The Financial Times/Bodley Head Essay Prize 2020 (Prize: £1600)

The Financial Times/Bodley Head Essay Prize 2020 (Prize: £1600)

Annually, the Financial Times and The Bodley Head, one of Britain’s leading publishers of non-fiction, team up to find the best young essay-writing talent from around the world.

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In its eighth year, the Essay Prize has been a stepping stone for many exciting writers. This year the regular judging panel is joined by the award-winning writer Yiyun Li and leading literary agent, Emma Paterson.


Target Group: Anyone between 18 and 35 years of age
Host: Financial Times, Bodley Head
Deadline: 24 September 2020
Mode of Application: E-mail
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Eligibility for Bodley Head/ FT Essay Contest 2020.

  • The Bodley Head/FT Essay competition is open to anyone between 18 and 35 years old.
  • Entrants can be from any country.
  • Application is entirely free.
  • Applicants who have any kind of working and/or professional relations with any of the judges is not eligible.

Before you proceed, you may need this guide;

Submission Guidelines

  • The judges are looking for a dynamic, and lively essay that is able to control its own narrative.
  • The essay should not be more than 3,500 words.
  • They must be written in English and can be on any subject.
  • The winner will receive £1,000 cash and an e-publication with The Bodley Head, publication in the FT of their winning essay and a mentoring session with The Bodley Head.
  • Two runners-up will win £300 cash each and an e-publication with The Bodley Head.
  • Simultaneous submission is unacceptable. Only one essay per author will be accepted.
  • Please enter your details In the APPLICATION FORM, then paste your essay into the box provided.
  • The competition closes on Thursday, September 24 2020.
  • The winning entrant and runners-up will be notified by the Promoter by telephone in the week beginning November 2 2020.
  • The winner and two runners-up will be announced in the Financial Times by November 14 2020.
  • If the prize is declined or unclaimed by the winner, or if the winner cannot be contacted from the details supplied within 30 business days (“business day” meaning Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays) of notification, a replacement winner may be chosen at the Promoter’s discretion and will be notified by the Promoter.
  • The original entry that was chosen will then be disqualified.

Click here to submit your entry. If you have any questions about your entry, email [email protected]

Other Essay Competition

Casa Africa Essay Contest (Prize: €2000)
UBA Foundation National Essay Competition 2020 (N6 million Total Prize)
NANS Essay Competition 2020 for Secondary School Students (Prize: N400,000)
2020 Prof Gbolahan Elias Essay Competition
2020 CIPM Annual Essay Competition for Undergraduates
FITC Youth Connect Essay Challenge 2020 (prize: $1500 cash, Laptops and Mentorship)

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