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The first instance of Lancaster’s Writing Awards has set a high standard for subsequent years. The Awards, facilitated by the Department of English and Creative Writing, have received over 100 entries from students currently in Year 12 at institutions across the country.
Described as a “strong start”, the response to the Department’s call for entries has impressed those running the competition. Head of Department and Professor of Modern Literature, John Schad, praised both the quantity and the quality of the collection of entries.
“[W]e have been enormously struck by the fineness of the writing, particularly given that the work was submitted by students still only halfway through their Year 12”
The Awards, which include categories in criticism, prose fiction and poetry, offer students the opportunity to win cash prizes of up to £100 as well as a chance to be published in Lancaster’s literary magazine, Cake, which specialises in publishing “the best in new writing, be it poetry, flash fiction or insightful reviews of new work.”
Shortlists of entries have now been compiled by academic staff with expertise in the relevant categories. Novelists Jenn Ashworth and George Green oversaw the fiction shortlist; Paul Farley, who was recently nominated for the prestigious T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry, compiled the poetry shortlist; and Professor John Schad was responsible for shortlisting the criticism essays.
Judges for the competition include members of the University’s own literary elite, including critic and Distinguished Professor of English Literature Terry Eagleton as a judge for the criticism category; Paul Farley, Helen Farish and Graham Mort as judges of the poetry category; and Jenn Ashworth, George Green and Zoe Lambert for the prose fiction category.
The announcement of the winning entries will be conducted in conjunction with Lancaster’s Sixth Form Conference, planned for July 2013, when a series of creative and critical seminars will also take place. Schad stated, “We look forward to unveiling the winners in July at the faculty’s Sixth Form Conference day.”