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Riley Declamation Prize

The Brian Riley Declamation Prize


This is the twenty fifth competition for the Riley Prize which is designed to encourage communication skills and reward excellence in both written and oral presentation.  Last year’s winner was Toby Parsloe.

A prize of £700 may be awarded for the best speech on any topical subject with a European theme.  Some possible titles are listed below, but the theme can be interpreted quite broadly.  All contestants must submit the proposed title of their speech to the Senior Tutor no later than Friday 25th October.

Any undergraduate or graduate member of College may compete.  Candidates, if short-listed will be asked to read their composition, or part of it, before an audience.  The written scripts of the speech must be submitted to the Senior Tutor by Wednesday 30th October.   The speech should last for some 10-15 minutes.  The competition itself will take place on the evening of Thursday 7th November. Details will be provided later.

The judges will pay attention not only to substance but also to written style and to elegance of presentation.  Over long speeches will be penalised.

The prize was created in memory of Brian Riley who matriculated in 1959 and read Modern and Medieval Languages and Oriental Studies at Pembroke, specialising in German, French and Chinese.  He maintained his interest in foreign languages and cultures throughout his life.

Some examples of titles of recently submitted entries:

  •  Europe’s Migration Crisis
  • ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’
  •  Large Hadron and other European   collisions
  • European Foreign Policy
  • Where does Europe end?
  • Don’t bank on Europe
  • Berlin Philharmonic
  • Europe’s carbon footprint
  • In, Out, Shake it all About?
  • Couch surfing: Europe from inside
  • The Ultimate Inter-Rail
  • Europe and Greece: where now?
  • Islam and Europe
  • Europe and Hollywood
  • Euroscience
  • Towards a Super State
  • Cultures and Anarchy
  •  Merkel’s Miracle Worker
  •  Online or offside? Jeux sans Frontières