As with 2021, here’s a post which will summarise the various year 12 Classics-related essay competitions for the year ahead.
Every year UK universities and colleges run a wide range of essay competitions. The competitions are mainly pitched at year 12 (i.e. lower sixth form) pupils as those pupils begin to think about what they might like to study at university level.
Classics departments do a good job of this. There are plenty of essays to enter for the student who can find them. And doing the essays is a great way to explore new and different subject matter beyond the regular syllabus and to try your hand in a fun competition.
The problem, for teachers as they encourage their students to enter these competitions (unless I am very much mistaken), is that they aren’t all advertised in one place. To help with this, I am collecting all essay competitions I come across here, for ease of finding them. I will update this list as and when new information is made available. Each competition below is either explicitly focussed on Classics or contains essay questions which admit of a classical focus. Alongside the essay competitions, I’ve included the odd reading competition etc.
Please do get in touch/add a comment below if I have missed any competitions which can be added to the list. And good luck to anyone entering!
Oxford Classics and Byzantine Studies Creative Writing Competition
Deadline: not yet announced – 27 May 2021 last year
Newnham College, Cambridge: Woolf Prize, Classics Prize, Archaeology Prize
nb. girls only, state school only
Woolf: deadline 11th March 2022 (5 entries per school)
Classics: deadline 11th March 2022 (5 entries per school)
Archaeology: 11th March 2022 (5 entries per school)
St John’s College, Oxford: Classics and Ancient History Essay Competition
Deadline: 3rd March 2022
New College of Humanities Essay Competition
A lot of prize money available here, but only one topic (art history) of direct classical relevance.
Details here: https://www.nchlondon.ac.uk/essay/
Deadline: 31st January 2022
Omnibus Sam Hood Translation Prize
Deadline: 8th July 2022
Gladstone Memorial Essay Prize, ICS
Details below, deadline 8th July 2022
St Hugh’s College, Oxford Mary Renault Prize
Deadline: Not yet announced – 30th July 2021 last year
ARLT Reading competition
Deadline: 25th February 2022
Lytham St Anne’s Branch Classics Competition
Deadline: 6th March 2022, 6pm
Cambridge and District Branch Ancient History and Class Civ Essay competition (Years 10-13)
Deadline: 25th March 2022
Classical Association Creative Writing Competition (11-18)
Deadline: 3rd February 2022
UCL Greek and Latin Essay Competition
Watch this space: last year deadline was 31st August
Trinity College, Cambridge Linguistics Essay Competition
Not available yet
Last year’s details here: https://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/essay-prizes/linguistics/
Last year’s deadline: 2nd August 2021
Trinity College, Cambridge, Robson History Prize
Not available yet
Last year’s details here: https://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/essay-prizes/history/
Last year’s deadline: 1st May
Gonville and Caius, Cambridge Linguistics Challenge
watch this space
Gonville and Caius, Cambridge History essay prize
watch this space
Last year’s deadline was 5th June
Girton College, Cambridge Humanities Essay Competition
Deadline: 18th March 2022
Peterhouse, Cambridge Vellacott History Essay Prize
watch this space: cancelled last year!
Corpus Christi, Cambridge Classics Essay Competition
Watch this space: didn’t run last year
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge Classics essay Competition
2022 now open!
Deadline: 1st March 2022
Gilbert Murray Essay Competition
Scottish pupils only
Details of last year’s competition here: https://cas.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/2020/08/13/gilbert-murray-essay-competition/