Irene Adler Prize

Scholarship Value: $1,000
Awards Available: 3
Award Deadline: May 30, 2024

The Irene Adler Prize: Competition Guidelines

  1. Entry is free of charge.
  2. There is no age restriction.
  3. The Irene Adler Prize winner will receive a $1,000 US scholarship. Up to two awards of $250 apiece will be given for honorable mentions.
  4. The competition is open to women commencing or continuing to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D degree in journalism, creative writing, or literature at a recognized post-secondary institution in 2024-25.
  5. Applicants may hail from any country worldwide. [Note: this marks a change from the Irene Adler Prize competitions from 2017 to 2022, when entries were restricted to US and Canadian citizens.]
  6. The application period begins on January 30, 2024. The deadline is May 30, 2024. No late applications will be accepted.
  7. Each application consists of two (2) elements:
    1. A 500-word essay in English based on one of the following five essay prompts:

Which story in the news in 2023 impacted you the most and why?

Write about a place – either human-made or natural – and show why it means a lot to you.

What do you think our world will look like in 2074?

Tennis star Billie Jean King said: “Champions keep on playing until they get it right.” Tell a story that exemplifies this statement.

What motivates you?

Each essay must have its own original title. The applicant’s name, mailing address, phone number, and email address must appear on the first page. All personal information will be kept strictly confidential.

               B. A completed entry form (see Page 3 below)

    8. The essay and entry form are to be emailed as separate attachments to:

The essay and entry form must be in Microsoft Word format.

In the email subject line, include the title of the essay and “(Irene Adler Prize application).” Example: “Coming of Age Amid the Rhododendrons (Irene Adler Prize application).”

     9. There is a limit of one (1) entry per person. Multiple entries by the same person will be disqualified.

   10. Entries will be judged on content, originality, structure, and overall writing quality by Lucas Aykroyd, the prize administrator. The    administrator’s decisions are final.

  11. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.

  12. The winner will be announced on August 1, 2024. Honorable mentions will be awarded at the judge’s discretion.

  13. The prize administrator reserves the right to publish the winning essay and the author’s name on and to publicize it through various media channels.

  14. Proof of enrollment at a recognized post-secondary institution for 2024-25 must be supplied before the prize is paid out. This can consist of a) a proof of enrollment letter or certificate from the institution’s registrar’s office b) an official tuition bill c) a schedule of classes.

  15. The $1,000 US prize payment and $250 honorable mention payments are intended to be applied to educational expenses such as tuition fees. They will be made directly to the winner’s post-secondary institution, with two exceptions: a) if the post-secondary institution in question will not accept a direct payment b) if the winner attends a post-secondary institution that charges no or minimal tuition fees.

  16. Payment of any applicable taxes is the responsibility of the winner.

  17. The Irene Adler Prize is a one-time award. Past winners of the $1,000 scholarship are not eligible to compete again. However, entrants who have earned honorable mentions in previous Irene Adler Prize competitions remain eligible.

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