Flash Fiction results 2022

In December 2021, we launched our annual Flash Fiction competitions, which closed at the end of March. The competition was open to students in Years 7 to 13, who were tasked with writing a short story of no more than 100 words in French and/or Spanish.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

We had an incredible response, with entries coming in from the UK and beyond! In total, we received over 1350 submissions across the two languages!

The judges were very impressed with the quality of the entries. We would like to thank everyone who entered the competition and commend you all for your hard work and creativity in writing a piece of fiction in a different language. This is a challenging exercise, and a significant achievement – congratulations all!

We are delighted to be able to announce the winners, runners up and highly commended entries in this week’s blog post.


In the Years 7-11 category, the winner is Mahdiya Gul in Year 10. The runner-up is Elsa Rea in Year 9.

The judges also highly commended Sara Bjelanovic, Steph Harper, Khalen Kumarapperuma Arachchige, Archie Lewis, Saba Sabir, Chaitanya Sapra, Heba Shahzad, Anna Skrypina, Gabriella Sweeney, and Lulu Wills.

In the Years 12-13 category, the winner is Devon Chandler in Year 12. The runner-up is Maia Forbes in Year 12.

The judges also highly commended Rose Bourdier, Ellen Burton, Jasmine Channa, Charlie Cross, Sascha Entwistle, Lucy Fan, Carmen Gessell, Thomas Hilditch, Betina Tello Peirce and Harriet Tyler.


In the Years 7-11 category, the winner is Leila Zak in Year 11. The runner up is Raffaella O’Callaghan in Year 10.

The judges also highly commended Sofia Smith, Isabella Rickard, Roxy Cole, Poppy Rhodes, Reema Hindocha, Julia Chermanowicz, Lilia Perry, Ayesha Nusrath, Caitlin McGowan, Pragvansh Bhatt.  

In the Years 12-13 category, the winner is Emilia Roy in Year 12. The runner up is Karolin Rendelmann in Year 12.

The judges also highly commended Adam Noad, Nicole Puhr, Toni Agbede, Polly O’Sullivan, Daria Pershina, Aarav Ganguli, Marina Michelli-Marsden, Libby Rock, Anna Couzens, Matilda Lawson.

Félicitations! / ¡Felicidades! If anyone is curious to read the winning stories, we will be publishing them in the coming weeks.

Congratulations to our winners, once again!

Oxford Is Open!

Come and visit us this summer to discover what student life at Oxford is really like.

After two years of online open days, Oxford is once again ready to welcome prospective applicants and their companions! Regardless of which universities you are interested in studying at, open days are an important opportunity for you to get a feel for the cities and/or campuses in which you might be spending three or four years. We recommend visiting lots of different universities if you can to find out which places make you feel most at home.

Here at Oxford, we have University-wide Open Days running on Wednesday 29 June, Thursday 30 June and Friday 16 September. These days offer an ideal opportunity for you to explore Oxford, find out more about our courses, tour colleges and quiz our tutors and current students.

It will be busy and you will probably leave feeling that there just wasn’t enough time, but you will also have a really good idea of Oxford and whether it might be the university for you. The secret to open days is definitely planning, so do explore all the information given here.

It is not mandatory to register for an Oxford Open Day, although we strongly recommend that you do in order to receive our university newsletters, full of top tips on how to make the most of your day.

The Taylor Institution Library (commonly known as the Taylorian) 

In terms of Modern Languages, we will be running sessions across these days in the Taylor Institution Librarybetween 10:30am and 3:30pm. These will be a great opportunity to learn about our Modern Languages courses, talk to our tutors from our different languages, tour the Taylorian, and pick up prospectuses.

We do not take bookings for these sessions, but places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. You can take a look at the programme here for more details.

We look forward to welcoming lots of you to Oxford and the Modern Languages Faculty very soon!

The Stephen Spender Prize 2022

The Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation, in association with The Guardian, is now open for entries. Anybody in the UK and Ireland can enter, regardless of age or linguistic skill. The Stephen Spender Trust’s (SST) Resources hub is full of virtual resources to make the prize accessible from home, as well as teaching packs to bring poetry translation into the classroom.

This year, the prize is more inclusive and vibrant than ever, from British Sign Language translation to new prizes for first-time entrants. SST’s virtual poetry booklets collect together poems in more than 17 languages.

SST Director Charlotte Ryland:

“Poetry translation is a perfect activity for these challenging times: it is a gentle and structured approach to creativity, without the intimidating blank page that can put off many would-be poets; it is an opportunity for parents and children to work together, in particular in families where more than one language is spoken; and it is a task that can be shared with peers and teachers.”

This year’s judges are acclaimed poets, translators and educators Khairani Barokka, Daljit Nagra and Samantha Schnee.

Khairani Barokka, Daljit Nagra and Samantha Schnee

Closing date: 15 July 2022

  • Categories: Open (adult), 18-and-under, 16-and-under, 14-and-under
  • Top prize of £1,000
  • All winning entries published in the 2022 Stephen Spender Prize booklet
  • Special ‘Spotlight’ prize for translation from Romanian, judged by Gabi Reigh

Full details on the SST website. Good luck to all participants!

Opportunity Oxford

Students at an Opportunity Oxford event

Today I’d like to introduce you to Opportunity Oxford, our university’s flagship widening participation programme. Modern Languages entered the programme with a pilot scheme last year, and we have more than doubled the number of language students enrolled for this coming summer.

Opportunity Oxford is a bridging course that happens between the time you receive an offer of a place on an undergraduate course with us in January of Year 13 and the start of the degree course itself the following October.

It consists of:

a welcome day in February,

an online academic course in the summer during July and August,

and a two-week residential in Oxford in September.

It’s part of the university’s drive to recruit students with the highest academic potential, whatever their background, and is open to students who are on track to meet the academic requirements of their chosen course and come from either an area with low progression to higher education or an area of socio-economic disadvantage, or both. Among those students, where admissions tutors feel they might welcome some introductory sessions on a few of the study skills needed for the degree course, plus a taste of Oxford student life before the course proper gets underway, they can decide to include an invitation to the Opportunity Oxford bridging programme in the offer of a place on the degree course .

Here are some students on the programme talking about their experience:

If you’re considering applying to Oxford and think you might be interested in or eligible for the bridging programme, then don’t worry: you don’t have to do anything at all from your side. Just apply to Oxford through UCAS in the normal way. If you’re eligible for the programme, we’ll know from the widening participation data that UCAS includes with your application. And then, once admissions interviews are over, if the subject tutors in your college think you might find the scheme helpful, then they’ll include an invitation to take part in Opportunity Oxford with the acceptance letter you receive in January.

You can find more details of what Opportunity Oxford is and how it works here.

We’re looking forward to welcoming this year’s Opportunity Oxford cohort to the bridging course this summer. And among those of you currently in Year 12 and thinking of applying to Oxford later on this year, some will be getting an invitation early next year to join the 2023 bridging course with us.