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 the last day of February the following year.

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

2020 Contest Posters

Click to view and save images above or download PDFs to print and share:


What does adult education mean to you?

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

Use your unique voice to answer the question, “What does adult education mean to you?” 

Feel free to tell your story your way or use one of these suggestions for focus:

  • Your personal journey. What motivations, challenges, and successes have shaped your adult education experience?
  • Your school. What is it about the people, the courses, and the daily sights and sounds that makes your school a great place to learn?
  • Your suggestions for success. What advice would you give other adult learners who are returning to school?
  • Your learning community. How do the teachers, administrators, support staff, and/or students at your school create a supportive and successful learning environment?
  • The impact of education. What have you been able to accomplish or what has improved in your life since starting or completing your classes?
  • The importance of adult education in Manitoba. How do adult education and literacy programs benefit our communities and our province?


Who can enter?

To be eligible for the contest, you must: 

1) be a current or former student in an Adult Literacy Program (ALP) or Adult Learning Centre (ALC)

2) be recommended by the director of the ALC or ALP

There are two categories for entry: ALP and ALC. Please enter in the category for which you were/are most recently enrolled. 


Essay length must be:

    • between 250 to 500 words in length for the Adult Literacy Program category
    • between 500 to 1000 words in length for the Adult Learning Centre category

Please adhere to these guidelines. Entries significantly outside of these length requirements may be deemed ineligible for consideration.

Important Information

Conditions of Submission

  • All submissions must be the contestant’s own original work.
  • Submissions must meet the eligibility criteria listed above.
  • 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 our spring conference and may be invited to attend our fall conference to receive their prize and/or read their submissions. Prizes will be mailed out to those unable to attend after confirmation of contact information.

How to Submit

The contest is closed for the year. Watch for the next round in October. Thank you for your submissions and good luck!

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.

Adult Literacy Program:

  • First Place: Amanda Koltusky – Adult Learning on Lombard

  • Second Place: Jared Berens – Adult Learning on Lombard

  • Third Place: Curtis Worlee – Adult Learning on Lombard

Adult Learning Centre:

  • 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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