What is it?

Each year the CAV selects three topics (one per level) for students to write about Latine! Do you have a student that loves to write in Latin any chance they can? This contest is for them! This contest is named after Arthur F. Stocker, a Latin teacher with a passion for using Latin. 

How can I participate?

The contest is open only to students in high schools and preparatory schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia whose teacher is currently a member of the Classical Association of Virginia and whose dues for the current school year have been paid in full at the time when the entry is submitted.

There is no fee for essays entered in the Latin Essay Contest.

All entries must be submitted through the Latin teacher, with clarification of 1) the student’s level of Latin and years studying Latin, and 2) The author(s) and title of the basic textbook being used in the course.

What classifies as Advanced Latin?

Students in Latin III and above may write about the topic under the Advanced level. If the number of contestants warrants it, there will be separate competitions and awards for the students in fourth or fifth year Latin, but this shall be entirely at the discretion of the judges.

Rules for Submission

  1. The first page of the each entry shall be blank, except for: a) the full name and home address (including the zip code) of the contestant. Nick-names should not be used; b) the full name (including the middle initial) of the contestant’s Latin teacher; c) the name and post office address (including the zip code) of the school in which the contestant is enrolled.
  2. The contestant’s name shall appear in the upper right-hand corner of every page submitted, except for the first page (see Rule #1, above)
  3. The name of the Latin teacher and the name of the school shall not appear anywhere except on the first page of the entry, as prescribed in Rule #1, above.
  4. Contestants may write only on the subject specified for the level of Latin in which they are enrolled. The limitations of the number of words for each subject should be carefully observed.
  5. No help from any person is permitted in the preparation of this essay. Reference books on Roman literature, Roman life, Roman history, Roman religion, Latin dictionaries, and Latin grammar may of course be used, but a bibliography identifying books that have been used should appear at the end of the essay.
  6. Judging will be based both upon the content of the essay and on Latin usage, but the correctness of the Latin will be the most important factor. Contestants should make a conscious effort to incorporate new syntactical features of the Latin language that they have encountered for the first time on the level of Latin for which they are currently enrolled. The syllabi for Latin I, Latin II, and Latin III that have been prepared for students taking the Latin Tournament examinations should be consulted.
  7. The names of the winners in each competition and of those receiving honorable mention will be announced at the spring meeting of the Classical Association of Virginia.
  8. All entries become the property of the Classical Association of Virginia, and will not be returned to the write after judging. Contestants who want to keep a copy should make one for themselves before submission. The decision of the judges will in all cases be final.


Nota bene: Teachers should inform students that by entering this competition, they are giving the CAV permission to publish their names in any of its official publications. This permission is given unless the students make written requests to the contrary.


Teachers should either send student entries to John Miller at  jfm4j@virginia.edu or mail to the address below.

John F. Miller

Director, CAV Arthur F. Stocker Latin Essay Contest

University of Virginia, Department of Classics

B018 Cocke Hall, P.O. Box 400788

Charlottesville, VA 22904-4788