The Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Competition 2020 for Long-form Essay Writing (£1,500 Prize plus Subscription to

Application Deadline:Thursday September 24 2020, at midday GMT.

Every year, 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. Now in its eighth year, The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize competition has been the springboard for many exciting writers. This year our regular judging panel is joined by the award-winning writer Yiyun Li and leading literary agent Emma Paterson.


  • The Bodley Head/FT Essay competition is open to anyone between 18 and 35 years old.
  • The judges are looking for a dynamic, authoritative and lively essay of no more than 3,500 words in English, 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. 

Application Procedure

  • Terms and conditions apply.
  • Please enter your details below, then paste your essay into the box provided.
  • The competition closes on Thursday September 24 2020, at midday GMT
  • You can find tips on how to write a winning entry here.
  • If you have any questions about your entry, email [email protected].

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Bodley Head/Financial Times Essay Prize 2020


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