University of Cincinnati
Bicentennial Essay Contest

The Bicentennial Essay Contest, open to the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the University of Cincinnati, was created to generate a diverse and eclectic array of written and visual materials for publication as part of the University of Cincinnati Bicentennial Celebration in 2019.

Winning entries will focus on a particular and personal aspect of the University of Cincinnati and all entries should be composed to engage an audience of readers who may be unfamiliar with UC. In general, successful entries will not be comprehensive surveys of historical topics, but focused explorations of specific subjects related to the contestant's unique experience at the University of Cincinnati or a focused aspect of the university’s history — a person, a place, a thing or a time. Entries should be aimed at an educated audience who need not be familiar with the jargon of specialized fields of knowledge. Written entries must be shorter than 3,000 words. Visual entries may include no more than 12 images.

Grand prize winners in each of four categories will receive a cash award of $1,000. In each category, a second prize of $500 and a third prize of $250 will be awarded.

Contest categories are:

  • Student essay - Written compositions created by current graduate and undergraduate students enrolled through any of the campuses of the University of Cincinnati.
  • Faculty/Staff essay - Written compositions created by current faculty and employees of any department of the University of Cincinnati.
  • Alumni essay - Written compositions created by graduates and former students of the University of Cincinnati.
  • Visual essay - Compositions in graphic media (photography, print, painting, etc.) created by students, faculty, staff or alumni of the University of Cincinnati.

Text entries must be submitted via email in a MS Word document (in .doc or .docx format), double-spaced, using standard fonts (Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri) in 12-point type. Entries must be formatted using numbered pages and 1-inch margins on all sides.

Visual entries must be submitted in digital format as separate jpg files with resolution at 300 dpi or higher. Materials may be submitted in standard archival formats (zip, rar, DropBox, etc.)

Please submit entries to the Spirit of History Committee, attention Greg Hand via email at Entries will be accepted through midnight on March 31, 2016.

Winners will be selected by the University of Cincinnati Bicentennial Commission Spirit of History Committee.

Contributor’s Information

To qualify for this contest, each entry must include the following information:

Contributor Contact Information:

  • Contributor’s Name
  • University of Cincinnati affiliation
    • Current college or department
    • Dates of attendance or degree earned
  • Postal Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Email Address

Entry Information:

  • Essay Title
  • Category:
    • Student
    • Faculty/Staff
    • Alumni (please include dates of attendance)
    • Visual

By submitting materials to this contest, contributors agree to assign first publication rights to the University of Cincinnati, agreeing that the Spirit of History Committee will have exclusive first use.

Neither the Spirit of History Committee nor the University of Cincinnati guarantees that materials submitted for participation in this contest will be published in any format.