Woolf Essay Prize 2024

The Woolf Essay Prize 2024 is now open!

Woolf Essay Prize 2024 Information and Questions

In 1928, Virginia Woolf addressed the Newnham Arts Society on the Subject of ‘Women and Fiction’, and from this talk emerged her seminal text, A Room of One’s Own. Newnham is very proud of its place in the history of women’s education, and we are delighted in the continuation of the Woolf Essay Prize. A Room of One’s Own raises a number of questions surrounding the place of women in society, culture, and education, and the competition allows students to contemplate these themes and ideas while developing the independent research and writing skills essential to university-level study.

This year, the Woolf Essay Prize is open to all Women in Year 12 (or equivalent), regardless of school or country. For more information, including the question list, word limit, and submission details, please consult the Information and Questions document. The deadline for submission is 09:00am BST on Monday 8th July 2024. For any queries not answered here, please contact essayprizes@newn.cam.ac.uk.

The Woolf Essay Prize will run separately to our Essay Writing Masterclass Programme, which encompasses a variety of subject interests.

This prize may be of particular interest to those studying English Literature, History, Politics, Philosophy or Sociology, but we absolutely welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects.

Find out more about studying English Literature at University of Cambridge

Meet Shakespeare scholar Dr Bonnie Lander-Johnson

Read essays from previous winners of the Woolf Essay Prize 2022 here: 

First PrizeIsobel Brewer

Second PrizeRose Rowland

Third PrizeAnnie Fogden

Congratulations to the author of our highly commended entries, Dorina Nentcheva, Mair Andrews, and Ruby Watts.

Please note information submitted as part of this competition will be used by the College for the purposes of assessing your essay as part of the Woolf Essay Prize. Certain personal details (questions 24-33 in the submission form) may also inform research which includes evaluation of the effectiveness of this programme for different types of participant, and equalities monitoring. All essay submissions are retained by the College permanently in the College Archive, with winning entries additionally published on the Newnham College website. If you have any questions about the use of your data, please contact essayprizes@newn.cam.ac.uk in the first instance.

Information about how your personal information will be used by us in connection with the administration of this event/activity, and for related purposes, is available here.