Annual Writing Contest

Maybe you love this blog and wish you could write for it just once, to see what having all that glory is like. Or maybe you hate this blog, and constantly feel like you could do a better job than we do. Or maybe you have no particular feelings on this blog, but could really use some money. All of these are good reasons to enter our annual writing contest – submit your best essay on a television show, movie, video game, music album, or book for a chance to win The Larry L. Stewart Prize For Critical Essay On Entertainment!

The rules are as follows:

1. Submit all pieces to Here, the Editor-In-Chief will take the names off the pieces so that the staff can judge them each objectively. Only the EIC will know who wrote what, and we will be taking the proper precautions on our end to make sure those that know the author anyway have less of a say. The pieces will be judged on nothing but their professional merit.

2. No person who is on the ACP staff is eligible – namely, Staff Writers, Editorial Assistants, and Editors – additionally, any previous 1st place winners will be ineligible. We want to keep the judges unbiased and the pool of entries fresh.

3. To be eligible for the contest, you must like us on Facebook. It’s really easy – the toolbar to do so is to the right of this text.

4. Please provide your own photos, attached separately from the word doc, in your email. At least one but no more than three is ideal. These should ideally be original screen captures of the work in question – anything that comes up on a quick Google search will reflect poorly on your part.

5. Please send us unpublished work. This rule exists so we can get fresh new writing – we also don’t want to have to deal with getting the rights to re-publish from other sites!

6. All entries must be received by May 1st. The entries will be read the first week of May, and winners will be notified via email no later than May 14th.

Rule #4 exists because the winners of this contest will have their posts appear in The ACP! That’s right, you’ll be forever immortalized in our prestigious internet publication!

Winners of the contest will also receive $100 for 1st Place, and $50 for 2nd Place, and $25 for 3rd Place. 

Entries for The ACP are typically between 800 and 1500 words. For you contest entrants, this is more of a guideline than a rule – but beware, if it is any longer or shorter than that, the essay needs to earn the page far more than the average piece. Common but viable discussion starters include: common themes and elements in a work, conventions and trends in a series of works/genre, feminist critiques, religious or historical influences on a work, plot analyses, philosophical implications or influences, psychological analysis, etc.

If you’re still unsure what kind of stuff we’re looking for, we recommend checking the mission statement and a few back entries. For those who are curious, here is a list of past winners and how we judged the past winners.

And most importantly, be creative!


About Larry L. Stewart

Larry L. Stewart is a retired English professor at The College of Wooster, who taught a variety of classes including but not limited to “Language, Literature, and Culture,” “Literary Theory and Rhetoric,” and the legendary “Children as Readers,” a class devoted to narrative themes and theory in children’s literature. He loves Scrubs, jogging, dry sarcastic humor, and smoking – in no particular order.


This contest name was used with his permission (after some banter on his part). He seems to like The ACP, barring the articles about symbolism.