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Philosophy and Literature Essay Competition

Founded by alumnus Andy Charman, the Philosophy and Literature Essay Prize rewards students who demonstrate a personal commitment to the study of philosophy and literature.

We invite submission of essays that address the following question:

How does studying philosophy and literature matter to your life?

Essays may draw on academic work, but need not do so. They will be judged by a panel of readers. Authors should bear in mind that the judges will look for a clear expression of personal commitment to and engagement with Philosophy & Literature, rather than looking for essays that prioritize scholarly concerns.

Three prizes will be awarded:

  • 1st Prize £200
  • 2nd Prize £125
  • 3rd Prize £75

The essay prize was conceived of and initiated by a Warwick Philosophy & Literature graduate, and it is supported by his generous gift. Click here to see the letter from the prize sponsor, Andy Charman.

Submission information

The competition is open to current BA, MA, and PhD students in Philosophy & Literature at Warwick, and to those who have finished their Warwick Phil/Lit degrees within the past five years (graduating in 2010 or later).

Word length: 2,500-5,000 words (longer essays will not be read).

Entries may take any form that students choose, but students are advised to look upon the essay form as likely to be the most effective vehicle for communicating their ideas.

Your name should appear only on a first page that states your name, essay title, and word count; for current students, your student number may be used on the subsequent pages of the essay.

If references are made to particular texts, full bibliographic information should be provided. Submitted work should comply with the University’s policy on Plagiarism.

New deadline: the essay is due by 12pm (noon), Friday 4th September 2015.

You must submit the essay electronically only. Please send your submission by e-mail attachment (with 'Philosophy and Literature Essay Competition' in the subject) to the Philosophy Undergraduate Secretary: Essay submissions are read anonymously, so aside from the coversheet, make sure your name does not appear in the document. For any questions or for further information (but not for submission of essays), please contact Dr Eileen John (Philosophy,

Past winners






  • Jamie Williams (1st)
  • Katherine Thomas (2nd)


  • Peter Faulconbridge (1st)
  • Sean Hudson (2nd)
  • Jamie Mackay (3rd)


  • Amy Koheeallee (1st)
  • Joe Atwill (2nd)
  • John Meechan (3rd)