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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.

Our first ever Life Writing Prize 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 is open for submissions to writers resident in the UK and is free to enter.

Before you submit, please make sure you’ve had a look through the rules, guidelines and FAQs for the Life Writing Prize 2021: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/enter-spread-the-words-2021-life-writing-prize/

The Rules and FAQs are also available to read in our inclusive reads documents, as an alternative to both (available in standard or large print). Disabled writers are welcome to submit video / audio files for their submission.

The deadline is 11:59pm on Monday 1 February.

We’re looking forward to reading your entry – good luck!

Life Writing Prize 2021

Damian Barr

Life Writing Prize 2021 Judge


Catherine Cho

Life Writing Prize 2021 Judge


Frances Wilson

Life Writing Prize 2021 Judge


Life Writing Prize Alumni

Aisling Twomey

Longlisted 2019


Carla Montemayor

Shortlisted 2020


Cathy Galvin

Shortlisted 2017


Danny Brunton

Winner 2018


David Murphy

Shortlisted 2018


Deirdre Shanahan

Longlisted 2017


Elena Croitoru

Longlisted 2020


Farhana Shaikh

Longlisted 2018


Gill Haigh

Shortlisted 2017


Helen Longstreth

Highly Commended 2019


Joanna Brown

Highly Commended 2020


Jon Paul Roberts

Winner 2017


Josh Holton

Shortlisted 2020


Kashmir Tutt

Longlisted 2017


Kate Ivanova

Shortlisted 2018


Kathy Hoyle

Shortlisted 2017


Kaveri Woodward

Longlisted 2017


Kerri Ní Dochartaigh

HIghly Commended 2017


Laura Morgan

Highly Commended 2018


Laurane Marchive

Shortlisted 2019, Highly Commended 2020


Leke Apena

Longlisted 2019


Lizanne Davies

Longlisted 2017


Lorelei Goulding

Winner 2020


Lui Sit

Longlisted 2018


Maxine Davies

Shortlisted 2020


Nicky Watkinson

Longlisted 2020


Oluwafunmilayo Adewale

Shortlisted 2019


Roisin Maguire

Longlisted 2019


Ruby Eastwood

Longlisted 2020


Ruth Tudor

Shortlisted 2018


SR Shah

Longlisted 2020


Sam Hampson

Longlisted 2019


Sara Jafari

Longlisted 2017


Stephen Crawley

Longlisted 2020


Stevie Heaven

Longlisted 2018


Sue Hann

Longlisted 2020


Sue Rickard

Longlisted 2018


Sulaxana Hippisley

Shortlisted 2019


Topher Campbell

Longlisted 2017