Essay Contest At the End of the World


Alt-ac essay competition is open to A-Level and Undergraduate students who are interested in Humanities and Social Science. Students will need to submit an essay based on the theme “At the End of the World: Humanity Post-Pandemic” with reference made to the impact of Covid-19 within communities, societies and/or individual lives.

This competition is an opportunity for going beyond the curriculum you are currently studying; giving you the opportunity to research a topic of interest in relation to the theme.

Creative entries that engage with the theme and meet the judging criteria will be welcome in the form of short stories, scripts and monologues. If you would like to submit a creative piece and an essay, we will accept multiple entries but each individual entry will be charged as normal.

Please note, A-Level and Undergraduate students will be judged separately although the prizes are the same for A-Level and Undergraduates.

Deadline: 5pm on Friday 29th January, 2021.

Winners Announced: 19th March, 2021

*(winners will be revealed on Twitter before being emailed separately)


1st Prize: The winning essay will be published in our open access journal: Rogue – The Journal for Alternative Academia and invited to read the essay at the Alt-ac conference 2021. 1-year free membership to Alt-ac and there will also be a £50 Amazon Voucher.

2nd Prize: £25 Amazon Voucher + 1-year free membership to Alt-ac.

3rd Prize: £10 Amazon Voucher + 1-year free membership to Alt-ac.

Competition Rules

  1. Submissions must relate to the topic of ‘Humanity Post-Pandemic’ and specifically refer to the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Equally, appropriate links with your chosen discipline/subject area should be clear throughout.
  2. The essay title must be constructed by the candidate (although we encourage consulting academic supervisors/teachers in this endeavour).
  3. The word limit is 2000 words (including references). You should be within 10% of the word count. A word count and reference list must be included.
  4. You must use Chicago Author-Date Referencing Style – more information on this at:
  5. Every page should be in a standard font, lines 1.5 spaced, and your full name and level of study should be in the header.
  6. The submission must be ONE document only; Microsoft word or PDF format only. The submission form should be the first page of the document.
  7. Submissions without a reference list, submission form, or that have not followed the above will not be considered.
  8. Submissions beyond the deadline will not be considered.
  9. The judges have the right to not award a prize (or part of a prize) if there is no entry deemed worthy of the above.

Judges will Consider:

Engagement with Theme Including:Use of Knowledge Including:Argument and Analysis Including:Presentation Including:
Independent thought on the issue

Essay question construction

Connection of the theme to academic discipline(s)
Selection of relevant knowledge

Application to essay question

Selection and reliability of sources
Coherent logical structure

Critical engagement with differing perspectives

Conclusion drawn from the
material in the essay and relating clearly to essay question
Good use of English language

Technical vocabulary appropriate to academic discipline(s)

Fully referenced

Submission must be accompanied by a £1 donation to alt-ac. Please ensure you include your name in the description of the donation, so we can ensure your donation is accounted for. If paying for more than one submission (i.e. for a class) please include all names in the description, or email with the names of the submissions you are paying for. You can pay for the submissions via PayPal here:

Submissions must also come accompanied by a submission form, which can be downloaded here.