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Passionately Writing Austen and the Brontës

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Jane Austen and the Brontës sometimes create characters who find themselves in situations that prompt them to write passionate letters (expressing love, distress, or other strong emotions).


Some of these include Darcy’s voluminous letter to Elizabeth after his first proposal (Chapter 35 of Pride and Prejudice), Captain Wentworth’s letter of “half agony, half hope” to Anne Elliot (Chapter 23 of Persuasion), Isabella Linton’s brooding letter to Nelly (Chapter 13 of Wuthering Heights), the dispassionate letter Mr. Rochester writes to Jane Eyre inviting her to become governess to Adèle (Chapter 10 of Jane Eyre), and St. John Rivers’ ominous letter to Jane at the very end of the novel (Chapter 38 of Jane Eyre).

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Contest Guidelines

  • Open to all ages (see prompts for each age group below).

  • Two winners will be selected.

  • Deadline: April 19, 2024

  • Prizes include:

    • 50% scholarship to JASP 2025

    • Gift book set

For writers ages 18+

Think of a modern-day situation that you imagine would produce a passionate response. Then, writing from the perspective of a particular character in a novel by either Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, or Emily Brontë, compose a written letter adopting their voice.


This letter that you compose can be addressed to anyone–real or imagined–but it must have a specific recipient, and the letter should clearly articulate the reason why this letter has been written. Strong letters will be imaginative in their use of epistolary structure.


Compositions must be at least 250 words and no more than 1,000 words.

For writers under 18

Pretend you are Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, or one of their characters. Write an emotional letter on the topic of your choice in their style. 


Compositions must be at least 250 words and no more than 1,000 words.

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