SEAS Creative Writing Competition 2021

The Sheffield East Asian Studies Essay Prize is a competition for students in Years 10, 11 and 12 in the UK, and is run by the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield.


The prize has three aims:

1. To widen interest in East Asian Studies at university level among students who would not otherwise be exposed to the subject;

2. To encourage ambitious and talented secondary school students considering applying to university to study East Asian Studies;

3. To recognize the achievements of both high-calibre students and of those who teach them. The competition is run by the School of East Asian Studies (SEAS) at the University of Sheffield.

Application information
What to write

Write an essay of around 1,000 words (but not more than 1,500 words) that addresses the following question:

How has East Asia influenced life in the UK?

Prizes will be awarded in line with our four main degree programmes we run at the School of East Asian studies. These are:
● Chinese Studies (Chinese culture, society and politics)
● Japanese Studies (Japanese culture, society and politics)
● Korean Studies (Korean culture, society and politics
● East Asia Studies (East Asia as a cultural, social and political region)

You should write your essay with reference to one of the above degree programme categories, using examples from reputable sources. We are particularly interested in how students connect East Asia to their personal lives or local communities, so we welcome entries that combine scholarly analysis and personal reflection.

Include a bibliography.  Essays must be typed, saved as a Word or PDF document and submitted via email on the competition entry form (available below)

The deadline for submissions is midnight, Sunday April 4 th 2021.
Winners will be announced by Friday 23 April 2021.

Please remember to keep a copy of your essay for your own records. Since we will provide brief comments on every submitted essay, you may wish to consult your original submission again in light of these comments.

For more information contact Edd Poole:
● Telephone: +44 1142 229704
● Email:

Resources to get you started

To help you get started, here are some resource relating to each of our areas of focus. These include academic articles, news stories and journalistic writings, and popular culture articles. Feel free to use any or none of these to get you started!

Chinese studies - Academic (link here); Journalistic (link here); popular (link here)
Japanese studies - Academic (link here); Journalistic (link here); popular (link here)
Korean studies - Academic (link here); Journalistic (link here); popular (link here)
East Asian studies - Academic (link here); Journalistic (link here); popular (link here)


We will award three prizes for each strand in the competition (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and East Asian Studies):
First Prize: £100
Second Prize: £50
Third Prize: £25

All monetary prizes will be given in the form of Amazon gift certificates.

How to submit

Please complete the entry form (available here) and send as an email attachment to with the subject ‘School of East Asian Studies Essay Prize’. Entrants should include on the entry form:
● Students’ full name
● Students’ date of birth
● Contact email address
● Students’ school (name and address)
● Please specify what kind of school this is: (e.g. State Comprehensive, State Grammar school, State Boarding school, Faith school/Faith Academy, Private/Independent school, Other- please specify)
● Is this school fee paying? Yes/No
● Students’ address and postcode (to send any prizes)
● Whether the student would be happy to be contacted about future events, including Open Days

Good luck!

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