Elsie C. Carroll Informal Essay Contest


Professor Elsie C. Carroll was a distinguished member of the English Department for three decades and had a great interest in good student writing. Her family, to honor her memory and to encourage writing, has set up an endowment to help fund this contest. The contest awards $300 for first place, $200 for second place, and $150 for third place. The contest is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, with a separate division for each.

Entries must be the original work of the student submitting it and must not have been previously published or accepted for publication, although they may have been submitted for publication.

The contest is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, with a separate division for each. To qualify, an undergraduate student must be an English major, or have taken an English class during the previous fall semester, or be currently enrolled in an English class.

Graduate students from any BYU program are welcome to enter. During the semester when the contest entries are due, an undergraduate student must be registered for at least 9 credit hours, and a graduate student must be registered for at least 6 credit hours.

A student may submit only one entry. A student who wins first place in a contest is not eligible to enter that contest the following year.

An entry may NOT be simultaneously submitted to any other BYU writing contest except the Writer’s Portfolio Contest.

Although an entry may treat any theme and be in any style, it must conform to standards of general good taste, as determined by the judges.

Essays submitted may be on any subject but must be between 500 and 5,000 words long. Research papers are not eligible.

All entries must be in pdf or docx format. Carelessly edited entries will be summarily disqualified.

The student’s name must not appear with the essay.

Winners will be notified by mail or email. Awards will be made at the annual English Department Awards Banquet. Winners will be required to submit a W-9 form before monetary awards can be issued.


November 1 to January 15

 Link for submitting entries