Year 12 Classics Essay Competitions 2022

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

Details here: https://www.newn.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduates/newnham-essay-prizes/

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

Details here: https://www.sjc.ox.ac.uk/discover/news/classics-and-ancient-history-essay-competition-now-open/

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

Details here: https://classicalassociation.org/events/omnibus-sam-hood-translation-prize-2022/

Deadline: 8th July 2022

Gladstone Memorial Essay Prize, ICS

Details below, deadline 8th July 2022

St Hugh’s College, Oxford Mary Renault Prize

Details here: https://www.st-hughs.ox.ac.uk/prospectivestudents/outreach/mary-renault-prize/

Deadline: Not yet announced – 30th July 2021 last year

ARLT Reading competition

Details here: https://www.arlt.co.uk/event-posts/reading-competition-2022/

Deadline: 25th February 2022

Lytham St Anne’s Branch Classics Competition

Details here: https://classicalassociation.org/events/lytham-st-annes-branch-classics-competition-final/

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

Details here: https://www.girton.cam.ac.uk/humanities-writing-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!

Details here: https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/study-us/undergraduate/opportunities-prospective-applicants/essay-competitions

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/

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