How to enter
the Life Writing Prize 2018

Opportunities

Hello! We hope you are considering entering the Life Writing Prize 2018. This page contains information you need to know about entering the Life Writing Prize 2018. We also have some FAQs that might be helpful. 

  1. What is the Life Writing Prize? 

The Life Writing Prize was established by Spread the Word in association with Goldsmiths Writers Centre to support emerging writers to develop and achieve recognition for their life writing. It was recognised that there are fewer opportunities for emerging life writers than there are in forms such as fiction and poetry. The Prize rewards the winner with £1500, an Arvon course, two years’ membership to the Royal Society of Literature, a development meeting with literary agent Robert Caskie and a development meeting with an editor at Unbound. Two highly commended writers receive £500, a writing mentor, a development meeting with agent Robert Caskie and a development meeting with an editor at Unbound.

Life Writing is defined as ‘intended to be true’, i.e. not fiction, and is based on a significant portion from the author’s own personal experience. Traditional biographies where the piece is only about the experience of someone else are excluded. Pieces where a writer weaves a significant amount of their own experience in with someone else’s life, or a concept, are welcome.

2. Who can enter? 

Emerging writers aged 18 and over, based in the UK who:

  • Have not previously had a full-length literary work  published in print,  broadcast or performed. We define a full length work:
    • A complete work of fiction or non-fiction of over 30,000 words
    • Ten or more short stories either in a collection or published individually
    • A professionally produced theatre script or screenplay, or radio play
    • Twenty or more poems either in a collection or published individually

For the purposes of the Prize, self-published authors of any of the definitions above are welcome to enter (as long as the piece you are entering is totally unpublished, including self-published). For more elaboration, please see the FAQs.

3. What can I enter?

If you are eligible for the Prize, you can enter one piece of unpublished life writing (by unpublished we mean writing that has not been published by a publication OR self-published – it must not have been read or viewed publicly, even on a small blog) which is either the beginning extract of a longer piece of work or a self-contained piece of life writing of no more than 5000 words.

4. How do I enter online? 

Firstly, make sure you have read and understood the Life Writing Prize 2018 Rules. Once you’ve had a read through, entries for the Life Writing Prize 2018 are being accepted via Submittable in the Life Writing Prize 2018 category. Click on the Click here to Submit button below which will take you through to the entry form.

NB. Please make sure the file containing your work does not have your name on anywhere; do not worry that we won’t know it’s by you, we will if you complete the form correctly.


submit

5. Can I enter by post? 

Yes you can. Firstly, make sure you have read and understood the Life Writing Prize 2018 Rules. Once you’ve done that, please download and complete an entry form and post your work to: Life Writing Prize, Spread the Word, The Albany, Douglas Way, London, SE8 4AG by the Prize closing date of Friday 9 February 2018 at 5pm.

Please make sure the work you submit does not have your name on anywhere; don’t worry that we won’t know it’s by you, we will if you complete the form correctly.

Life Writing Prize 2018 Postal entry form

6. I have some questions. What do I do? 

Firstly, please make sure you’ve read the Life Writing Prize 2018 Rules and the FAQs. We receive a high level of interest in the Life Writing Prize, and have put these documents together to hopefully answer a lot of the FAQs we receive. If you have read the Rules and FAQs and you still have questions, you can email us on hello@spreadtheword.org.uk but please make sure that you have read these first.



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