2017 Student Essay Contest

The 2017 essay topic is: “Sharing Our Success, Living a Good Life”

We are excited to announce the WINNERS of the 2017 Lighting the Fire Student Essay Contest

We look forward to hearing your winning essays at the conference.

The teacher responsible for the local school essay contest whose student wins a grand prize will receive one complimentary full registration package for the 2017 Lighting the Fire conference. All teachers responsible for their local school contest, who submit a brief write-up of their contest to donnap@mfnerc.com or arlenef@mfnerc.com to be published in the MFNERC’s newsletter, will receive a complimentary instructional resource book on essay writing. Instructional materials for teaching essay writing have also been added to our website.

We want to encourage you to hold your community school essay contest before March 24, 2017 in order to have your 3 – 6 entries (max) into MFNERC by the deadline Wednesday, April 12. To be eligible for the MFNERC Lighting the Fire Student Essay Contest, all entries must have competed in a local school essay contest, and your school’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place essays are to be entered in this provincial contest.

The two provincial grand prize winners of the provincial MFNERC contest will receive:

  • a new laptop!
  • registration to the Lighting the Fire conference May 10 – 12, 2017 held in Winnipeg for the student and one parent/legal guardian
  • travel expenses for the student and one parent/legal guardian to Winnipeg including hotel 
  • an itinerary of fun student activities

Once again, we look forward to reading the essay submissions from your students. If we can be of any help to you, please contact Donna or Arlene at the emails above or at (204) 594-1290.


The eligibility and contest rules have been put in place to help ensure that the contest is as fair as possible. Any dispute concerning grand prize winners will be resolved according to the rules. 

  • The student winner must be a permanent resident of a Manitoba First Nation
  • The student winner must attend full-time a junior or senior high program at a Manitoba First Nations band-operated school
  • The student winner must be 18 years of age or younger
  • All submitted essays must have won 1st, 2nd or 3rd place at the Community School Essay Contest

LTF Essay Contest Rules

  • There are two categories for competition: Category 1 grades 7 to 9, and; Category 2 grades 10 to 12
  • Category 1 essays should be between 450-500 words; Category 2 essays should be 750-1000 words
  • Essays may be hand-written, type-written, or word processed
  • Entries must be  accompanied by a completed entry form including the student’s name, age, grade, school, First Nation, name of entrant’s teacher, school counselor, or principal and; the signature of either a parent or guardian
  • Entries must include a brief student biography
  • Entries will become the property of the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, Inc. and will be made available for publishing in MFNERC documents
  • Entries are to be submitted to the MFNERC Winnipeg Waverley office by email, fax, mail or dropped off to 200-1090 Waverley Street, Wpg, MB R3T 0P4 (see bottom)
  • The deadline for all entries is 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, 2017
  • Suggested that school competitions be held by March 24,  2017
  • Student grand prize winners must attend the Lighting the Fire conference to present their essays to the conference delegates
  • Entries must address the theme: “Sharing Our Success, Living a Good Life
  • Awarding of the grand prize winners will be at the discretion of the essay contest coordinator in accordance to the published contest rules

LTF Provincial Essay Submissions
Eligible essays must be submitted by:
4:30 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017 to:

MFNERC LTF Essay Contest
Attention: Donna Prince and Arlene Flatfoot
Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc
200-1090 Waverley Street
Winnipeg, MB R3T 0P4
(204) 594-1290 ext.2109
Fax: (204)477-4314

Teacher Resources for Essay Writing:

ChompChomp: Grammar Bytes http://www.chompchomp.com/

Big Dog’s Grammar http://www.aliscot.com/bigdog/

English Grammar 101 http://lessons.englishgrammar101.com/EnglishGrammar101/Foreword.aspx

Guide to Grammar and Writing http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

How to Write a Paragraph http://www.busyteacherscafe.com/literacy/paragraph.html

Time4Writing http://www.time4writing.com/writing-resources/paragraph-writing-secrets/

Tips-O-Matic  Paragraphs  http://www2.actden.com/Writ_den/tips/paragrap/index.htm

Wheaton College  Paragraph Unity, Coherence, and Development  http://www.wheaton.edu/Academics/Services/Writing-Center/Writing-Resources/Paragraph-Unity-Coherence-and-Development

WRITING.COM  How to Write a Good Paragraph  http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/927399-How-To-Write-A-Good-Paragraph

New Charter University  Effective Means for Writing a Paragraph  https://new.edu/resources/effective-means-for-writing-a-paragraph

tutor.com  Thesis and Paragraph Development   http://www.tutor.com/resources/resourceframe.aspx?id=4188

Essay Writing; Mapping for Success

5 Must-Do’s For Outstanding Essay Writing http://www.thestudygurus.com/outstanding-essay-writing/

How to Write a Good High School English Essay

Interactive Essay Mapping

Interactive Essay Graphic Organizer https://www.teachervision.com/tv/printables/TCR/0743932080_075.pdf

Graphic Organizer 1 http://projectwritemsu.wikispaces.com/file/view/graphic+organizers.pdf

Graphic Organizer 2 http://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/FiveParagraphEssayGraphicOrganizerJuly08_000.pdf

Topic Sentences and Signposts http://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/topic-sentences-and-signposting

Writing Effective Topic Sentences http://www.sophia.org/tutorials/writing-effective-topic-sentences–4

Transitional Words and Phrases http://www.studygs.net/wrtstr6.htm

Mix Them Up; Teaching Sentence Variety http://busyteacher.org/9522-how-to-teach-sentence-variety.html

Effective Vocabulary Instruction

IELTS Writing – Key Words and Expressions

Manitoba Education: Grade 12 English Language Arts Standards Test Information Bulletin 2012/2013 

Paragraph Development and Topic Sentences

Public Works and Government Services of Canada – Developing Unified and Coherent Paragraphs

Paragraph Development at The Writing Centre at the University of Ottawa


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