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Upper Sixth student Joe Marvin was one of 300 students to submit an essay for The Robinson College Essay Prize 2022, and we’re thrilled to announce he has won the prize for his question, ‘Discuss the “belief in a special vision of those who have experienced oppression” with reference to at least one book, play, or poem written by an author of colour.’ 

The essay competition is designed to give students the opportunity to develop and showcase their independent study and writing skills and experience the type of work that they might be expected to do at Cambridge. Joe is currently applying to study English and Philosophy at university.

Joe reflects on the experience, “I was looking for essay competitions to enter over the summer, to extend my interest in English and add to my personal statement and immediately that essay question excited me. I had already started reflecting on the role of the author when reading books by black authors like Candice Carty-Williams and Caleb Azumah Nelson; it was his book ‘Open Water’ that I eventually wrote about for my essay. Both Dr. Asquith and Mrs. Petty helped me in the early stages of my research before the summer holidays. I found it quite challenging to lay out my argument and communicate my ideas effectively, so I was very surprised to win but am excited to receive my prize.” 

Joe wins a £50 book voucher which he plans to spend on modern classics including Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’, congratulations Joe! 


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