2023 Gould Prize Essay Competition in English Literature with £1000 in prizes

Gould Prize Essay Competition in English Literature with £1000 in prizes

The Gould Prize Essay Competition in English Literature call for applicants is open for 2023! Candidates are invited each year to submit an essay of between 1,500 and 2,500 words on a topic to be chosen from the list of questions.

Gould Prize Essay Competition 2023 Details

The Prize has been established from a bequest made by Dr Dennis Gould in 2004 for the furtherance of education in English Literature.

This Essay Prize has the following aims. First, to encourage talented students with an interest in English Literature to explore their reading interests further in response to general questions about the subject.

Second, to encourage students with an interest in literature to apply for a University course in English. Finally, to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students from whatever background they may come, as well as the achievements of those who teach them.

The Essay Question

  1. Last night, without a sound, A ghost of a world lay down on a world, Trees like dream-wrecks

corralled with increments of frost.

(Alice Oswald) Write about silence in literature.

  1. ‘The process of narrativization has come to be seen as a central form of human comprehension, of imposition of meaning and formal coherence on the chaos of ’ (Linda Hutcheon)

Write about some ways in which novelists have balanced coherence and chaos through the process of narrativization.

  1. There is grammar in poetry. But is there, as Roman Jakobson suggests, poetry in grammar?
  2. ‘In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost.’

(The beginning of Dante’s Divine Comedy, translated by Robert M. Durling) Write about great beginnings.

  1. ‘Aeneas was about twice my age when we married. When I first saw his whole body, all muscle and sinew and bone and scar, I thought of the lean splendour of a wolf Almo and his brothers had caught and kept caged for a while before they killed it as a sacrifice to ’ (Ursula le Guin, Lavinia)

Why do we keep re-writing the classics?

  1. ‘A whole is that which has a beginning, middle, and end.’ (Aristotle) Are all dramatic works ‘whole’?

Who can enter the competition?

The competition can be entered by students in Year 12 or the Lower 6th.

Essay Competition Entry fee

The essay competition is free to enter.

Gould Prize Essay Competition 2023 Prizes

The competition carries a First Prize of £600, to be split equally between the candidate and his or her school or college, and a Second Prize of £400, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and his or her school or college. 

The school or college’s portion of each prize will be issued in the form of book tokens with which to buy English books.  In addition, further deserving essays of a high quality will be commended.  Authors of prize-winning and highly-commended essays will be invited to visit the College.

Essay Competition Application Guide

Please submit essays using the online form.

Essay application Deadline

Essays must be submitted by 12 noon UK time on 1 August 2023; late submissions cannot be accepted. Results will be announced around mid-September.

Competition Website

You can check the essay competition website following this link.

Check related prizes in the international essay competitions category

Check other prizes and contests following International Competitions category

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