Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize 2017

Publish Date: Nov 28, 2016

Deadline: Jan 29, 2017

About the competition

The Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Prize aims to discover young talent from around the world 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 prize, is now a regular contributor to the FT and other outlets including the New Statesman. Adnan Sarwar, 2013’s winner, has written widely for the 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. 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 prize-winning essay ‘Dreams of the sea’.

How to enter

Complete our application form and upload your essay (Find this in the "Further official information link" below this announcement). Deadline for submissions is January 29 2017 (midnight GMT)


The 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 books editor, FT) and literary agent Georgina Capel of Georgina Capel Associates.

The judges are 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.

“FT Weekend is immensely proud of its sponsorship of the essay prize,” says Alec Russell, editor of FT Weekend. “The essay and long-form journalism more broadly have happily defied many doom-laden predictions and are flourishing in digital forms. But in an age of ‘churnalism’ and ‘post-fact’ politics the quest for finding and nurturing new writers is all the more important.”

The winner will receive

  • £1,000 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 FT Weekend, and a selection of books from The Bodley Head

Please enter using the online form, but should you have any urgent queries email Unfortunately, due to the volume of submissions received, we are unable to respond immediately.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

Similar Opportunities



Opportunity Types



Eligible Countries


Event Types