Call for entries to Longform essay competition

Deadline: 31 May 2018


“Essays,” wrote Simon Schama, “are the last, heroic stand for the seriousness of prose entertainment”. That was six years ago, when The Bodley Head, an imprint of Random House, and the Financial Times launched the first edition of our prize for the brightest and best new voices in long-form essay-writing.

We believe the sentiment is as true today as it was then, and are delighted to announce that we are now welcoming submissions for our 2018 prize.


The competition is open to anyone between 18 and 35 years old. Our judges are looking for a dynamic, authoritative and lively essay of no more than 3,500 words in English. It can be wide-ranging or minutely focused and, in keeping with the ethos of both sponsors, it can address any topic — from finance and current affairs to history and scientific discovery.


The winner will receive:


● £1,000 and an e-publication with The Bodley Head


● Publication in the FT and on the of their winning essay


● A mentoring session with The Bodley Head and FT


● 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 How to Enter


Please click here to enter your essay for 2018 prize. The competition closes at 10pm GMT on May 31 2018. Terms and conditions apply.