The Financial Times and The Bodley Head launch their fifth annual essay prize

The Financial Times and The Bodley Head launch their fifth annual essay prize

The 2016 Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Prize has been launched. The prize aims to discover global young talent in long-form essay writing and has led to many new and exciting opportunities for winners and runners-up. 

Hedley Twidle, winner of the very first Bodley Head FT Essay Prize, is now a regular contributor to the FT and other outlets, including the New StatesmanAdnan Sarwar, 2013’s winner, has written widely for press in the UK. Edward Posnett won in 2014 for his essay ‘Eiderdown’ and has his first book, Harvest, due for publication with The Bodley Head in 2017. And last year’s winner, Laurence Blair, has also recently been signed up by The Bodley Head to write his first book, which expands on his 2015 winning essay, ‘Dreams of the Sea’.

This competition is open to anyone between 18-35 years old who would like their work to be read and judged by author Simon Schama, Stuart Williams (Publishing Director, The Bodley Head), Rachel Cugnoni (Publisher, Vintage), Alec Russell, (Editor, FT Weekend), Rebecca Rose (Deputy Literary Editor, FT) and Literary Agent Georgina Capel of Georgina Capel Associates.

Judges will be looking for a dynamic, authoritative and lively essay of no more than 3,500 words. 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. We aren't looking for a particular subject; we're simply looking for quality writing.

Deadline for submissions is 29th January 2017 (midnight GMT).

The winner will receive:

●      £1000 and an e-publication with The Bodley Head

●      A mentoring session with The Bodley Head and Financial Times

●      A subscription to, and a selection of books from The Bodley Head

Two runners up will win:

●      £500 each and an e-publication with The Bodley Head

●      A digital subscription to Weekend FT, and a bag of books from The Bodley Head

Submissions should be sent to or via the online entry form here.

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