The Bodley Head essay prize launches

The Bodley Head essay prize launches

The Bodley Head and the Financial Times have launched their fourth annual essay writing prize.

The award aims to discover global young talent in long-form essay writing, and the competition is open to anyone between 18 and 35 years old.

The judges are author Simon Schama, The Bodley Head’s publishing director Stuart Williams, The Bodley Head’s editorial director Will Hammond, Penguin Random House’s digital publisher Dan Franklin, FT Weekend editor Caroline Daniel, and FT Life & Arts editor Lucy Tuck.

The winner receives £1,000 and e-publication of their essay with The Bodley Head, a mentoring session with The Bodley Head and Financial Times, and a subscription to and a selection of books from The Bodley Head.

Two runners-up win £500 each and e-publication with The Bodley Head, plus a digital subscription to Weekend FT and a bag of books from The Bodley Head.

Last year’s winner, Edward Posnett, has his first book, Harvest, due for publication with The Bodley Head in 2017. It grew directly from his winning essay, ‘Eiderdown’.

Williams said: “We’re all eagerly looking forward to reading entries as diverse and unexpected as ever. Last year’s unanimously chosen winner was a magical essay about eider ducks in Iceland. And it is a special thrill that from that essay a full-length book is now hatching that Bodley Head will publish in 2017.”

Daniel said: “The Bodley Head FT essay prize has been a fantastic and rewarding forum over the last three years for finding and developing new young talent for the FT. The essay form is a great test of the ability to write long form and shape an argument over several thousand words - an ability that is increasingly under pressure in age of snapchat and twitter. It has been wonderful to watch the careers develop of some of the winners and those short-listed. I hope that FT readers benefit from the prize, as much as the writers themselves."

The deadline for submissions is midnight on 29th November.