Nine sixth formers have won awards at the first ever national writing competition staged by Lancaster University.
There were more than 120 entries from Year 12 school students across the UK in the competition, which aims to recognise emerging writers in literary criticism, prose fiction and poetry.
The awards were judged by writers including the eminent literary critic and Distinguished Prof Terry Eagleton and poet Prof Paul Farley from the Department of English and Creative Writing.
The prizegiving for the awards took place at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Sixth Form Conference on campus.
Honor Vincent from the City of London School for Girls won first prize for literary criticism with her essay comparing the death of the father in Dylan Thomas’s poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night and Sylvia Plath’s Daddy.
“I’m really pleased because I’ve been writing for a few years and it’s a different discipline to have to write to a word limit,” she said.
Beth Hurst from Winstanley College came second in the poetry category with Was This Your Card?
“It’s good to have university lecturers reading your work and coming here gives an insight into what university is like,” she said.
Lucy Smith from Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School won third prize in the prose fiction category for her story Collision.
“I’ve never shown anyone my writing which is private so it’s very encouraging,” she said.
Prof John Schad, head of the Department of English and Creative Writing, confirmed that the competition had been a great success.
“The quality of the writing has been extremely high, and it has been very helpful for us to get a sense of how the very best students are writing at sixth form level, giving us a terrific insight into how literary criticism and creative writing are developing at A-level,” he said.
Prof Schad added: “We very much look forward to running the competition again next year.”
The three first prize winners will be published in the literary journal Cake and the second and third prize-winners have been published online.