Brearley Essay Prize

The Stubbs Society is delighted to announce the opening of the 2023-24 Brearley Essay prize, which seeks to foster strategic thinking and international awareness in current school students, as well as providing young scholars an opportunity to write a university-style and standard essay.

We are excited to announce that entries for this year’s competition are now open. The winner will receive a book voucher worth £100, and five essays of superb quality will be highly commended. The question and guidelines can be found below. Entries from non-selective and state schools are particularly encouraged.


Is western power in decline?


Essays should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words, including all footnotes and references but excluding the bibliography. It’s worth considering the use of examples in your essays: the best essays often use a diverse selection of contemporary, historical or literary examples. We encourage you to provide references to your sources of information, and to include a bibliography at the end of the essay. Please include your name on the document and save the file as “Surname, First name, Brearley Essay Prize Entry”.

Please submit your essay by emailing it in PDF format to both and The subject of your email must be ‘Brearley Essay Prize Submission’, and the body of your email must include your full name and school/sixth form.

The deadline for submitting essays is 1st March 2024 at 5pm.


The Prize is for students in Year 12 or 13 at the time the questions are released in August. Students based abroad are most welcome to participate. To be eligible, you must be in your penultimate or final year of school. That is, to be eligible for the 2023/24 competition, you should be expecting to receive your final school results in 2024 or 2025. This condition is held to strictly. Each entrant to the competition is allowed to submit only one essay.

Any queries from students or teachers should be directed to the Secretary, Max Benster, by email to: