Named after Merton alumnus Louis MacNeice, a poet and playwright who attended the college during the 1920s, the competition invites all current students of the College to enter a maximum of one poem and/or one short story on any topic.
We are delighted to announce the winners: the short story prize was awarded to English undergraduate George Adams for Morning at the Cullin Hills Hotel, Portree Harbour, while History Graduate Luke Bateman’s poem Elk took first place in the poetry category.
Luke saw more success as his tale Trip to Headington Quarry was awarded proxime in the short story category and William Wickstead, whose writing was commended in 2021, this year gained proxime in the poetry for Strawberry Gold.
The entries were judged by this year’s Visiting Research Fellow in the Creative Arts, Ben Haggarty, Kirsty Gunn, who held the post in 2020 and Merton Stipendiary Lecturer Laura Ludtke. Ben commented that ‘the broad range of entries and the diversity of talent made it quite a contest, but we felt the writing of the winners in both categories was particularly assured in form and satisfying in content.’
First place: George Adams Morning at the Cullin Hills Hotel, Portree Harbour
Proxime: Luke Bateman Trip to Headington Quarry
First place: Luke Bateman Elk
Proxime: William Wickstead Strawberry Gold