TWO international non fiction writing competitions
The Financial Times and Bodley Head have launched an international essay writing competition for young writers. (I admit that I’ve got to the stage where 35 and below looks young.)
The essay form of writing is apparently on its way back. Aldous Huxley, famous as the author of Brave New World as well as essays and many other things, said that the essay was:
a literary device for saying almost everything about almost anything
So in keeping with that tradition to enter this competition you can write about anything you want from science to history to current affairs. (George Orwell once wrote a memorablel essay on how to make the perfect cup of tea.)
The organisers say they want “dynamic, authoritative and lively” entries – maximum of 3,500 words.
The prize is a £1,000 prize plus e-publication with the Bodley Head plus a mentoring session with an FT or Bodley Head writer. Deadline November 18th Visit www.ft.com/BodleyHeadFTcompetition for more details. I should add that one of the judges is Simon Schama. His historical writing has been described as ‘animated description’ – it reads as fluidly as a novel and is as reliable and trustworthy as a news report on yesterday’s weather.
The second competition I want to flag up is The Fish Memoir Prize for 2013.
To fill you in if you haven’t heard of Fish before, it is a long established and highly prestigious literary body based in west Cork that have been running international writing competition for over a decade. They are champions of good writing and the only thing I have against them in their name. It’s a fine name and probably has all kinds of wonderful literary associations that escape me (there’s the salmon of wisdom is Irish myths but I’m struggling for other writerly fishes). The problem comes when you google it – there’s a helluva lot of fish competitions out there…anyway this one is for a previously unpublished passage of life writing up to 4000 words.
The Fish people (they only have themselves to blame) define a memoir as
giving licence – to interpret, to create, to fabricate, to make sense of a life, or part of that life.
First Prize is €1,000 and publication plus an invitation to the West Cork literary festival next summer. Closing date end of January 2013. It costs €16 to enter online.
Find out more at Fish Publishing and good luck.
Fish is the one I would love to win and not just because I don’t qualify for the FT one…