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Life Writing
Prize

Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre is a new prize established in 2016. Open to any writer living in the UK aged 18 or over, the Prize was established to celebrate and develop life writing in the UK thanks to a generous donation from Joanna Munro. The prize will rewards the winner with £1500, an Arvon course, two years membership to the Royal Society of Literature and a meeting with an agent or editor as appropriate. Two highly commended writers will receive £500 each and a meeting with a mentor. The 2017 Prize was open for entries between November 2016 and February 2017. The first winner of the Life Writing Prize was 1955 – 2012 by Jon Paul Roberts. Entries for the 2018 Prize will open in Autumn 2017.

LIFE WRITING PRIZE SHOWCASE
- read a selection of 2017 Prize-listed writing

WINNER 2017

1955 - 2012 by Jon Paul Roberts


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highly commended 2017

The Year Dot by Claire Lynch


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highly commended 2017

Mudlarking by Kerri ní Dochartaigh


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Shortlisted 2017

The Missing Sixth by Cathy Galvin


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Shortlisted 2017

Singing to Seals by Gill Haigh


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Shortlisted 2017

Scab by Kathy Hoyle


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Longlisted 2017

The Knob Head Question by Sara Jafari


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Longlisted 2017

Attack of the White Van Woman by Lizanne Davies


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Longlisted 2017

9 Days - Modes of Distraction by Deirdre Shanahan


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Longlisted 2017

Nomad by Kaveri Woodward


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Longlisted 2017

Thin Lizzy by Kashmir Tutt


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"

What judging this prize demonstrates is that the genre is being explored in new and interesting ways.

Margaret Stead, Judge, 2017

LATEST

The Winner of the inaugural
Life Writing Prize is…

….Jon Paul Roberts for his memoir-in-essay 1955 – 2012.                  Claire Lynch was highly commended for..


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The Life Writing Prize 2017:
About the writers

Spread the Word’s Life Writing Prize is a new award open to new and emerging writers in the UK, started..


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Interview with Life Writing Prize 2017 Winner
Jon Paul Roberts

Hot on the heels of Jon Paul Roberts winning the inaugural Spread the Word Life Writing Prize 2017 for his..


  • Interview

INTERVIEW WITH HIGHLY COMMENDED
LIFE WRITING PRIZE WRITER Kerri Ní Dochartaigh

Kerri ní Dochartaigh was highly commended in the inaugural Life Writing Prize 2017 for ‘Mudlarking’, a piece of life writing..


  • Interview

Interview with Highly Commended
Life Writing Prize writer Claire Lynch

Claire Lynch was highly commended in the Life Writing Prize 2017 by the judges for her breathtaking life writing extract ‘The..


  • Interview

Life Writing Prize FAQs

We thought these FAQs might be useful for you to take a look through along with the terms and conditions..


  • Life Writing Prize

Life Writing Prize Rules

We are delighted to announce The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize 2017 in associate with Goldsmiths Writers Centre. Please..


  • Life Writing Prize

Amy Liptrot joins Life Writing Prize as mentor

Spread the Word is thrilled that Amy Liptrot will be one of the mentors for this year’s Life Writing Prize. Amy will mentor..


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A word with the Life Writing Prize 2017 judges

The inaugural Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre has an inspiring panel of judges;..


  • Life Writing Prize

Interview with Joanna Munro

A donation from Joanna Munro kickstarted the Spread the Word Life Writing Prize. Talking with Spread the Word’s Laura Kenwright,..


  • Life Writing Prize

Spread the Word announce
a new Life Writing Prize

Spread the Word is pleased to announce a new Life Writing Prize for new and emerging writers thanks to a..


  • Life Writing Prize
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"

The sheer volume of entries for a Prize that’s in its inaugural year shows how popular a genre life writing has become. For writers who want to tell their own stories, or the stories of people close or important to them for some reason, fiction can seem a copout – what’s needed is the charge of authenticity, the scars and bruising of the real.The twelve pieces on the longlist are wide-ranging, evoking experiences that are diverse in terms of age, gender, nationality and ethnicity, as well as varying widely in style, structure and content. Some are funny, some sad, some traumatic, and all have much to commend them.

BLAKE MORRISON Chair of Judges, 2017

JUDGES 2017

Blake Morrison

Blake Morrison was born in Skipton, Yorkshire, and educated at Nottingham University, McMaster University and University College, London. After working for the Times Literary Supplement, he went on to become literary editor of both The Observer and the Independent on Sunday before becoming a full-time writer in 1995. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and former Chair of the Poetry Book Society and Vice-Chair of PEN, Blake has written fiction, poetry, journalism, literary criticism and libretti, as well as adapting plays for the stage. His best-known works are probably his two memoirs, 'And When Did You Last See Your Father?' and 'Things My Mother Never Told Me'. Since 2003, Blake has been Professor of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College. He lives in south London.

Katy Massey

Dr Katy Massey is a writer and researcher specialising in life-writing and non-fiction. She regularly works for festivals and arts organisations, leading workshops and organising arts activities. She also founded and runs Tangled Roots, an Arts Council England-funded project founded in 2013 about the past and present and future of racial mixing in the UK. Tangled Roots' photography exhibition, two print anthologies and live literature show have been very well-received, both in the UK and the US. She previously worked as a freelance journalist, writing about banking and finance for national newspapers and magazines, before gaining a PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in 2010 which focussed on biography and memoir. She is currently working on 'Who Are We Now?' an examination of post-Brexit Britain from the perspective of it's non-white, non-indigenous residents.

Margaret Stead

Margaret Stead has been publishing director of Atlantic Books since April 2010, where she commissions literary fiction and non-fiction, and is responsible for the acquisitions strategy for Atlantic Books and its commercial imprint, Corvus. Recent Atlantic publications reflect her interests: The Iceberg by Marion Coutts, shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the 2015 Wellcome Prize, The Unravelling by Emma Sky, shortlisted for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize and Orwell Prize, The Lightless Sky by Afghan refugee Gulwali Passarlay, who made the journey alone to Britain aged 12, and Lu Spinney’s heartbreaking, powerful memoir Beyond the High Blue Air. Other authors include the brilliant Patrick Flanery, whose third novel I Am No One Atlantic published in February this year, AN Wilson, whose biography of Queen Victoria was the source material for the recent ITV dramatisation of the young Queen’ s life, Irish novelist Ruth Gilligan, Vince Cable whose first foray into fiction will be published next year, Christopher Hitchens, Christos Tsolkias and Damon Galgut. A New Zealander by birth, she is the daughter of poet and novelist CK Stead and sister of novelist and journalist Charlotte Grimshaw.

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