The Dr. Helen Connell Film Essay Award Contest

The Dr. Helen Connell Film Essay Award Contest

Write an essay about film for the chance to win cash award and publication!

The Dr. Helen Connell Film Essay Award Contest

Dr. Helen Connell was an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Barry University and served for several years as Chair of the Department. She taught courses in American and World Literature and the Humanities, but her true passion was film, and she integrated film into many of her courses. Dr. Connell was a scholar, historian, and critic of film, and she maintained a small compendium of facts, legends, and trivia about the medium. This award is named in her honor and is intended to promote the study of film as an art form.   

Winners of the award will be acknowledged at this year’s Honors Convocation in May. In addition to the award, winners will receive $50, and the essay will be published in the next issue of What Oft Was Thought, our award-winning literary journal.


Essays should apply critical approaches to film and television. Students may wish to explore issues related to themes, auteur theories, mise-en-scène, film history, feminist theories, Marxist theories, and semiotics.

Email submissions as attachments with the subject line “Helen Connell Essay Award Contest” to by February 8, 2020.

Contest Rules

  • Essay should be no fewer than 2,000 words and no more than 3,500
  • Only one essay may be submitted per student
  • Open to all registered Barry University students in good standing
  • Deadline for submissions is February 8, 2020

Submission Requirements

  • 12-point, Times New Roman font
  • Format: .doc or .docx (Word document)
  • For each submission, state which category each submission is for. The categories are:
    • Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Graphic Novels
    • Hint Fiction
    • Essays
  • In a separate attachment, titled “Personal Information,” please provide the following information:
    • Name
    • Student ID number
    • Permanent address
    • Telephone number
    • Email address
    • Academic major
    • A 2-3 sentence biography that reflects your particular interest in writing.

Sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta and the Department of English & Foreign Languages.