Writing Competition

The College of Arts and Law runs two writing competitions every year, one for undergraduate students and one for postgraduate students on taught courses.

This gives our talented students an additional opportunity to engage with challenging but accessible subjects to produce original and entertaining pieces of work. Prizes are awarded to the winning entries.

The College of Arts and Law is pleased to announce the 2015 Writing Competition. There will be an undergraduate and postgraduate taught winner, both of whom will be awarded an iPad. There will be a £50 book voucher awarded as a prize for second place in each of the undergraduate and postgraduate categories.

  • For undergraduate students: ‘What role should government play in education?’
  • For taught postgraduate students: ‘Can fiction generate social change?’

Competition terms


The deadline for competition entries is 12 noon on Monday 2 March 2015.

Word Limit

Entries should not exceed 500 words.  Please state the number of words used at the end of your piece of submitted writing.


Entries should take the form of a newspaper editorial or opinion piece rather than an academic essay. Footnotes and bibliographies are not expected.


You must be registered as a current undergraduate or postgraduate taught student in the College of Arts and Law for the 2014-15 academic year.

Method of Submission

Competition entries should be written in English and submitted via email as follows:

Please add your student ID number to each page of your entry. Your name should not appear anywhere on your entry as all entries will be judged anonymously. 

Judging Criteria

You are allowed to submit one entry only.  Your entry must be your own work.  Competition entries will be judged on their interest, originality, clarity, style and structure.  Entries will be judged by a panel chaired by either the College Director of Education, the Deputy Director of Education or their nominee and the winners and runners up will be announced at 12.30pm on Monday 16March 2015 at an Arts and Science Festival event in Arts Building Lecture Room 7 - all entrants are warmly encouraged to attend this event.

The judges’ decisions will be final.  The judges reserve the right not to award the prizes.  The judges will not enter into correspondence about the outcome. No alternative prizes will be offered.  With their authors’ consent, the winning entries will be published on the College of Arts and Law’s website and may be used in University publications. 

2013/2014 competition

Prizes were awarded as part of an Arts & Science Festival Panel Debate on Wednesday 19 March 2014, which debated the undergraduate question.

Undergraduate winners

The winner, who won an iPad, was Joanne Walton, who is studying for a BA in English with Creative Writing.
UG Writing Competition winner 2013-14 (PDF - 76KB)

The runner up, who won £50 of book tokens, was Ellicia Pendle, who is studying for a BA in English Literature and History.
UG Writing Competition runner-up 2013-14 (PDF - 92KB)

Postgraduate winners

The winner, who won an iPad, was Philip Johnson, who is studying for an MA in TEFL by distance and who lives in Korea.
PGT Writing Competition winner 2013-14 (PDF - 124KB)

The runner up, who won £50 of book tokens, was Austin Gardiner, who is studying for an MA in Applied Linguistics by distance and who lives in Japan.
PGT Writing Competition runner-up 2013-14 (PDF - 124KB)

2012/2013 competition

In 2012-13, the College of Arts and Law ran two Essay Writing Competitions.