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Who is eligible to participate in the ArchVoices Essay Competition?

All non-licensed architecture school graduates, current graduate students, and undergraduate students in their final year were eligible to participate.  This included interns and "non-registered architects" who never attended and/or finished architecture school.

I am an architecture school graduate, but not working within the architecture profession--am I eligible to enter the competition?


Can more than one person from a firm or school enter the competition?

Yes, we highly encourage you to promote this opportunity among your colleagues.

I am a current graduate student--can I enter the competition?

Yes, all graduate students are eligible, provided you are not yet licensed.

Entering the competition

For Stage One, is the 500-word essay an excerpt from the complete essay I will submit later?

The Stage One essay is a 500-word proposal for a longer 2,500-word essay.  If selected to move on to Stage Two, you will have an opportunity to further develop the ideas described in the first draft.

When is the deadline to submit?

Stage One essays must be submitted by no later than 9PM, Pacific Standard Time, March 14, 2003.

Who do I email my essay to?

Once Stage One has opened on February 14, 2003, you will be able to submit your essay online through this website.  Starting February 14, a link will appear on the To Enter page.

When will the winners be announced?

Selected essay writers from Stage One will be invited to continue their participation into Stage Two.  Stage Two participants will be given an additional five weeks to develop a 2,500-word essay, based on their Stage One first draft.  Overall winners will be announced on May 30, 2003.

Can I change my essay after it is submitted?

After your Stage One essay is submitted, you will be given a username and password.  You may use these to login and edit your essay, if you like.  No changes are permitted after the Stage One deadline of March 14, 2003.

Can mentors and colleagues provide feedback on my essay and/or help with editing?

Yes, colleagues may advise you, but are asked to neither compose themes nor edit written texts.  Colleagues are strongly encouraged to recommend relevant sources that the you could consult in considering your responses to the question posed.

How will the winners be selected?

Proposals and essays will be judged for content, clarity, and specificity.  Content refers to the overall theme of the proposal; clarity includes grammar and spelling; and specificity is meant with respect to the competition questions and theme.

What if I win the competition, but my firm already pays for the ARE?

The first place essay writer will receive a cash prize of $981.  The use of this cash award is not restricted. If your firm does not already cover the cost of the ARE, we encourage you to use it to cover those costs, assuming you are seeking licensure.


In my essay, do I have to cite sources or include a bibliography?

Yes, you should appropriately cite quotes and any other referenced sources in your essay.  A full bibliography is not necessary. Visit the Resources page for writing tips.

Can I submit an essay that I wrote for something else?

No, your essay should be an original piece that has not been published previously.

My essay has 525 words--is that too much?

The Stage One limit is 500 words. There is no minimum word count.

Do I have to specifically respond to the issues raised in the essays by Robert Ivy and Kirin Joya Makker?

No, although you may if you choose.  These essays and other resources are intended only to help you in your investigative process.

More information 

What is ArchVoices and how do I learn more about it?

ArchVoices is an independent, nonprofit think tank on architectural education and internship.  Other major ArchVoices initiatives include its weekly email newsletter, interactive website, and coordination of the 2002 National Summit on Architectural Internship.  To learn more, visit

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

Email or call 510/757-6213.