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.

2015/2016 competition

The topics for the 2016 Writing Competition were as follows:

  • For undergraduate students:
    ‘How important is your memory in your approach to your studies and what creative strategies do you employ to improve it?’
  • For taught postgraduate students:
    “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” (Benjamin Franklin)  Do you agree?

The winners were announced as part of an Arts and Science Festival panel discussion event on Wednesday 16 March 2016.  The panel members, who discussed how memory and forgetting was important in their area of work, were: Charlotta Salmi, English Literature, Ruth Whittle, Modern Languages, Tamara West, Ironbridge and Isabel Wollaston, Theology and Religion.

Undergraduate

The winner, who won an iPad, was Sarah Armes, who is studying on the BA African Studies with Development programme for her entry describing her semester abroad in Ghana. The judges found her piece engaging from the start and admired how she reflected on the learning strategies she employed. They also enjoyed her use of humour.

The runner up, who won £50 of book tokens, was Anna Stileman who is studying on the BA History of Art programme for her entry describing how she memorises information for an exam. The judges felt that this was an original, clever piece that had been carefully thought out and was well-focused on the topic.

Postgraduate Taught

The winner, who won an iPad, was William Peart, who is studying on the MA History programme, for his entry describing his guitar lessons with a young pupil. The judges enjoyed the storytelling element and the humour of this piece and thought it was both cleverly done and powerful.

The runner up, who won £50 of book tokens, was Liz Kemp, who is studying on the MA in Film and Television programme, for her poem ‘The Forgotten Lives’ about dementia. The judges felt that this was a very original, personal and moving response to the topic and praised the brilliant use of rhyming couplets.

The judges also wished to highly commend Justine Pick’s entry. Justine, who is studying on the MA in West Midlands History programme, wrote about Franklin’s links with Birmingham’s Lunar Society.

2014/2015 competition

Prizes were awarded as part of an Arts & Science Festival Panel Debate on Monday 16 March 2015, which debated the taught postgraduate question.

The questions were as follows:

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

Undergraduate winners

The winner, who won an iPad, was Thurstan Russell, who is studying for a BA in English Language.

The runner up, who won £50 of book tokens, was Amy McMillan, who is studying for a BA in English.

Postgraduate winners

The winner, who won an iPad, was Koumarah Appadoo, who is studying for the LLM (General).

The runner up, who won £50 of book tokens, was Jill Gurney, who is studying for an MA in the Philosophy of Health and Happiness.

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.