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Northwest Anthropological Association

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NWAC 2021

Student Paper Competition

2021 Northwest Anthropological Conference 
Student Paper Competition



The competition is open to any individual enrolled in an accredited degree-granting institution (graduate and undergraduate). All contestants are expected to attend the duration of the conference. 


Subject matter is open to all anthropological subfields. Contestant submissions will ideally incorporate this year’s theme into the paper. Papers focused on research in the Pacific Northwest are preferred. The award groups will be based on the sources of the entries and awards may be given to groups organized by education level (graduate student and undergraduate categories) and/or anthropological subfield (cultural anthropology / archaeology / physical anthropology / linguistics). A minimum of four entries are needed to comprise a distinct award group.  A maximum of four awards will be made.


The winning papers will receive an award and be included in a volume published by the Journal of Northwest Anthropology (JONA). Winning papers will be printed as a special publication in JONA as submitted, or if desired by the author, will be put through the JONA peer review process so that it can be considered a "peer-reviewed" publication.


Contestants need to submit paper title and abstract through the conference abstract submission system by March 15, 2021. Be sure to indicate that the submitted paper is an entry for the NWAC 2021 Student Paper Competition, graduate or undergraduate student, and anthropological subfield. Contestants will be selected from the entries based on the title, abstract, and keywords of their submissions. Accepted entries will be notified of their acceptance to the competition by 8 pm on March 16, 2021. We realize that this is a different approach than in past years, but believe that significant research can occur before these deadlines and that a conference-sized paper presentation can be produced from that research within a month’s time with advanced planning.  


Complete paper manuscripts from accepted contestants (which should follow the guidelines listed below) are due by March 22, 2021 and should be submitted electronically to the NWAC 2021 Student Paper Competition Portal on the NWAC web site at the following address:


  1. Manuscripts will be submitted as both a PDF and Word document to the NWAC 2021 Student Paper Competition Portal on the NWAC web site at the following address:

  2. Manuscripts must be written with the student as sole author. This competition is for students, but we recognize that many students work together and often have co-authors and collaborators from the communities in which they do their research. Advisors and collaborators should be listed in the acknowledgements for the paper but the final work should be the sole responsibility of the author.

  3. Manuscripts are not to exceed 7,000 words and should be prepared following the JONA Style Guide format. Figures and tables should each be referenced in the text and serve a clear purpose.  All figures and tables will be compiled with captions, presented in order following the text and meet the JONA requirements for resolution and clarity.  Winning papers will be required to be formatted according to JONA guidelines prior to publication (

  4. Submissions will be judged anonymously—the author’s name and institutional affiliation should be removed from the manuscript in both the Word and PDF versions. Acknowledgements should not be included in the submission as this affects anonymity (if chosen as winning paper, you may include acknowledgements when your manuscript is published). 

  5. Provide all contact information through the NWAC web page portal used to submit the manuscript.

  6. Judging Criteria:

a. Anthropology sub-field relevance of the research problem, question, or issue being investigated and clarity of objectives,

b. Originality of the premise,

c. Quality and implementation of the research design,

d. Incorporation of conference theme into the paper is not required for the anthropology sub-field categories, but can be used as a tie-breaker. 

e. Quality of writing including organization, clarity, and grammar, and

f. Ability to follow directions. 


Questions about submissions should be emailed to (

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