The Bodley Head

Great thinking

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The Bodley Head is dedicated to agenda-setting non-fiction by our most original thinkers and gifted communicators: books to help us understand the world and bend it in a new direction. We publish global leaders and renowned dissidents, path-breaking reporters and esteemed historians, Nobel Prize-winning scientists and the voices and visionaries who will shape our future.

Our list embraces all subjects, from nature to current affairs, ancient history to cutting-edge technology, from the urgent issues of the day to the timeless questions of how to live. Our books’ approaches are as various as their perspectives: immersive narratives and intimate memoirs sit alongside definitive biographies and epic histories, powerful manifestos and transporting reportage.

Whatever the subject and whatever the form, our authors match bold thinking with superb writing, and their books expand minds and enhance lives.

Our recent highlights

Bodley Head / FT Essay Prize

The Bodley Head / FT Essay Prize aims to discover young talent from around the world in long-form essay writing. The prize has led to many new and exciting opportunities for winners and runners-up. Hedley Twidle, winner of the first Bodley Head / FT Essay Prize, is now a regular contributor to the FT. Edward Posnett won in 2014 for his essay ‘Eiderdown’ and has his first book, Harvest, due for publication with The Bodley Head in 2019. And 2015’s winner, Laurence Blair, has also been signed up by The Bodley Head to write his first book, which expands on his essay, ‘Dreams of the Sea’, and will be published in 2020.

The competition runs every year and is open to anyone between 18 and 35 years old. Judges will be looking for 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. We aren’t looking for a particular subject; we’re simply looking for writing that brings its subject alive, and turns the reader’s head with its style.

For information about the competition, visit this page on the FT website.

The Bodley Head and Financial Times Essay Prize, illustration and logo


The Bodley Head and Financial Times announce their eighth annual essay prize

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