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University of Oxford Faculty of English

Prizes and Studentships

Various prizes are available for students and graduate students. 

 

If you have any queries about the Faculty's prizes, please contact Rebecca Costello.

NB: When submitting your entry for a prize the term 'motto' denotes a short phrase by which a candidate can be identified to the judges while remaining anonymous.

 

SIR ROGER NEWDIGATE PRIZE 2017

In 2016 the Sir Roger Newdigate Prize was awarded to Mary Anne Clark for her entry 'Sinai'. The judges would like to thank all those who submitted an entry, and wish them luck in the future.

The prize will be awarded, provided there is an entry of sufficient merit, for best composition in English verse not exceeding 300 lines in length on the subject of ‘Flight’.

The prize is open to an undergraduate who has not exceeded four years from matriculation. The value of the prize is approximately £450 (exact value to be determined by the Fund balance).

Poems (one copy) should be submitted, under a sealed cover marked ‘Sir Roger Newdigate Prize’, to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, not later than Monday of 8th week, Hilary Term 2017. Authors should conceal their names and identify their entries by a motto. The name, college, and date of matriculation should be submitted at the same time in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it.

 

MATTHEW ARNOLD MEMORIAL PRIZE 2017

The winner of the Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize in 2016 was Lizzie Mundell Perkins, for her entry 'Nietzsche and Dostoevsky’s Aesthetic Existentialism'. Rebecca Ipe was awarded the additional prize for her entry 'In Praise of Graveyards: Art and the Connection of Community.' The judges would like to thank all those who entered!

The Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize, the value of which is £750, providing there is an entry of sufficient merit, is open to members of the University, who, on the closing date for receipt of essays, have qualified by examination for the Degree of BA and have not exceeded seven years from matriculation or have qualified by examination for any other degree of the University and have not exceeded four years from matriculation or, not being graduates of the University, are pursuing a course of study leading to a postgraduate degree of the University and have not exceeded three years from their matriculation. An additional prize, of £350, may be awarded. The subject of the prize is ‘Culture is then properly described not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection’ (Culture and Anarchy).

Essays should be submitted, under a sealed cover marked ‘The Matthew Arnold Prize’, to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, not later than Monday of 7th week, Hilary Term 2017. Authors should conceal their names and identify their essays by a motto. The name, college, and date of matriculation should be submitted at the same time in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it. Essays are not expected to exceed 5,000 words, though no maximum length has been prescribed.

The prize will not be awarded twice to the same person.

 

CHANCELLOR'S ENGLISH ESSAY PRIZE 2017

In 2016, the Chancellor's English Essay Prize was awarded to Christopher Robson for his entry A discussion of ‘longing’ in modern fantasy. The judges would like to thank all those who entered.

The Chancellor's English Essay Prize, the value of which is £250, providing there is an entry of sufficient merit, is open to members of the University who on the closing date for receipt of essays have not exceeded four years from the date of their matriculation. The subject of the prize is: 'Dreams'.

Essays should be submitted, under a sealed cover marked ‘Chancellor's English Essay Prize’, to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, not later than Monday of 8th week, Hilary Term 2017. Authors should conceal their names and identify their essays by a motto. The name, college, and date of matriculation should be submitted at the same time in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it. Essays should not exceed 12,500 words in length.

The prize will not be awarded twice to the same person.

 

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS MEMORIAL PRIZE 2017

In 2016, the Lord Alfred Douglas Memorial Prize was awarded to Camille Ralphs for her entry 'Hatch'. The judges would like to thank all those who submitted an entry, and wish them luck in the future.

A prize of £500 will be awarded, providing there is an entry of sufficient merit, for the best sonnet or other poem written in English and in strict rhyming metre. Any member of the University, who is registered for a degree of the University, whether as an undergraduate or a graduate student, may enter for the prize. The prize shall not be awarded more than once to the same person. A copy of the winning entry shall be deposited in the Bodleian Library.

