Our College has a long history of supporting and celebrating creative writers. Students at Lucy Cavendish can benefit from support from many sources, and can apply for Prizes to reward and recognise their work.
The Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize
In 2010, Professor Janet Todd OBE founded the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and it has gone from strength to strength with many shortlisted and winning authors securing publishing deals and furthering their writing.
The annual Fiction Prize is open to the public and it provides a unique opportunity for unpublished female authors aged 21 and over to launch their literary careers. Find out more here.
The Lucy Cavendish Creative Writing Course
In September 2018, we held our first residential Creative Writing Course which was open to writers of all experience levels and regardless of gender. Attendees spent week learning from published authors, fellow writers and industry experts in a relaxed and creative environment. Speakers included published authors who discovered success through the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott (Swan Song), Laura Marshall (Friend Request, Three Little Lies) and Emily Midorikawa (A Secret Sisterhood: the Hidden Friendships of Austen, Brontё, Eliot and Woolf). Previous judges also came to share a wealth of knowledge; editor Gillian Stern and PDF agent Nelle Andrew. The course was directed by published authors and creative writing teachers, Jo Browning-Wroe and Miranda Doyle,
Florence Staniforth Prize
The annual Florence Staniforth Prize was launched in 2011 by Dr Isobel Maddison, Vice-President of Lucy Cavendish College in memory of her mother Florence Staniforth.
Previous winners of this Prize have gone on to find success on the stage. The winner of the inaugural Prize, Emma Stirling wrote a play The Music Box which was produced by the Recursion Theatre Company, in association with Pembroke Players and the University of Cambridge, and which went on to be shortlisted for the Tab Spirit of Theatre Award.
Another previous winner Isobel Cohen (English, 2009) wrote, produced and directed a play called Kind which then won the RSC/Other Prize 2012 and ran at the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe in 2013.
The 2016 winner, Jodie Molloy (MSt Creative Writing, 2014) wrote and directed a play called The Voice in My Head which comprises of five monologues about abortion. The play had its premiere at Auckland’s Basement Theatre in summer 2016 and will come to Cambridge soon.
In the last academic year, the Florence Staniforth Prize was awarded to Charlotte Fiehn.
In the future, this Prize will become the Lucy Cavendish Student Fiction Prize and Dr Isobel Maddison will be Chair of the judging panel. Find out more about the Prize here.
Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellows
Lucy Cavendish students, along with students at Newham and Selwyn are offered help with their writing by Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellows. For 2019/20 our Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow, Christopher Moncrieff, can give advice to students from all disciplines, on all aspects of writing. One-to-One tutorials can be booked in advance via email. Sessions are available during full term only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10.00am - 5.00pm. Please contact Christopher Moncrieff. Find out more here.
Creative writing workshops with Jo Browning-Wroe
Jo Browning Wroe writes for educational publishers in the UK and the US and has received awards in both countries. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA. Her most recent project, Graphic Lives, a set of three graphic novels, demystifying the therapy process for troubled teenagers, was published by Speechmark. She has written for the New Statesman and Church Times and helps with the Cambridge Literary Festival. The novel she is working on was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize last year. Jo recently led our inaugural Lucy Cavendish Creative Writing Course (see more above).
As in previous years, the college will run 6 x 2 hour creative writing workshops in the Lent term. These are available to all students on a first-come-first served basis and they'll be held on Friday afternoons on 18th January through to 22nd February 2019. Numbers are capped at 10.
Students will be expected to write every week (for example, sometimes short pieces of flash fiction, poetry or longer work) and you must only sign up for the workshops if you can commit to complete the writing for discussion at each session.
The workshops are run by Jo Browning-Wroe and cost £80 per student for the entire course. Those who drop out in the first two weeks will be charged a £15 admin fee to cover set up costs. The full cost of the course will be payable thereafter.
Students are able to apply to the college's Studentship & Bursary Committee (S & B) for a limited amount of funding to cover the cost of the course. Application forms for S & B are available from Sarah Thomas (st420). We have funding of £80 for 4 students and this will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Your application for funds needs to be submitted to Sarah by **12th November 2018**.
The feedback from these courses has been entirely positive. They help with writing in a general sense and have supported several very talented student writers. If you have time, give it a go!
**Please e-mail me with your name and the subject you're studying ASAP to reserve a space**.
The library supports creative writing (as well as reading) by holding weekly sessions called, ‘Shut up and write’. It provides individual study spaces, shared desks, three spacious reading rooms and a number of informal and comfortable spaces for working. Many a novel has started its life here!
Appreciating creative writing
'Scribbling Women' Collection
2013 saw the launch of a new collection of books on the top floor of our library, called the 'Scribbling Women' collection. This informal collection brings together works written in English by women from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. It aims to be as inclusive as possible to offer a unique celebration of women's extraordinary success as writers.
The title itself, 'Scribbling Women', refers to the American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne's outraged and unintended tribute to this success, when he complained to his publisher in 1855 that the fiction market was overrun by: "a damn'd mob of scribbling women...".