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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. Last year the College introduced a prize for its own students too; 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 Fellow Emerita Dr Isobel Maddison. Also on the panel are published authors and creative writing teachers, Jo Browning Wroe and Miranda Doyle. 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!”

Five students shortlisted for 2022 Student Fiction Prize

How to enter

Students need to submit a short story with a word limit of 4000 words to Ella Barrett at Please use font size 12 and double-spaced lines. Entries must be anonymised.
Submissions deadline has now passed. Entry to the Prize is free.
If you have any questions please contact

The judges

Dr Isobel Maddison - Fellow Emerita

Chair of judges for the Student Fiction Prize, 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.

Dr Alexander Freer - Director of Studies in English

Alex Freer is College Lecturer and Director of Studies in English at Lucy Cavendish, and author of Wordsworth's Unremembered Pleasure (2020). His research focuses on eighteenth century and Romantic writing, and theories of literary criticism.

Miranda Doyle - Creative Writing Tutor, Writer and Teacher

Miranda teaches writing at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education and the Faber Academy. Her memoir, A Book for Untruths, was published by Faber in 2017 and she is one of Hawthornden’s 2020 Writing Fellows.

Padma Viswanathan - Author and Scholar

Padma Viswanathan is the author of two novels: The Toss of a Lemon (2008) published in eight countries and shortlisted for the Pen Center USA Fiction Prize among others, and The Ever After of Ashwin Rao (2014), also published internationally and a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her short fiction, personal essays, critical writing and short translations have been published in Granta, The Boston Review, BRICK, and elsewhere.  Her translation of the novel São Bernardo, by the Brazilian novelist Graciliano Ramos, was published in May 2020 by the New York Review Books and shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Currently on fellowship at Lucy Cavendish College, Viswanathan usually lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she  teaches in the Programs in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas.