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Congratulations to the joint winners of our creative writing competition!

June 25, 2024

Congratulations to the joint winners of our creative writing competition!

As part of the Oxford Kafka 2024 campaign, the University celebrated the life and work of Franz Kafka, to commemorate the centenary of his death. A generous donation enabled a copy of his iconic novella, The Metamorphosis, to be distributed to every Oxford student.

To celebrate this influential writer, our Senior Tutor and Professor of English, Sandie Byrne, organised a creative writing competition here at Kellogg. Current and former students were invited to submit a short piece of writing inspired by The Metamorphosis.

The Metamorphosis tells the story of a man who wakes up one day to find himself transformed into a giant insect. The novella explores how he comes to terms with this transition. Literary critics have widely discussed the book, and its meaning is the subject of much debate. It contributed to Kafka being considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century.

Entries to our competition included poetry, prose, fiction, and non-fiction, and were all fantastic. In the end, two pieces particularly stood out to her: Andreas Volstadt’s ‘Suddenly Cycling’ and Daniela Sanjuanés’s ‘Underwater’ were chosen as joint winners.

Sean Timon’s ‘Vermin’ was chosen as runner-up, and Harry Petty received an honourable mention for his piece entitled ‘Caterpillar.’

Our writers were invited to read their pieces aloud at the competition final event held here at Kellogg, and it was exciting to hear these different interpretations of Kafka’s work. The winners received a copy of Ian McEwan’s The Cockroach, also inspired by The Metamorphosis, a prize that exemplifies Kafka’s continued influence within literature.

Professor Byrne said that the entries were ‘hugely diverse in subject, style, and form, and the judges were impressed by the range and quality of the submitted pieces.’

Oxford Kafka 2024 also included exhibitions, talks, and public installations, bringing Kafka’s work to a new generation. We are proud to have been a part of this at Kellogg.


Read our winning entries below, along with some others:

Andreas Volstadt (DPhil Psychiatry, 2022) ‘Suddenly Cycling’ (Joint winner)

Daniela Sanjuanés (MSc Creative Writing, 2022) ‘Underwater’ (Joint winner)

Harry Petty (MSt Literature and Arts, 2023) ‘Caterpillar’ (Honourable mention)

Julian Hall (MSc Creative Writing, 2021) ‘Above the Alter, the Turning Moon’

Laura Andrikopoulos (MSt Literature and Arts, 2023) ‘Woman on Fire’

Bruno Pappalardo (MSc English Local History, 2023) ‘For Franz’

Caroline Hewett (MSt Literature and Arts, 2023) ‘Canon Perpetuus’

Tahmina Maula (MSc Creative Writing, 2018) ‘Muse’

Peter Fockema (MSc Software Engineering, 2020) ‘The Egg’

Alastair McCullough (DPhil Computer Science, 2023) ‘The Metamorphosis’