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 2021 prize was won by Santanu Bhattacharya for The Nicer One.
The Life Writing Prize 2020 Anthology – features the top twelve submissions into the 2020 Prize. You can download it for free here: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/LifeWriting2020.pdf
The Life Writing Prize 2021 Anthology – features the top twelve submissions into the 2021 Prize. You can download it for free here: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/LWP2021-Longlist-Anthology.pdf
Celebrating five years of the Life Writing Prize – features articles and new pieces of life writing from former judges and winners including: Blake Morrison, Catherine Cho, Joanna Brown, Charlotte Derrick, Lorelei Goulding, Jon Paul Roberts, Kerri ní Dochartaigh, Claire Lynch and Xanthi Barker. There is also a further reading list of books and resources for aspiring life writers to read. You can download it for free here: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Celebrating-Five-Years-of-the-LWP.pdf
THE LIFE WRITING PRIZE 2021
The Life Writing Prize 2021 has closed for submissions. We will announce news about the next Life Writing Prize later in 2021.
The Prize was judged by Damian Barr, Catherine Cho and Frances Wilson. The mentees for the Life Writing Prize 2021 are Max Porter, Winnie M Li and Katy Massey. The winner of the Life Writing Prize received £1500, an Arvon course, a writing mentor, two years’ membership of the Royal Society of Literature, and an optional development meeting with an agent or editor. Two highly commended writers each received £500, a writing mentor and an optional meeting with an agent or editor. The top twelve writers are published in a Life Writing Prize booklet designed to showcase the Prize’s top writers to the literary world.