The American Friends of James Joyce and The Modern Word are proud to host their second High School Essay Contest.


The student will prepare an essay that answers the question, “How has reading James Joyce helped me to think about my own life?”

The essay should be between 500-750 words, and must be submitted electronically to The Modern Word at the following email address: Entries should be submitted as a Microsoft Word attachment, or as text in the body of the email itself.

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of four judges: Robert DiYanni, Chairman of The Modern Word Literary Advisory Board; Bob Joyce, head of the James Joyce Centre in Dublin; Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, former New York Times book critic; and Allen B. Ruch, Editorial Director of The Modern Word. Entries will be judged on depth of thought, creativity and originality, and acceptable use of proper mechanics such as grammar and spelling.

Entries must be submitted by April 30, 2005.

The essay contest is open to students in the United States only. Students must be in the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade or the equivalent, and may be in public, private, or home-school environments. All essays must include the student’s name, address, phone number, and email address. The name and location of the student’s high school must also be included.


First Prize: $1000 scholarship (available through the American Friends of James Joyce.)
Second Prize: A Great Books Foundation selection of classic works of literature.
Third Prize: A 4-volume set of James Joyce’s major works.

All three essays will be posted on The Modern Word, and will remain online for one year. Additionally, three honorable mentions will be selected for online publication.


The Joyce Essay Contest is sponsored by The American Friends of James Joyce and The Modern Word. Cooperating Co-sponsors include the Great Books Foundation, the James Joyce Centre of Dublin, and Penguin Books.

Featured Links


Great Books Foundation – The homepage of the Great Books Foundation. Contains links to their student programs.

The James Joyce Centre – Located in a restored Georgian townhouse in Dublin, the James Joyce Centre is dedicated to “promoting an interest in his life and works,” and contains members of the Joyce family on its board.

American Friends of James Joyce – The homepage of the AFJJ, a New York organization affiliated with the JJC in Dublin and dedicated to increasing awareness of Joyce through reading groups and Bloomsday events.