Paterson and Li to judge Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize

Paterson and Li to judge Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize

Agent Emma Paterson and author Yiyun Li will judge this year's Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize, which aims to discover young long-form writing talent.

This competition is open to anyone aged 18 to 35 who has written a dynamic, authoritative and lively essay of no more than 3,500 words in English. It can be journalistic, a case study, wide-ranging or minutely focused. In keeping with the ethos of both sponsors, it can address any topic — from finance and current affairs to history and scientific discovery.

Dur e Aziz Amna, last year's winner, has subsequently been longlisted for the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award while former champions Edward Posnett and Laurence Blair have both been signed up by The Bodley Head.

This year's winner will receive £1,000 and an e-publication with The Bodley Head, plus publication of their winning essay in the Financial Times and a mentoring session from both companies.

Stuart Williams, publishing director at The Bodley Head, said: “We’re delighted to launch this year’s prize. Reading hundreds of essays has become a revealing annual litmus test of what’s on younger writers’ minds, concerns that always range from the extremely timely to the timeless. I expect our profoundly changed world will be the catalyst for a lot of exceptional writing this year.”

The deadline for submissions is 24th September 2020, with the winner announced in November.