Newnham Essay Prizes

The Newnham Essay Prizes are now open for 2017-18.

All female students currently in Year 12 at a UK school may enter the prizes, which are being offered in Engineering, History, Modern and Medieval Languages, MusicPhilosophy, Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences, as well as our annual ‘Woolf Essay Prize’ with questions inspired by Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.

Each of the Newnham Essay Prizes has a first prize of £400, a second prize of £200 and a third prize of £100. There will be a prize-giving at Newnham College in June 2018.

We welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Each competition has a slightly different word limit, so please consult the questions and information sheet for each of the prizes. All essays must reference sources (including websites consulted) and provide a bibliography, although this is excluded from the word count.

Up to five entries may be submitted per school per subject.

Students may only enter ONE competition each

Entrants should upload their submissions to the webform, found here: Essay Prizes Form

The cover sheet should also be uploaded to this webform. Please ensure that a school/college representative has completed the appropriate section. Entries will not be valid without this information

The deadline for all 2017-18 essay prizes is 12:00pm (midday) on Friday 9th March 2018

Questions for each individual prize can be found below. You can also read the winning entries from 2017.

Cover Sheet for all Subjects

2018 Hints and Tips Document

The Woolf Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

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 and culture, 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 prize may be of particular interest to those studying English Literature, History, Politics, Philosophy or Sociology, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to any one of the questions set out in ‘2018 Questions & Information’ above, which should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words (including footnotes and captions). All sources must be appropriately acknowledged and cited, and a bibliography – including websites consulted – should be attached (though excluded from the word count). Up to five entries may be submitted per school.

The winning entries from previous competitions can be found above and may be useful as you decide how to answer your chosen question. However, it is to be noted that there are many angles from which to approach each question and those available here are only a limited sample. Good essays will present a clear argument using specific examples, but outside of this many different approaches are welcome.

Winners of the Woolf Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Eleanor Graham
2nd Prize: Charlie Matheson
3rd Prize: Georgia Mitchell

Highly Commended: Kate Lucas
Highly Commended: Evie Patel

Commended: Florence Anderson
Commended: Suzanne Azim
Commended: Millie Bloom
Commended: Hanna Hughes
Commended: Eliza Jones
Commended: Cassandra Somers-Joce
Commended: Annabel Stock


The Engineering Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

Newnham is offering an annual prize for a submission on Engineering, intended to encourage students to think creatively about how some of the scientific knowledge gained at school may be applied in later life, in particular in industry, so as to improve matters (the aim of most engineers). The prize also aims to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students and those who teach them, and also to encourage more girls to study Engineering at University.

Winners of the Engineering Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Thea Krumins
2nd Prize: Sita Tailor
3rd Prize: Tamilore Ayo-Famola

Highly Commended: Alice Ertl
Highly Commended: Anna Mills
Highly Commended: Amelia Standing

Commended: Rosanna Fresen
Commended: Justine Hong
Commended: Bridget Withers
Commended: Shannen Zeller

 


The Weston-Smith Physical Sciences Essay Prize and The Biological Sciences Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information (Physical)

2018 Questions & Information (Biological)

The Newnham Science Prizes may be of particular interest to those studying Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Geography but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit one response to either a Physical or Biological title.

The Physical Sciences Prize is kindly sponsored by Meg Weston-Smith, a scientist and author, who read Natural Sciences at Newnham.

Winners of the Weston-Smith Physical Sciences Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Josephine Jones
Joint 2nd Prize: Charlotte Ghali
Joint 2nd Prize: Sarah Walberton

Highly Commended: Aine McColgan
Highly Commended: Eve Pope
Highly Commended: Urvi Sonawane
Highly Commended: Anna Stevenson

Commended: Claudia Chavasse
Commended: Neha Ramu

Winners of The Biological Sciences Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Amelia Irwin
Joint 2nd Prize: Srishti Agarwal
Joint 2nd Prize: Elina Ganatra
3rd Prize: Rachel Jones

Highly Commended: Hannah Lin
Highly Commended: Chloe Palma

 


The History Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

The Newnham History Essay Prize may be of particular interest to those studying History, Politics, English Literature, Philosophy or Sociology, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to any one of the questions set out in ‘2018 Questions and Information’.

Winners of the History Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Ashlan Richards
2nd Prize: Sanjana Gunasekaran
Joint 3rd Prize: Eleanor Graham
Joint 3rd Prize: Helen Markus

Highly Commended: Georgia Brown
Highly Commended: Helena Heyndrickx
Highly Commended: Eve McMullen

 


The Philosophy Essay Prize 

The 2018 Questions & Information for Philosophy will be released in the New Year.

The Newnham Philosophy Essay Prize is designed to give students the opportunity to think and write about philosophy and philosophical matters in the broadest sense, while developing their independent study and writing skills. This prize may be of particular interest to those either currently studying, or considering studying, Philosophy, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects.

Winners of the Philosophy Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Cherry Dicko
2nd Prize: Heléna Vegas Quinn
3rd Prize: Maia Webb

 


The Modern and Medieval Languages Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

The Newnham Modern and Medieval Languages Essay Prize is now in its second year. This prize may be of particular interest to those currently studying languages, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to any one of the questions set out in the ‘2018 Questions and Information’. Essays should be written primarily in English.

Winners of the Modern and Medieval Languages Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Hemma Jari
2nd Prize: Effie Webb
3rd Prize: Mary Osborne

Highly Commended: Daisy Coombes
Highly Commended: Georgina Findlay
Highly Commended: Emma Tinn

Commended: Esther Leong
Commended: Anna Zakonyi


The Music Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

The Newnham Music Essay Prize is new to 2017-18. This prize may be of particular interest to those currently studying Music or History, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to any one of the questions set out in the ‘2018 Questions and Information’.


The Architecture Essay Prize (not continued in 2018)

Winners of the Architecture Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Poppy Mitchell
2nd Prize: Lucy Dabbs
3rd Prize: Dorothy Zhang

Highly Commended: Lydia Cronin
Highly Commended: Lucy Jones
Highly Commended: Catherine Sheridan
Highly Commended: Bernice Wong