The fact that a judge, Professor Garnett, is a self-confessed devotee of Tarkovsky probably didn't hurt my chances either!
” With an open-ended subject remit, 18-year-old Sam, who’s set to read History at Cambridge this year, elected to concentrate on the somewhat niche topic of cinema and its role within Russian history with emphasis on lauded directors Eisenstein and Tarkovsky.
After reading through the essays of previous winners, I felt that I could produce something just as good as them, but there was certainly no shortage of competition.
The committee was impressed with the ‘sophistication and maturity’ of my essay, and I would say that the fluidity of my prose combined with my thorough treatment of the subject matter was what secured my win.
Not coincidentally, it also happened to be his topic of study in History while at Birkenhead Sixth Form College.
Sam, who gained A Level grades of an A* and two As in History, English Literature and Religious Studies respectively, explained: “Word limits of A2 coursework restricted the amount of depth I could go into with the theme, so I used the Julia Wood competition as a means of writing the essay I had wanted to write all along.In addition, three further essays of a high quality will be commended.All successful competitors will be invited to visit the College.Ben has been invited to a special residential chemistry camp at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge.Shaina Sangha was placed second in the Orwell Youth Prize competition.All these essays are open to students in Year 12 and Year 13.More competitions will be added as they are announced.The deadline for the Robson History Prize (details see below) is August 1st.The Robson History Prize is an annual competition for Year 12 or Lower 6th students.Candidates are invited each year to submit an essay of between 2,000 and 4,000 words on a topic to be chosen from the list of questions.The list of questions for the 2015 Robson History Prize is available .