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 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The annual Fiction Prize is open to the public and it provides a unique opportunity for unpublished female authors aged 21 and over to launch their literary careers.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.

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.

Prize winners are selected by their Tutors, and announced in Lent Term at a special Formal Hall.

The Christine Jones Memorial Prize in Creative Writing, sponsored by Sophie Hannah

 ‘You don't need to have been published, only to be passionate about writing.’

The Christine Jones Prize Memorial Prize in creative writing will run during the academic year of 2016/17 and is offered by crime writer and poet Sophie Hannah (pictured below, right) in memory of her husband’s step-mother, Christine Jones (below, left), who passed away in May 2016. 

£1,000 and three mentoring sessions with Sophie Hannah

The prize is £1,000 and three one-to-one mentoring sessions with Sophie Hannah. Entry is open to any current student of Lucy Cavendish, either experienced writers and/or complete beginners. You don't need to have been published, only to be passionate about writing. The Prize is decided based on the submission of a covering letter and a sample of the entrant’s writing - for example three or four original poems, two chapters of a novel or several short stories. The covering letter should describe what the entrant has achieved and/or hopes to achieve as a writer, and what she hopes to get out of her mentoring sessions with Sophie.

Submission of entries

1. Early submission is encouraged. The last date for acceptance of entries is 17:00 BST on Friday 9 December 2016.
2. Entrants must submit two copies of each entry (covering letter plus samples of work), one of which should be anonymised. The other should include the entrant’s full name and contact details.
3. Entries should be emailed to lcc-tutorial@lists.cam.ac.uk, with ‘Christine Jones Memorial Prize entry’ in the subject line.
4. Receipt will be acknowledged by email.
5. Entry is restricted to current students of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

The winner will be informed at the beginning of the Lent Term, and will be announced at Formal Hall on 9th February 2017.

Sophie said of the prize:

“Christine Zillah Jones, my lovely stepmother-in-law, was that rare thing: a truly wonderful person, full of kindness, joy and all the good qualities a person can have.  She was an inspiration to me for the whole of my writing life, an avid reader and also a writer in many different genres.  I loved discussing books and writing with her.  If I had a new idea for a novel, or something that was preoccupying me either in my writing life or in my life in general, Christine was always at the top of my list of people I wanted to discuss it with. I will never stop missing her. That's why I decided to set up this prize and name it for her - she would have loved to think that talented young writers were being supported and given this sort of opportunity to develop their talents.”

You can read some of Christine's own writing 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 2018-19 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. Her most recent project, Graphic Lives, a set of three graphic novels, demystifying the therapy process for troubled teenagers, will be published by Speechmark in November. She helps program the Cambridge Literary Festival, and writes occasional feature articles for the Church Times. She has an MA in Creative Writing from UEA and is working on a novel for adults.

Jo will offer 6 x 2 hour workshops at Lucy Cavendish College in Lent, for a maximum of 16 students. All students in the College (undergraduates and graduates) are eligible and places are allocated on a first come first served basis. Please register your interest with Dr Isobel Maddison at: ijm22@cam.ac.uk

Lucy Cavendish Library

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. It brings together works written in English by women from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, and aims to offer a unique celebration of women's extraordinary success as writers. Find out more here.

Children’s Literature Society

In 2016, PhD students Jen Aggleton and Jessica Lim launched the Lucy Cavendish Children’s Literature Society. This club will enjoy and explore the rich and diverse world of children’s literature through termly events that combine a creative and critical response to children’s literature (including a children’s literature themed supper and children’s literature formal hall). Read more here.