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.

After a brief hiatus, this contest is open again and accepting submissions until March 24, 2023.
* Please read the submission guidelines and fine print carefully for details of the content.

2023 Contest Poster

  • Click to view and save the image above or download a PDF to print and share:

2023 Starr Writer Winners

  • Amber Peters, Regional Alternative Education Centre

  • Chantel Bruyere, North End Adult Literacy Programs: Open Doors

  • Andrew Guinto, Stony Mountain Education Centre

  • Jazmine Desmond Arsenault, Seven Oaks Adult Learning Centre

  • Delores Goossen, Agassiz Adult Education Centre

  • Jasmin Regalado, Seven Oaks Adult Learning Centre


How has adult education changed your life?

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, “How has adult education changed your life?” 

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

Download the submission form and send the completed form alongside your entry to

Past Winners

2021/22 Adult Literacy Program:

  • Abdirisaq Jama – Stevenson-Britannia Adult Learning Centre
  • Lawrence Nitelet – Samaritan House Training Centre

2021/22 Adult Learning Centre:

  • Mike Boal – MITT Adult Learning Centres, Garden City
  • Patricia Nyota – Seven Oaks Adult Learning Centre
  • Karen Renshaw – ACC Centre for Adult Learning, Parkland
  • Rybecca Terry – Seven Oaks Adult Learning Centre
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