The Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest for High School Students
Contest opens December 1, 2018 and ends March 1st by midnight 2019


How good is your Latin?

Write a Latin Fable

Submit a Latin Fable

Win Prizes & Scholarship Monies

About the Contest

New Saint Andrews College is offering $5,000 in scholarships to participating seniors who place among the finalists.* That’s in addition to the top prize of $500 for first place. Other cash prizes will be given to the second-and third-place winners, along with honorable mention recognition for other deserving entries.
Participating students will submit a 100- to 200-word original fable in Latin, along with an English translation of the submitted piece. Compositions will be graded based on the student’s ability to accurately use Latin vocabulary and forms of speech, the student’s creativity in subject matter and writing style.
The Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest is administered entirely through the internet and allows willing teachers to take part in the nationwide judging. There is no cost to you or your student. Please read on. Getting started is easy.
*Five $1,000 dollar one-time scholarships will be awarded to seniors who place as finalists. Scholarships are for students who enroll at New Saint Andrews College for the fall of 2018. Students interested in applying to NSA can learn more here.

Entry Guidelines

The fable should be as much like a Greek or Roman fable as possible. Keep the following in mind:
  1. A fable is a short fictional story that teaches a lesson or has a moral. Many times fables teach how the world works rather than how one should behave. Frequently, the moral or lesson is stated explicitly at the beginning or at the end of the fable. Sometimes, the lesson is implicit and it is only stated whom the lesson applies to (e.g., This fable is written to the greedy).
  2. The characters of a fable may be people, gods, animals, plants, or even inanimate objects.
  3. When animals, plants, or objects are in a fable, they think and speak like humans. But even though such characters think and speak like humans, they still behave like animals, plants, or objects. For example, a fox in a fable might try to steal a piece of cheese from a raven, but a fox in a fable would never be driving a car (or chariot) to work.
  4. The type of animal, plant, or object chosen for a character should be appropriate for the part. For instance, a lion should be noble or powerful, a fox clever, and a peacock proud. But there is no requirement to choose traditional stock fable characters, as long as they fit well.
  5. The fable should only use Latin words that are listed in Smith’s English-Latin Dictionary.
  6. The fable should only employ grammatical constructions that are recommended in Bradley’s Arnold Latin Prose Composition.
  7. The fable should be easy to understand.
  8. The fable should employ Latin word order and style rather than English.


$5,000 in scholarships*
1st Prize: $500 in cash
2nd Prize: $300 in cash
3rd prize: $200 in cash
Honorable mention certificates
*Certain qualifications apply.


*Registration for the eighth annual 2018-2019 Phaedrus Contest is open December 1, 2018
    • Submissions can be made by either a teacher or a student (a teach must be listed).
    • Entries are submitted online, on or before midnight on March 1, 2019. Submissions sent after 11:59 P.M. PDT, will not be accepted.
  • Judging will be completed no later than May 1, 2019.


Contest Rules
  1. A 100- to 200- word original fable in Latin.
  2. Submit an English translation of the submitted piece.
  3. Compositions are graded based on the student’s ability to accurately use Latin vocabulary and forms of speech, the student’s creativity in subject matter and writing style.
  4. The student must be 13-18 years old.
  5. One entry per student per year.
  6. Entries must be submitted via the Contests internet-based platform through google forms.
  7. Students may make free use of any Latin dictionary, Latin grammar, or other resource. Students should, however, keep in mind that Smith’s English-Latin Dictionary and Bradley’s Arnold Latin Prose Composition are the standards for this contest.
  8. The fable must be original in its entirety, not a reworking of an existing fable in Latin or any other language. If a fable seems too close to any existing fable, it will automatically be disqualified without explanation.
  9. The composition must be solely the work of the student participating in the contest. A teacher or instructor may NOT write any part of the fable, even in correcting a mistake. Contestants may NOT submit a composition that was written in cooperation with another person.
  10. Students are allowed to submit their composition to a teacher or instructor for feedback one time, but teachers or instructors may only give two kinds of help: first, they may indicate the presence of an error by circling the entire word that is in error; second, they may indicate that the error is one of the following general types of grammatical error: case, number, gender, tense, voice, mood, person, spelling, or verb-formation. If any help beyond this is suspected, the submission will be disqualified.

Contact Us

Contact Us
Heather Lloyd
Contest Coordinator
(208) 882-1566
Timothy Griiffith
Fellow of Classical Languages
(208) 882-1566
New Saint Andrews College
405 S. Main Street
P.O. Box 9025
Moscow, Idaho 83843

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