Humanities Writing Competition


Entrants, supporters, students and fellows with the Mistress.


2018-19 Prizegiving


The prize-giving ceremony for the 2018-19 finalists was held on Thursday 25 April, during which four entrants visited the college.

After arriving at college, the group browsed the Lawrence Room museum with two competition judges and College Fellows, Dr Caroline Brett and Dr Gillian Jondorf. This was an opportunity for the students to view the objects that they had written about, and to see the other exciting artefacts held in the College’s museum. Following this, current Girton undergraduate students took the group on a tour of the College and gave them an insight into life as a student, as well as the history of Girton College. Finally, students were presented with their certificates during afternoon tea with the Mistress of the College, competition judges, and current undergraduate students.

The winning entries from the 2018-19 competition are now on display in the Lawrence Room, which is open to the public from 2pm-4pm on Thursdays.

Girton are grateful to Cambridge University Press and Miss C. Anne Wilson for their kind sponsorship of the competition.

 


Judges' Feedback 2018-19


GENERAL FEEDBACK

The best entrants were clearly ready for research at university level, producing extensively researched, clearly written and well-referenced essays ranging well beyond the set curriculum.  The creative writing was for the most part less inspired. Unfortunately there were quite a few vague, scrappy and poorly written offerings, and a substantial number of general essays on classical subjects which did not discuss any of the set Lawrence Room objects in detail, despite a strong reminder that it is one of the conditions of the competition that their work is based on one or more of the objects listed in the competition information.  As a group, however, the entries showed enthusiasm for the study of past worlds, gave food for thought and enhanced our appreciation of the educational and human value of Girton’s museum collection.  We hope that entering the competition has been an equally positive experience for candidates and schools.

PRIZE-WINNERS AND RUNNERS-UP

First prize: Alice Hunt, Ampleforth College, for her essay ‘Tanagra figurines: their funerary and religious context’.  The reader commented: ‘A delight to read, wide ranging, thoughtful, nuanced and academically well presented essay on possible ancient contexts and meaning of the Tanagra ‘Aphrodite’’.

Second prize: Jennifer Zhou, Dulwich College, for her essay ‘What factors contributed to the popularity of Tanagra figures in 4th Century Greece?’ ‘Strikingly well written, scholarly use of details’.

Third prize: Zac Copeland-Greene, Manchester Grammar School, for ‘“Divine Intent”? An exploration into a possible Ancient Greek depiction of the divine’ – an essay on the possible identification of the Lawrence Room figurine as Aphrodite, with a very perspicacious presentation of the evidence and good use of images.

The joint runners-up were:

Isabel Lewis, St Martin’s School, ‘Girl or Goddess? Determining the subject of a terracotta figurine’. This essay made the interesting suggestion that the figure with the ball might represent Nausicaa from the Odyssey: the enquiry was wide-ranging with good use of images and attention to detail.

Alexandra Wright, St Olave’s Grammar School, ‘Eden’.  This was a short story in which Hera’s apple of discord is pivotal in a succession of mythical events; it showed a strong knowledge of classical mythology, imaginatively treated, and with a pleasing twist at the end.


For further information on the Humanities Writing Competition,  please email humanities-comp@girton.cam.ac.uk

To find out more about studying humanities subjects at Girton, please see the subject pages.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Humanities Writing Competition
Co-ordinator
Undergraduate
humanities-comp@girton.cam.ac.uk
+44 (0)1223 338910