Religious Studies Essay Competition

Category Details

We want to hear from everyone: Jews, Hindus, Wiccans, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, atheists, and more. We want the voices of preachers and parishioners, rabbis and rabble-rousers: we want every glittering piece of the glorious kaleidoscope that is the experience of religion. In short, we want to hear from you. Our rules are simple: No preaching, no proselytizing, no explaining why your religion is right and everyone else’s is wrong. Yes to thoughtful writing about any of the following: religion in everyday life; approachable explications of religious texts; stories that fill in the gaps in Biblical and other religious narratives. Up to 3,000 words, double-spaced.

About Judge/Sponsor

TILIA KLEBENOV JACOBS (Framingham, MA) holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a BA in Religion and English from Oberlin College. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Jewish Magazine as well as the anthologies Phoenix Rising and The Chalk Circle. Her first novel, Wrong Place, Wrong Time, was an Amazon bestseller, peaking at #46 in the Kindle store, and won the Beverly Hills Book award for Best Thriller. Her second book, Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Café, received honorable mention in the London Book Festival. Tilia has taught middle school, high school, and college; at present she teachers writing classes for prison inmates. She is also a reviewer for Tilia lives near Boston with her husband, two children, and a pleasantly neurotic standard poodle.

The Theology & Religious Studies Essay Prize competition will not be run for the foreseeable future.

Past Prize-winners


1st Prize: Marcus Dell (The Perse School, Cambridge)
Joint 2nd Prize: George Friend (Harrow School)
Joint 2nd Prize: William Fellows (St Edmund’s School, Canterbury)


1st Prize: Alex Szlezinger (Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Elstree)
Joint 2nd Prize: Anshel Cohen (Camden School for Girls)
Joint 2nd Prize: Henry Websdale (Winchester College)


1st Prize: Jeremy Khoo (Raffles Institution, Singapore)
Joint 2nd Prize: Phoebe Bright (St Paul’s Girls’ School)
Joint 2nd Prize: Rory Turnbull (Hereford Cathedral School)


1st Prize: Keith Wynroe (De La Salle College, Macroom)
2nd Prize: Nina Maras (Latymer Upper School)


1st Prize: Kacper Kowalczyk (Dulwich College)
2nd Prize: Alice Carter (Canford School)


1st Prize: Ding Hui (Raffles Institution)
2nd Prize: Timothy Wickenden (The Sixth Form College, Farnborough)


1st Prize: Rosie Illingworth (Oundle School)
2nd Prize: Joshua Brown (University College School)


1st Prize: Annie Hawes (Henrietta Barnett School)
2nd Prize: Robert Dixon (Oundle School)


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