Woolf category of Newnham College’s annual essay prizes

Newnham College, Cambridge: Woolf Essay Prize 2017

 June 29th, 2017


Charlie Matheson (12DS) has been awarded 2nd Prize in the Woolf Essay Prize, run by Newnham College, Cambridge University. Exploring the symbolism of ‘home’ in literature, Charlie researched and wrote about ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’.

Newnham College’s annual essay prize competitions are designed to encourage ambitious female sixth form students to explore university-level subjects and themes and to develop their independent research and writing skills.

A record-breaking number of entries were received from a wide range of schools across eight different categories; Architecture, Biological Sciences, Engineering, History, Modern and Medieval Languages, Philosophy, Physical Sciences, and the Woolf Essay Prize, with questions inspired by Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’.

Virginia Woolf based ‘A Room of One’s Own’ on a series of lectures she gave at Newnham in 1928.

Winners were selected by a panel of Newnham academics after hundreds of essays were received. Each competition has a prize of £400 for first place, £200 for second place, and £100 for third place.

All of the winners were invited to the women’s college at the heart of Cambridge University on Saturday (June 24) to take part in a special ceremony where they were presented with their prizes by Professor Dame Carol Black, Principal of Newnham College (seen pictured with Charlie, top left).

Dr Sam Lucy, Newnham Admissions Tutor, said: “The field this year was particularly strong, with a record number of entries, and the judges were impressed by the range and quality of the research undertaken by the entrants. Whittling that field down to the winners and runners-up of the eight prizes involved some hard decisions, but those chosen are well-deserved winners and should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

A group of Year 12 students from KCC will also be visiting Cambridge for the University Open Day at the beginning of July.


The Woolf Essay Prize Winners 2017

1st Prize: Eleanor Graham, Hitchin Girls’ School

2nd Prize: Charlie Matheson, Kingsbridge Community College

3rd Prize: Georgia Mitchell, Hills Road Sixth Form 


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