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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Daisy Goodwin Flash Fiction Prize

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    Dame Paula Rego Ines de Castro (2014) oil on canvas, donated by the artist, 2014

    Murray Edwards College Cambridge launch the Daisy Goodwin Flash Fiction Prize

    Murray Edwards College is delighted to announce the Daisy Goodwin Flash Fiction Prize for young women. Judges are looking to reward intense, exciting, and original prose, inspired by the visual arts.

    The Daisy Goodwin Flash Fiction Prize will draw upon one of the College’s greatest resources The Women’s Art Collection, the largest collection of art by women in Europe. Students are encouraged to write a maximum of 250 words about the famous Dame Paula Rego painting, Ines de Castro.

    The fictional entries can be based on the historical facts of the painting, the myth, or writers can let their imaginations run riot and be inspired by the artwork.

    The submissions will be judged by screenwriter and novelist Daisy Goodwin, Dr Leo Mellor English Fellow at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge and BBC Culture Editor, Katie Razzall. 

    "The Women’s Art Collection inspires our students every day. It’s great to live in an art collection with hundreds of pictures all around us. This picture is one of the most popular; beautiful and bizarre."
    Dorothy Byrne, President

    "The flash fiction prize challenges young women to respond to a great painting by Paula Rego in no more than 250 words. Murray Edwards has the biggest and most exciting collection of art by women in Europe.  It’s such a great place to study and I hope this prize will inspire young women to come and look at the art and the college."
    Daisy Goodwin

    "As a child, Paula Rego loved being told stories.  As an artist, each of her works tells a story, perhaps none more so than her haunting and macabre portrait of Ines de Castro.  Rego's art reflects the human condition in all its tenderness and beauty, cruelty and suffering.  I'm looking forward to reading the competition stories inspired by this wonderful painting."
    Katie Razzall

    There will be three categories of entry:

    1. Young women who are currently studying (as either undergraduates or postgraduates) at the University of Cambridge. The winner of this category will win £500.
    2. Young women in Years 12 and 13 currently studying A Levels or any other academic qualifications in a state-maintained school or college in the UK. In this category the prizes will be in book vouchers; the winner receiving £100, and the three runners-up will receive £50 each.
    3. Young female students in Years 7 to 11 currently studying in a state-maintained school or college in the UK. In this category the prizes will be in book vouchers; the winner receiving £100, and the three runners-up will receive £50 each. 
    How to Enter

    The maximum number of words for your piece is 250. 

    Submissions for the Murray Edwards College Flash Fiction Award should be submitted by email to and will be accepted from 9am Monday 24th April 2023. 

    The deadline for receipt of entries is noon Friday 21st July 2023

    Instructions for your submission 

    1. Please read the full Terms and Conditions on the College’s website. Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of all the College’s Terms and Conditions. 

    2. Format the short story according to the following instructions: 
    •    One entry per author 
    •    Written in English
    •    A maximum of 250 words 
    •    Typed
    •    Font: any font, 12pt, black 
    •    Double spaced 
    •    No page numbers 
    •    Include a front page which details the Title of Story and the Word Count 
    •    No author’s name included anywhere on the story 
    •    The accompanying email should state your full name, School or University year and place of study. 

    3. Save the short story as PDF with the Title of Story in the file name. (If your story has been typed into Microsoft Word you can save as a PDF by clicking File -> Save As, and then selecting .PDF from the dropdown menu underneath the file name field. 

    4. Entries not submitted in accordance with these instructions and the Terms and Conditions will not be eligible for consideration. 

    5. No entries will be returned.