Essay Contest

Texas Map Society Essay Contest


The Texas Map Society is pleased to announce our first annual Essay Contest for undergraduate and graduate students from universities and colleges in Texas and adjoining states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana). Our purpose is to recognize outstanding students who can help share our excitement about the study, application, and appreciation of maps.

The essay should reflect original research and analysis that has not been previously published. It may include the output resulting from a community college, 4-year undergraduate, or graduate class assignment or individual research.

Suggested topics may include:
• History of Cartography
• History of an individual map or map-maker, cartographer
• Surveying, Geosciences/GIS (e.g., Historical Geography, Environmental Studies, Meteorology, Oceanography)
• Application of maps to understanding the cultural, geo-political, or physical
characteristics of an area, era or event
• Visual Arts (e.g., engraving, map-making techniques, artistry)

Length: 1,000-2,000 words, plus footnotes and bibliography. Illustrations
and footnotes required.

Citation format: Chicago Manual of Style.

Submission: All entries should be submitted to the editor of Texas Map Society The Neatline in Word format. Include JPG or TIF files for images (300 dpi minimum). Essays should be sent to:

Deadline: December 1, 2018 (entries received after this date will not be eligible for consideration).

Judging Criteria: Essays will be judged on their originality, analytical insight, clarity of expression, and creative use of cartography. A panel of TMS Members will select three winning essays: a first prize and two runners-up.


  • All qualified entrants will receive a free one-year membership in the Texas Map Society.
  • The first prize winner will receive a $200 stipend
  • The two runners-up will each receive a $100 stipend.
  • All winners will have their winning essays published in The Neatline, receive a two year TMS membership, and have the option of attending and presenting their paper at a future TMS event.
  • The judges may select additional essays for honorable mention recognition, publication, and membership awards.

Submission of an essay for consideration will also constitute permission to edit (as needed) and publish it in the Texas Map Society (TMS) newsletter, The Neatline and post it on the TMS website