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The Prize is for Lucy Cavendish Students in all subjects.

The College has a strong tradition of supporting and celebrating creative writers with the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize being testament to this. It has been the catalyst for numerous bestselling debuts and emerging literary talent. The College has several prizes for its own students too, like the Florence Staniforth Student Fiction Prize.

Funded by the Florence Staniforth Award for Excellence in Creative Writing, the prize is for students from any discipline studying at Lucy Cavendish College. Students are invited to submit a short story to a panel of judges led by Director of Studies in English Dr Clare Walker-Gore. Also on the panel is Fellow Emerita Dr Isobel Maddison and Creative Writing Teacher and Writer, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Speller.

The winner of the Student Prize will be awarded £100 and will be announced on the same evening as the main Fiction Prize award ceremony.

Isobel said:
“This is an exciting College prize open to students studying any subject. Short stories are a flexible way of communicating a central idea or developing the significance of a brief incident and much more. No experience of creative writing is needed to submit an entry. The judging panel are hoping for plenty of entries!”

Read about the 2023 student prizes winners here

Interview with Adele Rickerby, winner of the 2022 Student Fiction Prize

How to enter

Students need to submit a short story with a word limit of 4000 words to Please use font size 12 and double-spaced lines. Entries must be anonymised. Entry to the Prize is free.

Entries for the Prize are now closed.

If you have any questions please contact

The judges

Dr Clare Walker-Gore - Director of Studies in English

Chair of judges for the Student Fiction Prize, Clare is a College Assistant Professor and Director of Studies in English at Lucy Cavendish. Clare works mainly on the Victorian period, particularly on Victorian novels. Her current project explores life writing by and about female novelists in the Victorian period: she is interested in how women novelists 'plot' their lives in their auto/biographies, and how they responded to one another's fictional and non-fictional portrayals of women writers' lives. Full profile here.

Dr Isobel Maddison - Fellow Emerita

Isobel is a Fellow Emerita of Lucy Cavendish College where she was College Lecturer and Director of Studies in English (2007-2021), as well as being Vice-President from 2013-2019. She has published widely on writers including Katherine Mansfield, Dorothy Richardson, George Bernard Shaw, Max Beerbohm, Eric Ambler and Agatha Christie. She works primarily on the connections between modernism and popular literature and has spent many years researching and writing about Elizabeth von Arnim, an author of best-selling fiction and a frequent Book-of-the-Month choice in her heyday. Isobel is also an advisor to the Lucy Writers Platform.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Speller – Creative Writing Teacher and Writer

Lizzie was an undergraduate at Lucy Cavendish and stayed on to complete an MPhil.

She is an author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Her novels have been translated into eight languages, her short stories include “The Incumbent” in the anthology Kiss and Part and her poem “Finisterre” was short-listed for the Forward Prize. She also set the words for the musical elegy ‘Farewell’ commissioned by Sir Paul McCartney and composed by Michael Berkeley.

Lizzie has taught at the universities of Birmingham and Bristol, was a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Warwick and has been teaching creative writing at ICE Madingley Hall while writing her fourth novel for Virago.