Phaedrus - New Saint Andrews College


Latin Composition Contest

Seeking to promote the study of Latin, New Saint Andrews challenges secondary students to compete in our annual Phaedrus Latin. Compose and submit an original Latin Fable to compete for cash prizes and scholarships to New Saint Andrews College. Put your creativity and Latin training to the test by entering this competition.

The contest begins December 15, 2019, and ends March 1, 2020, at midnight PST (Pacific Standard Time).


Put your creativity and Latin training to the test.








About the Contest

New Saint Andrews College is offering $1000 scholarships* for the top five Latin entries. That is in addition to the top prize of $500 for first place. The College also gives cash prizes 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, as well as the student’s creativity in subject matter and writing style.

The Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest is administered entirely through the internet. There is no cost, and getting started is easy.

*Five $1,000 one-time stackable scholarships will be awarded to students who place as finalists. Scholarships are for students who are accepted at and choose to attend New Saint Andrews College immediately following high school. 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 end of the fable, or implicitly (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. However, 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 intense, a fox clever, and a peacock proud. Nevertheless, there is no requirement to choose stock fable characters, as long as the chosen characters 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.

$1,000 NSA scholarships for the top five entries

1st Prize: $500 in cash

2nd Prize: $300 in cash

3rd Prize: $200 in cash

Honorable mention certificates


Registration for the ninth annual 2019-2020 Phaedrus Contest is open December 15, 2019
Submissions must be entered by students or their parents (teachers are welcome to assist).
Entries must be submitted online before midnight on March 1, 2020. Submissions sent after 11:59 P.M. PDT, will not be accepted.
Judging will be completed no later than May 1, 2020.

  1. The fable must be 100 to 200-word original composition.
  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 and still enrolled in an academic program.
  5. The student can only enter one submission per year.
  6. The student must submit entries via the Phaedrus Contest’s internet-based form provided on the website.
  7. The student may make free use of any Latin dictionary, Latin grammar, or other resources. 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 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.

Grace Hendrix
Contest Coordinator
(512) 300-4001

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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