fall 2016:“Remembering the Past, Engaging in the Present, Transforming your Future”

Hortense Parker Celebration Essay Contest Guidelines Fall 2016

Contest Theme: “Remembering the Past, Engaging in the Present, Transforming your Future”. Therefore, please answer one (1) of the following questions:

1. As a woman of color in the late 1800s, Hortense Parker had to navigate the Mount Holyoke campus despite the fact that slavery had been abolished 20 years prior and most people of color were not allowed to attend Predominantly White Institutions. If she were entering MHC in 2017, what advice would you give her in terms of navigating issues of race as a Person of Color at Mount Holyoke College, the surrounding community, nationally, and globally?

2. If you identify as a white student, what advice would you give to an incoming student who also identifies as white about having conversations around race at Mount Holyoke College, the surrounding community, nationally, and globally? What tools and advice would you suggest as they strive to become an ally for people of color? 

Winning Essays will be read at the Hortense Parker Day Ceremony on Friday, October 14, 2016.

1st Place:  $500

2nd Place: $250

3rd Place:  $100


Essays must be submitted to by 11:55pm, Monday, October 3, 2016


Hortense Parker Essay Guidelines Fall 2016

  • The essay winners will be presented at the Hortense Parker Day Celebration (Friday, October 14th ) by the writer or a proxy selected by the author.
  • All essay winners will be notified by Wednesday, October 12th. 

  • The contest is an Essay/Narrative contest. Poetry may be submitted to the committee for consideration to be included in the Hortense Parker Day Celebration, but are not eligible for the contest prize this year.

  • Your essay can be of a purely narrative, personal style, (memoir, personal story, autobiographical piece, etc…) or it can be more of a research based, analysis paper related to the theme (or a blend of the two) – all are welcome in the contest. Essays will be judged on originality of content, connection to the theme, ability to communicate to and move an audience, authenticity and integrity of the writing, and basics of writing craft.

  • Submissions will need to be submitted with English translations if they are crafted in another language or have multilingual content.

  • Essays should be submitted electronically but must be formatted to print, double-spaced, on single-sided, 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper (letter size) with 1 inch margins. Font should be no smaller than 12 point Times or similarly sized font.

  • Your essay should have a title page with your name, class year and email address (it will be separated from your submission before the judges get your work for review).

  • The title page of your essay and a page number should appear in the footer of every page. (not your name)

  • Essays should not exceed 1,500 words. The word count limit includes all words in the text but does not include bibliography and notes as needed.

  • Use a widely used standardized method and style such as MLA, Chicago, or APA to consistently give credit to the sources of the ideas and information used in your essay, when they are not your own.  Use in-text citations, footnotes, or endnotes to give credit to the sources of your information or ideas. Also include a bibliography or a references list for the works that you have cited in your essay or have consulted to write your essay.

  • Your essay must be previously unpublished, and you must have ownership of all rights of presentation and publication.

  • Only one essay per student is permitted.