The Nine Dots Prize for creative thinking has revealed his year's question, part of a global problem-solving competition that offers $100,000 (£77,000) and a Cambridge University Press book deal for the winning response.
Launched in 2016, the Nine Dots Prize encourages innovative thinking and engaging new writing that confronts some of the most significant issues of our time. The prize is judged entirely anonymously and seeks submissions from both established names and emerging talent, including those who may not have been published before.
The question for the 2021/2022 cycle is: “What does it mean to be young in an ageing world?” Entrants must respond to the set question in 3,000 words and provide an outline showing how they would expand their response into a short book of between 25,000 to 40,000 words, backed up with relevant research and evidence.
The winner will receive editorial support from Cambridge University Press alongside the opportunity to spend a term at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, at Cambridge University, to help develop their ideas and focus on writing.
It will be judged by a 12-strong board of internationally recognised and distinguished academics, authors, journalists and thinkers. This time they include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Anne Applebaum, head of the department of politics and international studies at the University of Cambridge, Professor David Runciman, and international lawyer and writer Petina Gappah.
Coinciding with the launch of the question, new episodes of the Nine Dots Prize podcast will be released from October with guests including Tim Harford, Helen Lewis and Onjali Rauf.
Professor Simon Goldhill, chair of the board said: “The Nine Dots Prize began as an experiment into finding new methods of solving the big issues of our times, encouraging people to come at them in a fresh way through interesting framing—then offering them the time and support to develop their ideas fully. Our first two winners could not have been more different in terms of their backgrounds, professions and experiences. Both produced books that furthered the conversation around the questions we set in valuable, insightful, thorough and nuanced ways. Our latest question will resonate with writers around the world, and I cannot wait to see the work submitted, much of which I am sure will surprise and delight the judges.”
The Nine Dots Prize is open to anyone worldwide aged 18 years or over writing in English. Entries must be submitted online by midday (GMT) on 18th January 2021. The winner will be announced in May 2021.