The winners of the History is in the Making competition are:

13-15 Years Category

1st Place – Izzy Goldberg (RGS Newcastle), Sylvia Plath

2nd Place – Pinar Atamusa (Ark John Keats Academy), George Orwell

16-18 Years Category

1st Place – Ruby Campbell (Belfast High School), Seamus Heaney

2nd Place – Rhea Kaur Pardesi (Barton Peveril VI Form College), Helen Maria Williams

3rd Place – Emma Wright (Barton Peveril VI Form College), Oscar Wilde

Here’s what the winners had to say:

‘It still feels slightly surreal that my essay – essentially a passion piece – managed to win the competition for my age category. Participating in the History is in the Making competition has been an amazing experience: getting to fangirl over Sylvia Plath, learn more about her and hopefully inspire others to read more of her work has been absolutely incredible. I was slightly nervous about putting my work out there, as it was something so close to my heart, but I don’t regret it at all and would definitely recommend that others do the same: you never know what might happen!’

Izzy Goldberg, 1st Place, 13-15 Years


‘Reading George Orwell’s books was always interesting for me, and sharing my passion for his work with RSL was a pleasure. Winning 2nd place is therefore an honour for me, and I would like to thank RSL for giving me this opportunity.’

Pinar Atamusa, 2nd Place, 13-15 Years


‘When I heard I had won the 16-18 category for the History is in the Making Competition, I was genuinely astonished- my friends can testify I stared blankly at my phone for at least thirty seconds. Writing that essay was so important for me, as I’ve long felt I needed to express my gratitude to Seamus Heaney, and other brilliant writers like him. They have given me so much, and I hope that, in doing this, I have given a little something back. I am so grateful to the RSL for selecting my piece for the anthology, and I am freshly inspired to keep on writing!’

Ruby Campbell, 1st Place, 16-18 Years


‘I am absolutely elated to have come 2nd, as an avid reader and aspiring writer this has really boosted my confidence when writing. I am only sixteen, therefore I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to enter this competition and showcase why I believe Helen Maria Williams is such an icon. So thank you very much for selecting me!’

Rhea Kaur Pardesi, 2nd Place, 16-18 Years


‘I really enjoyed the experience of writing this because I’ve never really condensed my entire thoughts and opinions on one writer into an essay, so it was interesting to see which details stood out in my mind as the most important to summarise Wilde entirely. I chose to write about Oscar Wilde because I would love for more people to discover and appreciate his work!’

Emma Wright, 3rd Place, 16-18 Years


Read all of the winning entries here.

The RSL is committed to supporting emerging and contemporary writers of all ages. We hope the History is in the Making anthology inspires you to discover new writers and build a society that champions literature for all. We thank everyone who submitted to this competition and contributed to our ever-growing anthology.

For more opportunities, please consider submitting to our awards and prizes for writers at all different stages in their careers.