London Library Student Prize


From 2011-2013 this was the website for the London Library Student Prize. Content is from the site's 2011 archived pages.


September 1, 2011 @ 7:00 am



Welcome to The London Library Student Prize website.

The London Library, in partnership with The Times and FreshMinds, is looking to discover the next generation of writers, thinkers and opinion formers.

Open to all final year undergraduates studying at higher education institutions across the UK, this competition is an opportunity to expose your talent to thousands of readers – and win £5000!

Lots of aspiring writers entered this competition. One sometimes wonders what happens to the winner, the second or third place holders and many of the others. I know of at least one competitor who is now writing copy / content for a variety of websites. She happens to love it. So it's not a high profile postion, and some snobs might look down at the idea, but the work is challenging and requires the ability to go from one subject let's say explaining the benefits of hiring a Salesforce consultant to the next week writing about how to clean silk curtains. Keep in mind that you are writing to make a web site more relevent and to rank for certain key words. So in the case of cleaning curtains information would need to be written that would explain the company's services, their cleaning process, and why they would be the best choice for the visitor. The owner of the site might also want secondary articles that be be linked to such as Tips for Allergy Proof Bedroom, Good House Keeping Tips, of Information on Dust Mite Allergies that would further engage the visitor. When you are a student, you may only be aware of the more obvious professions associated with writing, but there are many other opportunities available for the nimble writer.

The Student Prize is now closed for entries. Thank you to all those students who submitted an entry.

Please do continue to check this site for updates, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

If you have any further questions, please do contact us. You can email competitions @


JP: We took your advice and requested resumes from the top contenders for your contest and struck paydirt. We're outsourcing for a large reputation management firm that helps clients remove unwanted search results. This often includes published articles and reviews that are intended to cause harm by spreading falsehoods about a person or a company. You can learn more about this problem which involves Google search results causing harm by revealing private information, or publicizing false stories online and getting them on page 1 of Google's results. We found a way to actually remove Google search results, but it's a lot of work. Our project requires quickly creating a huge number of posts to counter these harmful stories - and basically outrank them. So we need good writers who can work fast. We found them here.


Suggested hashtag for the prize for Twitter users: #LLStudentPrize


January 3, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

Graduate recruitment website Milkround on the value of the Student Prize for your career…

Students leaving university in 2012 will face an increasingly competitive job market. Employers now demand, more than ever, that applicants ‘stand out from the crowd’. In the current market, a career as a writer or in journalism may seem like an unattainable dream. Yet taking part in a competition such as The London Library Student Prize is a foundation on which you can build – the ultimate kick-start to your career.

Mike Barnard, Product Manager of graduate recruitment website Milkround, said: “The London Library Student Prize is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your writing talents. We always advise our jobseekers to seek out work experience and internships which will enable them to develop their workplace skills, and the same applies to this competition which would be hugely beneficial to appear on a CV, especially for the winner and runners up. Publication in The Times will be hugely rewarding for the winner while the offer of a mini-internship at The Times to the winner and runners-up will give them first-hand experience of a newsroom. Good luck to all entrants!”

Taking the time to enter a competition is proof that you are willing and able to challenge yourself, have your work read and critiqued by a panel of high-profile judges and test your ability to write for a different audience in a different voice. Expose your talent, creativity and originality of thought and you will reap the rewards.


December 6, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

The London Library’s ‘Left & Right Brains’

Many London Library members – authors, journalists, lawyers, historians, mathematicians – have been awarded prizes in the past, highlighting particular achievements in their writing careers. Here’s what some of our members are saying about The London Library Student Prize and the theme of the competition – ‘The future of Britain lies with the right-hand side of the brain’.

“The London Library Student Prize is a unique opportunity to present your skills in writing and analysis to thousands of Times and London Library magazine readers. To have your work published, read and critiqued by so many is an excellent means by which you can improve as a writer. The chance of winning London Library membership for one-year will also provide access to a wonderfully rich and varied collection, which, as a member for more than 30 years, I have found invaluable. I’d urge you to lay briefly to one side your Tort textbooks and enter!”

Jonathan Sumption QC

“Intuitively, it seems to me that law’s home is in the left-hand side of the brain.  Words, arguments, reasons, justifications, analysis, order – these are all things which might be thought to characterize the focus and concerns of the effective legal mind.  Justice, though, a concept suffused with ideas such as mercy, compassion, discretion and empathy – this surely has its home, and finds the source of its expression, in the right.  What would a future Britain be like, I wonder, where judges were given the freedom to be truly creative and imaginative in dealing with disputes, rather than limited by the rigidities of existing rules and procedures?  Perhaps it would be chaos, perhaps it would liberating.  Either way, it would certainly be interesting!

This competition is a great opportunity for students from all disciplines to let the right-hand side of their brains loose.  I hope as many as possible do just that.”

Matthew Weait – Professor of Law and Policy

School of Law, Birkbeck College

“Wherever it may lie in the brain, taking the time to find and refine your writing voice will be what makes you stand out from the crowd.  The writing world is changing.  Whether your ambition is to become a journalist or a novelist, the landscape is radically different from how it looked a decade ago.  As an undergraduate, particularly at the moment, it may feel like a career in writing is wishing on a star.  The London Library Student Prize 2012 is a chance to shine.”

Lucy Inglis – Writer, Historian

You can also visit The London Library’s Vimeo profile to see students at our Student Prize Launch Party discussing the competition.


November 11, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

Inspiration from the experts…

‘Does the future of Britain lie with the right-hand side of the brain?’ Right-brains, left-brains, mathematicians, computer scientists, fine artists, English or psychology students: we invite all final year undergraduates studying any degree discipline to put forward an argument, an opinion, an answer…

Searching for inspiration? Have a listen online to Radio 4’s ‘The History of the Brain’ series, presented by Dr Geoff Bunn – a journey through 5,000 years of human understanding of the brain. It’s a fascinating cultural (rather than scientific) exploration of the purpose and function of the brain.

Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist explores ‘the divided brain’ in this thought-provoking (and beautifully animated) video on TED.

Think, question, critique… and enter The London Library Student Prize. Your opinion – your answers – could be read by thousands of Times readers.


October 29, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

Saturday 29 Oct, The Times – Saturday Review

Erica Wagner, Literary Editor of The Times and one of The London Library Student Prize judges, talks about the competition in her Saturday Review column today.

With worsening economic news, protesters occupying Wall Street and forcing the closure of St Paul’s, what, asks Erica, is the plan? We’re asking you, the next generation of writers, thinkers and opinion-formers, to ponder this premise and question its implications.

Does the future lie with the right-hand side of the brain? Will the creative economy dominate or will the left-brains provide the answers? Submit your entries by 12 January 2012 for the opportunity to tell thousands of Times readers what you think…


October 8, 2011 @ 11:02 am

Your chance to be published alongside award-winning writers…

There’s a great call for entry in The Times (Opinion pages) today, reminding all budding writers that the Student Prize is a fantastic opportunity to be ‘published alongside award-winning writers such as Matthew Parris, David Aaronovitch and Camilla Cavendish’. Winning entries will also be published in The London Library Magazine. So, for your chance to win, get thinking and get writing! Does the future of Britain lie with the right-hand side of the brain?

How to Enter


  • Consider the theme and get writing!

The winner will be the entrant whose essay, in the opinion of the judges, demonstrates the greatest creativity, clarity and originality of thought, and confident handling of the subject matter.

  • Submit your work

Your full-length entry (no more than 800 words) must submitted by midnight on 12th January 2012.  Entries are accepted via online submission only.

Before you enter, please read the Terms and Conditions thoroughly, as entry into the prize constitutes agreement to the Terms and Conditions.

To enter, please answer all compulsory questions below. You will be asked to upload your entry as a file attachment. Files should be named with YOUR FULL NAME only.

Please ensure your entry has been typed in a text document (Microsoft Word or equivalent). All entries should be written in English, in Times New Roman 12-point size font, double-line spaced, with numbered pages. Entries that do not meet these criteria will not be read.

The first page of all entries must be clearly labeled with your:
Full name
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
University and degree title
Tutor’s name and email address

Each subsequent page should contain a footer containing your full name.

  • The shortlist and the prize

The judging panel will select a shortlist of four entries, to be announced in April 2012. The judges will choose a winner from this shortlist, to be announced in June 2012.

The prize is £5,000 to the winning writer and £1,000 to three runners-up. In addition, the winner will receive 1 year’s free membership of the Library and a year’s subscription (hard copy and online) to The Times.  The winners will also have the opportunity to spend some time with journalists at The Times as part of a mini-internship.

The winning writer’s piece will be published in The Times comment pages (subject to terms and conditions)

  • Stay in touch!

We will be keeping you up to date about the Student Prize via The London Library’s Facebook page and Twitter feed… so find us and follow us!

If you have any questions about the Student Prize, would like to receive more posters to display at your university or have any feedback, please email us at



April 29, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

The London Library Student Prize 2013 – Winner Announced!

The London Library is delighted to announce the winner of this year’s London Library Student Prize, a writing competition open to all final year undergraduates across the UK.

Many hundreds of students, studying a range of degree subjects at universities across the UK, entered the competition this year. Entrants were asked to consider the theme “Gap years – a new form of colonialism?” and submit an 800 word comment piece exploring the premise.

A distinguished panel of judges – former editor of The Economist and Chairman of The London Library Trustees Bill Emmott, award-winning children’s author Patrick Ness, The Times Books Editor Erica Wagner, and The Times Saturday Review Editor Tom Gatti – were impressed by the originality and fluency of this year’s entries.

Kathryn Nave, a final year Philosophy student at King’s College, London, has been selected as first prize winner.

Runners up are Jacob Burns, an Art History student at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Paul Creeney, who is in his final year of an Ethical World Journalism degree at Staffordshire University.

Kathryn’s winning entry will be published in The Times and The London Library magazine later this year.

Our thanks to the many students who took the time to enter this year’s prize. Some truly outstanding work was submitted and we expect to see many of your names in print in future years.


September 20, 2012 @ 10:39 am

HAVE YOUR SAY – Student Prize 2013, Open for entries

The London Library is delighted to announce the launch of The London Library Student Prize 2013.

Open for entries from all final year undergraduates studying at higher education institutions across the UK, and with a fantastic package of prizes available, the competition offers the ultimate kick-start to your first year as a graduate.

Working with The Times and graduate recruitment site Milkround, The London Library is looking to discover the next generation of writers, thinkers and opinion formers.

Erica Wagner, Literary Editor at The Times and one of the Student Prize  2013 judges said “What a delight it is being involved in The London Library Student Prize. We’re keen at The Times to foster talent in the brightest and the best – this is a wonderful way to do that.”

We are also delighted to have award-winning author Patrick Ness on the judging panel this year.


September 12, 2012 @ 11:00 am


Welcome to The London Library Student Prize website.

The London Library, in partnership with The Times and Milkround, is looking to discover the next generation of writers, thinkers and opinion formers.

Open to all final year undergraduates studying at higher education institutions across the UK, this competition is an opportunity to expose your talent to thousands of readers – and win £5000!

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for entries to The London Library Student Prize 2013 has now passed.

A big thank you to all those who entered the competition.

Our panel of judges will be reading the entries over the coming months and the winner and runners-up will be announced in April 2013.