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Why Character Matters Writing Contest


The Why Character Matters Writing Contest is open to University students from all institutions, subjects and disciplines. The contest requires students to consider the meaning and importance of particular virtues in private, public and professional life. 


For the purposes of the contest character is a set of personal virtues that inform motivation and guide conduct.



Submit a piece of writing of no more than 500 words about 'Why Character Matters'. This could be a story, a poem, a personal reflection, a blog post, a short academic article, or any other format you can think of.


You can be as creative with your writing as you want.

Winning students, plus their guests, will be invited to a special awards ceremony at the House of Lords to receive their award, a £100 voucher, and to enjoy a 3-course lunch. The ceremony will be hosted by Lord James O'Shaughnessy.


For more information please contact:

Research Fellow: Dr Binish Khatoon: 

Tel. 0121 415 8239



You can upload your piece of writing by clicking here using our online submission form.

You will also find our online submission form at the bottom of this page.







Alternatively you can email them to: 

Or  post them to

Dr. Binish Khatoon

Jubilee Centre for Chracter and Virtues

12th Floor (West) Muirhead Tower

University of Birmingham Edgbaston


B15 2TT



All pieces submitted will be read by the judging panel, and winners will be announced no later than 1-month before the ceremony ( 12th July 2017 ). Winners will be contacted either by email or phone.


All winners will receive a £100 voucher and will be invited to a special awards ceremony and lunch in the House of Lords on 12th July 2017.


( Make sure you keep this date free in your diary ... )





2016 Why Virtue Matters Contest

2016 Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest 

Winners were presented with their awards as part of the 2016 Jubilee Youth Awards, held at the House of Lords on Thursday 14th July. The photos below are of Lucy and Mollie (Primary Winners) and Jessica* and Awais (Secondary Winners) receiving their awards from Lord James O'Shaughnessy (Jubilee Centre and Floreat Education) and Sir Nick Parker (Step Up to Serve).

* Jessica's award was collected on her behalf by teacher

Essay Contest: Why Virtue Matters Winners, 2016

Primary Winners:

Lucy Snowdon                                 Dame Allan’s Schools, Northumberland              

Mollie McHardy,                               Heversham St Peter’s CE Primary School, Cumbria


Secondary Winners:

Jessica Bonner                                  Highclare School, West Midlands  

Awais Hussain                                  Dixons Kings Academy, West Yorkshire



2015 Why Virtue Matters Contest

Details of the 2015 finalists, and winners for each category, can be found below:

The contest ran for the first time in 2015 and received essays from 400 young people across both primary and secondary schools.

Overall Winner:


Primary Winners:



Secondary Winners:



Megan Edwards, Broadlands Primary Federated with Aylestone High School

Katie Seddon, Kings Langley School

Harry Batson, Wellington Academy

Georgia Parnham, Wellington Academy

Mina Staevska, Wellington Academy

Oscar Halm, Aylestone High School

Kate Laffey, Aylestone High School