Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition Open for Entries

  • English Language and Literature
12 April, 2017

This year's Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition is now open for entries! Current undergraduate students at Oxford and Cambridge are invited to enter a Petrarchan Sonnet on a topic of their choosing to be considered for the £60 prize.

Eugene Lee-Hamilton was a poet and novelist who studied at Oriel (1864-66) and who revived the use of Petrarchan Sonnets in his own work, and encouraged it in others. The poetry competition prize was founded by the late Mrs Eliza Ann Lee-Hamilton by bequest in 1943, in memory of Eugene James Lee-Hamilton who died in 1907, in order to encourage the composition of the Petrarchan sonnet in Oxford and Cambridge.

The Eugene Lee-Hamilton Prize is awarded each year to an undergraduate student of either Oxford or Cambridge University, and previous winning sonnets can be viewed here.

Entries can be on a topic of the author’s choosing, and enjambment between the eighth and ninth lines is permitted. Entries should be submitted by 12 noon on Thursday 25th May, and they will then be considered by a panel of judges before the winner is announced in June.

How to Enter

If you wish to enter a sonnet into the competition, please send your entry to Mrs Rebecca Bricklebank, Oriel College ( by 12 noon on Thursday 25th May 2017. Entrants will be informed of the results by 16th June 2017.

Each sonnet must be accompanied by an email from the Head or a Fellow of the candidate’s college, stating that the candidate is a current undergraduate.

The winner will have been deemed to have given permission to publish his/her sonnet online on Oriel’s webpage, and in the Oriel Record.