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Life Writing
Prize

OPEN TO NEW AND EMERGING LIFE WRITERS, SPREAD THE WORD’S LIFE WRITING PRIZE WAS ESTABLISHED TO CELEBRATE AND DEVELOP LIFE WRITING IN THE UK. 

The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre was established in 2016, thanks to a generous donation from Joanna Munro. Blake Morrison is Patron of the Prize.

Free to enter, the Prize aims to find the best life writing from emerging writers from across the UK. The Prize defines life writing as ‘intended to be true’, reflects someone’s own life journey or experiences and is not fiction. The competition is open to writers who have yet to publish a full-length work or have a literary agent.

The 2017 prize was won by Jon Paul Roberts for 1955-2012.
The 2018 prize was won by Danny Brunton for New Boy.
The 2019 prize was won by Charlotte Derrick for The Lady in Black.
The 2020 prize was won by Lorelei Goulding for Birdie.

The Life Writing Prize will open for entries again in November 2020. 

I couldn’t believe it when the phone call came. I’m so pleased Birdie seems to have resonated with people – it’s humbling to think something so personal has been so well-received. As a writer I have always been a bit skittish – privately scribbling away for years in dribs and drabs, and too nervous to show my work to anyone – so winning the prize has been incredibly validating for me.

Lorelei Goulding, Life Writing Prize Winner 2020

Life Writing Prize 2020 Anthology

Life Writing Prize 2020 Anthology


Lorelei Goulding - Birdie

Winner


Joanna Brown - Birds can be heard singing through open windows

Highly Commended


Laurane Marchive - For the Flesh is Sour

Highly Commended


Maxine Davies - Dad's Home

Shortlist


Carla Montemayor - North of the River

Shortlist


Josh Holton - Death and Birdwatching

Shortlist


Elena Croitoru - On Sigma-Algebras

Longlist


SR Shah - Mink Lashes

Longlist


Ruby Eastwood - The Spoon Garden

Longlist


Nicky Watkinson - This is a story about friendship

Longlist


Stephen Crawley - Down Ashton

Longlist


Sue Hann - Palingenesis

Longlist


Judges 2020

Kerry Hudson


Nell Stevens


Sathnam Sanghera


Life Writing Prize Mentors 2020

Colin Grant


Max Porter


Kerri ní Dochartaigh

Writing Mentor


Jo Dingley

Editor Mentor


Life Writing Prize Alumni

Jon Paul Roberts

Winner 2017


Danny Brunton

Winner 2018


Charlotte Derrick

Winner 2019


Claire Lynch

Highly Commended 2017


Kerri Ní Dochartaigh

HIghly Commended 2017


Laura Morgan

Highly Commended 2018


Xanthi Barker

Highly Commended 2018


Helen Longstreth

Highly Commended 2019


Alison Marr

Highly Commended 2019


Cathy Galvin

Shortlisted 2017


Kathy Hoyle

Shortlisted 2017


Gill Haigh

Shortlisted 2017


David Murphy

Shortlisted 2018


Ruth Tudor

Shortlisted 2018


Kate Ivanova

Shortlisted 2018


Sulaxana Hippisley

Shortlisted 2019


Laurane Marchive

Shortlisted 2019


Oluwafunmilayo Adewale

Shortlisted 2019


Topher Campbell

Longlisted 2017


Sara Jafari

Longlisted 2017


Lizanne Davies

Longlisted 2017


Kashmir Tutt

Longlisted 2017


Deirdre Shanahan

Longlisted 2017


Kaveri Woodward

Longlisted 2017


Lui Sit

Longlisted 2018


Sue Rickard

Longlisted 2018


Stevie Heaven

Longlisted 2018


Farhana Shaikh

Longlisted 2018


Aisling Twomey

Longlisted 2019


Madeline Cross

Longlisted 2019


Roisin Maguire

Longlisted 2019


k devan

Longlisted 2019


Sam Hampson

Longlisted 2019


Leke Apena

Longlisted 2019