Poems (one copy) are to be sent under a sealed cover marked ‘The Lord Alfred Douglas Memorial Prize’ to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, no later than Monday of 1st week, Trinity Term 2017. Each author is required to conceal his or her name and to distinguish his or her composition by a motto, sending at the same time his or her name, college, address, and matriculation date in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it. No author may submit more than three entries.

 

SHELLEY‑MILLS PRIZE 2017

In 2016, the Shelley-Mills Prize was not awarded. However, the judges would like to thank all those who submitted an entry, and wish them luck in the future.

This prize, the purpose of which is to promote the study of the works of William Shakespeare, providing there is an entry of sufficient merit, is open to members of the University who on the date of this supplement have not exceeded three years from matriculation; and who have not been a member of any other university for more than a year.

The value of the prize is about £80, and will be awarded for the best essay on the subject of: ‘Citizen Shakespeare’.

The essays (which should consist of about 5,000 words) are to be sent under sealed cover marked ‘Shelley-Mills Prize’ to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, no later than Monday of 8th week, Hilary Term 2017. Candidates are required to conceal their names and distinguish their essays by a motto. The name and college of the candidate should be sent at the same time in a separate sealed envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it. Candidates must also submit a statement by the Head or Senior Tutor of their College that they have not been a member of any university other than Oxford for more than one year. Candidates should also include their matriculation date.

 

ENGLISH POEM ON A SACRED SUBJECT 2016

The subject for the prize will be: 'As rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land' (Isa. 32.2)

The poem must consist of not less than sixty or more than 300 lines. It may be blank verse or in any form of verse rhymed in couplets or stanzas. There is a tradition which discourages dramatic form of composition for this prize.

Candidates for the prize (value of about £2,000) shall be members of the University who, not later than the closing date for entries for the competition, shall have qualified by examination for a degree of the University; or shall hold the Degree of Master of Arts by incorporation or by decree or by resolution; or shall hold the status of Master of Arts; or shall have qualified by examination for a degree of any other university. The judges may, at their discretion, also make an award to the proxime accessit. Should no such award be made the value of the main award will be increased.

Poems (four copies) are to be sent under a sealed cover marked ‘Sacred Subject Prize’ to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, no later than Monday of 8th Week, Trinity Term 2016. Each author is required to conceal his or her name and to distinguish his or her composition by a motto, sending at the same time his or her name, college, address and details of degree awarded (title, university and date, which the Faculty will require proof of, before award of the prize) in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it.

The prize may not be awarded more than twice to the same person.

The winner for the English Poem on a Sacred Subject Prize in 2013 was Kieron Winn for his entry ‘False God’.  The runner-up award was given to Adam Bridgen, for his entry 'Bath', available to view here.  The judges would like to thank all those who entered.

 

 JON STALLWORTHY POETRY PRIZE 2017

The English Faculty and Wolfson College, Oxford are delighted to announce the setting up of a new poetry competition for postgraduate students.

This competition has been set up in memory of the late Professor Jon Stallworthy (1935-2014), poet and Fellow of Wolfson College, and is open to any student currently enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford. The funding for the prize has been provided by generous donations to the English Faculty and to Wolfson College, Oxford from Old Possum's Practical Trust and from the Derek Hill Foundation (with thanks to Lord Gowrie).

The prize will be awarded, provided there is an entry of sufficient merit, for the best poem in English verse not exceeding 40 lines in length. The subject of the prize is 'Leaves'. The value of the prize is £1,000, and entrants may submit up to three poems.

Poems (three copies) should be submitted, under a sealed cover marked ‘Jon Stallworthy Poetry Prize’, to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, by Friday of 8th week, Michaelmas Term 2016. Authors should conceal their names and identify their entries by a motto. The name, college, and date of matriculation should be submitted at the same time in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it.

 

Graduate Studentships

Details on studentships available for graduate study may be found here.