Varndean College student wins second place in Cambridge's Woolf Essay Prize

June 22, 2018


Varndean College student, Kate Granlund, has been awarded joint second place in Cambridge University's annual Woolf Essay Prize. Kate, aged 17, who previously went to Dorothy Stringer School and is now studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma at Varndean College, has been invited to attend the prestigious university’s prize-giving ceremony on 30 June where guests will be given a tour of Newnham College, followed by a presentation ceremony when Kate will collect her certificate along with £200 prize money.

The Woolf Essay Prize is an annual competition offered by Cambridge University with questions inspired by Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’. This year’s question was ‘I find myself saying briefly and prosaically that it is much more important to be oneself than anyone else. Do not dream of influencing other people.’ To what extent was this possible for female writers pre-1928? Ninety years on, is the situation any different?

Kate’s winning essay explored the extent to which it was possible for female writers to be and write as themselves, both pre-1928 and today. She also explored the relationship between gender and self in literature as well as the place that influential writing has held in female literature between 1928 and 2018.

Kate hopes to go on to study at Cambridge University in the future.