The Betty Haigh Shakespeare Prize

The competition is open to any sixth form student of English literature.

BHShakespeare

Competition details

Shakespeare study at both post-16 and degree level often involves paying close attention to screen productions and this year’s Betty Haigh Shakespeare Prize encourages just such a performance approach.

2020 Essay Requirements

The competition for has two options:

Option 1

Write a close comparative analysis of between 1200 and 1500 words, focussing on one scene from a Shakespeare tragedy and the equivalent scene in of these named film or television versions:

Hamlet (dir. Michael Almereyda, 2000)

Othello (dir. Oliver Parker, 1995)

King Lear (dir. David Eyre, 2018)

Before submitting your piece, please ensure that:

  • It is in the form of a Word Document, headed with your name and school
  • It is sent as soft copy, accompanied by a coversheet (68kb) signed by your teacher to the email below
  • It focuses on one sequence only from one of the films named above
  • It specifies timings for the chosen sequence
  • It is written entirely in your own words
  • It references any quotations from secondary sources (e.g. critics / reviewers)
  • It provides act and scene references for quotations from the Shakespeare text
  • It is no more than 1500 words (please write the word count at the foot of your work)

 

Option 2

Write a review of between 1000 and 1200 words, crafted with a sixth-form reader in mind, exploring in what ways a Shakespeare film adaptation of your choice throws interpretive light on the source play. The chosen film must have a screenplay which was originally written in English.

Before submitting your piece, please ensure that:

  • It is in the form of a Word Document, headed with your name and school
  • It is sent as soft copy, accompanied by a coversheet (68kb) signed by your teacher to the email below.
  • It focuses on one film adaptation of your choice
  • It gives details of the title of your chosen film, as well as its director and release date
  • It is written entirely in your own words
  • It references any quotations from secondary sources (e.g. critics / reviewers)
  • It provides act and scene references for quotations from the Shakespeare text
  • It is no more than 1200 words (please write the word count at the foot of your work)

 

What the judges are looking for:

  • Original, creative thinking
  • A clear, straightforward writing style
  • A clear structure, which enables the reader to follow the main ideas easily.

 

Entries along with the coversheet should be emailed to:

Betty Haigh Shakespeare Prize Competition, engassoc@le.ac.uk.

Closing date for entries: 1st September 2020.

2019 Competition

The winner of the 2019 Betty Haigh Shakespeare prize is Niamh Bradshaw, a student of Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Horncastle. Niamh received a copy of The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare edited  by Arthur F. Kinney (2012)

2017 Competition

There was no winning entry in the 2017 competition but one submission was Highly Commended: Cassandra Somers-Joce of Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, York.

2016 Competition

The prize will not be awarded in 2016.

2015 Competition

The winner was Hanako Lowry of King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls. Hanako received a copy of Catherine M.S. Alexander's The Treasures of William Shakespeare: The Life, the Works, the Performances, generously donated by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Carlton Books. The winning essay will appear in the Spring or Summer 2016 issue of the Association's Newsletter.

2014 Competition

The winner was Emma Cavell of St Paul's Girls' School in London. Emma received a copy of Catherine M.S. Alexander's The Treasures of William Shakespeare: The Life, the Works, the Performances, generously donated by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Carlton Books, and the winning essay appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of the Association's Newsletter.

John Maier of King's College School, Wimbledon was Highly Commended for an excellent essay.

Further previous competition winners

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