English Literature

Writing prizes

Writing prizes are on offer for both prose and verse compositions.

Grierson Verse Prize

This prize, estimated value £900, is awarded to a matriculated student of the University of Aberdeen or the University of Edinburgh.

The theme for 2019 is “Home”.

Candidates are required to use any recognised verse form but not ‘free verse’. Entries must be not more than 80 lines in typescript.

Past winners

Year Name Title
2018 Paige Smith Casino
2017 Tim Craven Haiku for Refused Hearts
2016 Marianne MacRae January Diary

Sloan Prize

This prize, estimated value £1,500, is awarded annually for a prose or verse composition in Lowland Scots vernacular to a matriculated student or to a graduate of the University of Edinburgh of less than three years’ standing.

Each competitor must state the particular dialect in which his/her composition is written, as accuracy in the use of the chosen dialect will be a factor, along with the literary and imaginative interest of the composition, in determining the award.

  • Poetry submissions should not exceed 80 lines.
  • Prose fiction submissions should not exceed 3000 words.

Past winners

Year Name Title
2018 Miriam Huxley Vancouver Rain
2017 Duncan Sneddon Atween the Storms
2016 Dominic Hale On the Fly-leaf of MacDiarmid's Collected Poems
Zoe Ramsey Fights and Hings

Lewis Edwards Memorial Prize

This prize was established in memory of Lewis Edwards, who died while a student of English Literature at the University. It is open to any matriculated undergraduate student of the University of Edinburgh.

The award, approximate value £1400, is offered for a short composition in English verse or prose fiction. Poems should not exceed 80 lines, prose fiction should not exceed 3000 words.

Past winners

Year Name Title
2018 Fatima Seck Formations
2017 Paula Colmenares-León Family Secrets:  A Case Study
2016 Quentin Scobie Erica

Submission guidelines

For electronic submissions

You must use the submission portal here: Writing Prizes Submission Portal

Entries will not be received by email, or any electronic means other than by use of the above portal.

For hard copy/postal submissions

Each document submitted should carry the title of the composition and the student’s matriculation number, as well as the prize that entry is being submitted for.  We recommend including this information in the document header prior to printing.

Entries should be accompanied by ONE COPY of a cover sheet (not attached to the submission) bearing the submission title[s], matriculation number, student's name and contact details.  If you’re entering the Sloan Prize, please also use your cover letter to indicate the particular dialect you have chosen to write in.

In previous years we have asked for submissions in triplicate.  From 2018/19, only one copy of each entry is required.

All hard copy submissions must delivered or posted to the English Literature Undergraduate Teaching Office at the address below.

General guidelines

  • The CLOSING DATE for all three competitions is Friday, 22nd February 2019 at 11.59pm.
  • All three prizes are free to enter.
  • Each writer may submit up to three poems, or one story, to each of the above prizes.  Compositions submitted for one prize may not be submitted for another.
  • Anyone who has previously won a prize may not compete again for the same prize.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final.  Unfortunately, due to the high number of entries, it is not possible to provide feedback on submissions.  Hard copy submissions will not be returned.
  • No work which has previously been published, broadcast, or accepted for publication or broadcast, including publication online, is eligible for consideration.
  • The judges reserve the right not to award any prize if they are dissatisfied with the standard of entries.
  • Copyright will remain with the competitor but the University reserves the right to arrange the first publication as it sees fit.
  • Submission of work implies the entrant's acceptance of the conditions set out above.
  • Winners will be notified by the end of March, 2019.

Inquiries about any of the writing prizes should be directed to:

English Literature

  • School of Literatures Languages and Cultures

Contact details



Undergraduate Teaching Office
Room 1.08
50 George Square

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