Creative Writing Competition for First Years

13 Nov 2013

Hailed as the ‘soul of his age’, Shakespeare is also recognised as an author ‘for all time’. Each generation remakes Shakespeare, appropriating and reinventing him, in their own image. With the School of English Shakespeare Writing Competition, First Year students of the School now have the opportunity to rewrite one of Shakespeare’s famous speeches for their generation.

Your Shakespeare speech might comment on the modern world (“All the world’s a Facebook page”), it might analyse issues central to Ireland (“Our Celtic Tiger revels now are ended”) or you might use the speech to reflect on university life (“To be studious or not to be studious, that is the question”).

Whatever you decide to do with the speech, your rewriting must be recognisably Shakespearean – you might perhaps keep some words or phrases, preserve the rhythm of the lines, or maintain the spirit of the piece – but it must be updated so it is familiar and relevant to a modern audience.

To enter:  Choose and rewrite one of the following speeches:

  • “If music be the food of love, play on” from Twelfth Night  (Act 1, Sc.1, Lines 1-15)
  • “Now is the winter of our discontent” from Richard III  (Act 1, Sc.1, Lines 1-31)
  •  “All the world’s a stage” from As You Like It  (Act 2, Sc.7, Lines 138-165)
  •  “Our revels now are ended” from The Tempest  (Act 4, Sc.1, Lines 148-158)
  • “To be or not to be” from Hamlet  (Act 3, Sc.1, Lines 58-90)

Entries should be emailed to Dr. Edel Semple ( with the subject heading “Shakespeare Writing Competition” and should include your name, student number, and email address.

Deadline: All entries must be received by Friday 29th November 2013, before 5pm.

The Reward: A generous prize awaits the winner of the Shakespeare Writing Competition! The lucky winner will be announced in and will receive their special prize at the lecture on Tuesday 3rd December.

The Shakespeare Writing Competition is kindly sponsored by the John Smith Campus Bookshop and the School of English.

English Department

Roinn an Bhéarla

O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Cork. Ireland