Essay Competitions

Keffer Writing Competition

The purpose of this competition is to recognize unpublished genealogical writing by awarding winning authors with substantial prizes and by publishing their essays in FamiliesA generous benefaction from Marion Keffer, a long-time OGS member and genealogist par excellence, provides these prizes.

  • Any current member of the Society, excluding members of the Judges’ Panel, may submit a paper for consideration.
  • The competition will be announced annually in the August issue of Families.
  • Deadline for authors’ submission is midnight 01 November each year.
  • The Judges’ decisions will be announced by 01 March.
  • If mutually agreeable, the winning entries will be published in Families starting in the next August issue. Before publication the essays will receive the same editing used for all other submissions to Families.
  • Papers should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words in length excluding endnotes.
  • The focus of papers must be Canada or Ontario and genealogy. Papers should demonstrate the ability to access and understand various types of records and to cite sources. Knowledge of family migrations and descriptions of multiple generations are also part of good genealogical writing. Presentation and readability are also important.
  • The competition will not accept simple histories or biographies.
  • Winners’ names and the titles of the papers will be posted on this website page.
  • The prizes are:
    • 1st prize: $100 cash and 2 annual Society memberships (total value – $226 over two years)
    • 2nd prize: $75 cash and 1 annual Society membership (total value – $138)
    • 3rd prize: $50 cash prize only
    • 4th prize: $25 cash prize only
  • Completed essays are to be submitted to keffer@ogs.on.ca
  • For further information about the Keffer Writing Competition, please contact Families Editor at families@ogs.on.ca.

Student Essay Competitions

The Ontario Genealogical Society has established two essay competitions for students. Both require a paper to be written on a topic within family history. Both carry a prize of $500 and publication in Families.

The Mike Brede Genealogical Essay Prize is open to any full-time student in a university or community college who is either a resident of Ontario or attending an Ontario university or community college. See the Guidelines for complete information and a flyer for posting. Submission deadline is April 1 of each year (or the following business day should this date fall on a weekend).  IMPORTANT NOTICE:  The deadline for submitting essays in 2018 has been extended until April 9th!

The Dr. Don Brearley Genealogical Essay Prize is open to secondary school students in grades 11 and 12 in any Ontario school. See the Guidelines for complete information and a flyer for posting. Submission deadline is April 1 of each year (or the following business day should this date fall on a weekend).  IMPORTANT NOTICE:  The deadline for submitting essays in 2018 has been extended until April 9th!

For more information on either of these essay competitions, please contact the Awards Committee at awards@ogs.on.ca.