Holodomor 2019 Essay Prize Results



The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain is pleased to announce the results of the Second Holodomor Essay Prize Competition.


Launched in 2018, the Competition seeks to inspire academic investigation by sixth form school students in the UK into the little known topic of the Holodomor - the barbaric and systematic starvation of millions of Ukrainians over a period of just 18 months in 1932-33.


Since the Holodomor is generally not covered in the UK school curriculum, the Essay Prize Competition has been developed to introduce the topic of the Holodomor to young people, teachers and schools and in doing so, to help raise awareness about an atrocity that receives all too little attention.


The winners of the 2019 Holodomor Essay Prize Competition are:


First Prize: £1000

Rachael Ward, The John Henry Newman Catholic School, Stevenage


Second Prize: £400

Tobias Whelton, Greenshaw High School, Sutton


Third Prize: £200

Anastasia Ougrin, Brighton College, Brighton


Highly Commended

Leah Dorotiak, Greenhead College, Huddersfield


Highly Commended

Sarah Shah, Wakefield Girls’ High School, Wakefield


The Essay Prize Competition is open to all sixth form students attending any school or college in the UK. Candidates are invited to submit a historical style essay of between 1500 and 2000 words on the topic of Holodomor. Dr. Olenka Pevny, Cambridge University lecturer and Director of the Cambridge Ukrainian Studies programme, headed the judging panel which also included AUGB Board member Hanya Dezyk.


Commenting on Rachael Ward’s winning entry, one of the judges noted that “this essay was well written and well argued, with an original use of different materials including current contemporary discussion of materials from Ukraine. The student was clearly engaged in the topic. It was also well argued to the title." 


On other essays, the judges praised different students in various ways:  


“Excellent discussion of the involvement and culpability of western governments and media in the covering up the Holodomor. Excellent argument, reflecting interesting insights, well and fluently argued and well organised to build a solid conclusion…” or "…an excellent essay assessing the views of many different historians, with an analytical approach of compare and contrast. The student was very engaged in terms of looking at different sources, witness statements and historian views...".

Sadly, it was not possible for all entrants to share the winning spots and it is therefore all the more  commendable that many students who took part in the competition and finished outside of the top three sent some delightful messages of thanks:

  • “I really enjoyed writing the essay and it was an eye-opening experience to learn and write about the Holodomor. I’ am now doing my A Level History coursework on a similar topic! Thank you very much for the experience and your consideration.”

  • “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in this essay prize competition. I really appreciate it and have come out with lots of skills and have learnt a lot about the researching process.”
  • “It was such an amazing opportunity to write this essay. I feel greatly privileged to be put in the top ten and I am greatly thankful for your comment - it made me very grateful for having the opportunity to write such a meaningful essay. Thank you again, for this wonderful opportunity.” 
  • “Thanks so much for the opportunity, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and learnt so much about a fascinating topic.”

The Competition will be repeated in 2020.