Gould Prize for Essays in English Literature

Trinity College launched the Gould Prize for Essays in English Literature in 2013. This is an annual competition for Year 12 or Lower 6th students. The Prize has been established from a bequest made by Dr Dennis Gould in 2004 for the furtherance of education in English Literature. This Essay Prize has the following aims. First, to encourage talented students with an interest in English Literature to explore their reading interests further in response to general questions about the subject. Second, to encourage students with an interest in literature to apply for a University course in English. Finally, to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students from whatever background they may come, as well as the achievements of those who teach them.

Candidates are invited each year to submit an essay of between 1,500 and 2,500 words on a topic to be chosen from the list of questions.

The 2016 competition has closed.  Information on the 2017 competition will be published in Spring 2017.

Submissions must be received by the deadline of 1 August each year. Those intending to apply should also complete a cover sheet which is to be included with the submission. Results will be announced by the end of October.

The competition carries a First Prize of £600, to be split equally between the candidate and his or her school or college, and a Second Prize of £400, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and his or her school or college. The school or college’s portion of each prize will be issued in the form of book tokens with which to buy English books. In addition, further deserving essays of a high quality will be commended. Authors of prize-winning and highly-commended essays will be invited to visit the College.

Past Gould Prize-winners


First Prize: Miss M Little (Bexhill College)
Second Prize: Miss M Abdel-Razek (Wimbledon High School)


Joint First Prize:
Miss M Benham (King Edward VI Five Ways School, Birmingham)
Mr E Patel (Merchant Taylor’s School, Northwood)


Joint First Prize:
Miss A Cattley (Saffron Walden County High School)
Miss E Cavell (St Paul’s Girls’ School)


First Prize: Miss E Franklin (King Edward’s Sixth Form College, Stourbridge)
Second Prize: Miss J Simms (Greenhead College, Huddersfield)