Starr Writers Contest

This contest is named in remembrance of Jocelyn Starr,
who passed away in November 2010. 

Jocelyn was one of the founding members of ASEC
and was a great supporter of her students.

The contest opens every year on October 1st.
Submissions accepted until February 28 the following year.

* Please read the submission guidelines and fine print carefully as details of the contest have recently changed.


Write an essay sharing how attending an Adult Learning Centre or Adult Literacy Program has changed your life.

Please include challenges or barriers you have face or have overcome and specific examples of how your life has changed since returning to or completing your adult education program.

We are looking for stories that will inform people about the realities and benefits of adult education programs and inspire other students who are returning to school themselves.


To be eligible to enter you must:

a) be currently attending a certified Adult Literacy Program (ALP) or Adult Learning Centre (ALC) OR have graduated from a certified ALP or ALC,


b) be recommened by the director of the ALP or ALC.

Submission Guidelines

Essays must be:

250 to 500 words in length for the Adult Literacy Program category

500 to 1000 words in length for the Adult Learning Centre category

Conditions of submission:

All submissions must be the contestant's own original work.

By submitting your entry, you agree to allow ASEC to publish your essay on our website, newsletter and/or social media, and to share your entry with our membership and Adult Learning & Literacy.

Winners are announced at the spring conference and are invited to attend the fall conference to receive their prize and read their winning entries.

Important Information

Conditions of Submission

All submissions must be the contestant’s own original work.

By submitting your entry you agree to allow ASEC to publish your essay on our website, newsletter and/or social media, to present your essay at our fall conference, and to share your entry with Adult Learning and Literacy.

Winners will be announced at the ASEC Spring Conference. We invite those winners who are able to attend our Fall Conference to receive their awards and present their work to the membership. 

A member of the Starr Writers Committee will contact winners to confirm details.


How to Submit

Complete the submission form and upload your Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or PDF document. You will need to login to Google to access the form so that you can upload your document.

Contest Results

2019 Winners!

There was a strong response to the Starr Writers contest this year, particularly in our ALC category. It was a challenge for the judges to have to narrow down so many compelling and inspiring stories to just three winners in each category.
Judging on a combination of message, voice and skill, this year we have selected the following essays as ones that honestly address the challenges and triumphs of our learners and affirm the impact our ALC and ALP programs are having among adults in Manitoba.

We congratulate our learners and sincerely thank everyone who entered this year. It’s no small effort to share your stories and put your voice out there. We are working on ways to ensure that they reach an audience where they are honoured and provide inspiration to fellow adult students and educators across Manitoba.

In the Adult Literacy Program category, our 2019 winners are:

  • First Place: Amanda Koltusky – Adult Learning on Lombard
  • Second Place: Jared Berens – Adult Learning on Lombard
  • Third Place: Curtis Worlee – Adult Learning on Lombard
In the Adult Learning Centre category, our 2019 winners are:
  • First Place: Emerica Picton – CrossRoads Learning Centre
  • Second Place: William George Nepinak – Adult Learning on Lombard
  • Third Place: Hannah Whiteway – Seven Oaks ALC
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