Seriously good writing by the most engaging thinkers of our time

Bodley Head logo

The Bodley Head publishes influential, compelling non-fiction that explores the ideas, the people, the human obsessions that shape our world. Our books come from some of the leading writers and thinkers of our time, addressing a huge range of subjects: science, reportage and current affairs, medicine, memoir, history, maths, biography, music, natural history, smart thinking and economics.

The Bodley Head was first founded in 1887 and today we publish an international range of prize-winning authors including Siddhartha Mukherjee and Yanis Varoufakis, Lisa Randall and Misha Glenny, Simon Schama and Karen Armstrong.

Recently, writers as diverse as Ai Weiwei, Edith Hall, Paul Kalanithi, Julia Lovell, Cedric Villani, Timothy Snyder, Ian Mortimer, Lewis Dartnell and Ed Yong have joined the list – united by their originality, by their expertise and by their gifts as communicators.  

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.

Publicity enquiries

For enquiries relating to titles from The Bodley Head, contact the Vintage publicity team.

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising