The Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre was established in 2016. Open to emerging writers 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. 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 2019 Life Writing Prize winner is Charlotte Derrick for The Lady in Black. Charlotte receives £1,500, publication on Spread the Word’s website, an Arvon course, two years’ membership to the Royal Society of Literature and a development meeting with the editor Kit Caless of Influx Press, and the agent Robert Caskie.
The two highly commended entries were Helen Longstreth’s ‘The Joy of Cooking’ and Alison Marr’s ‘Fat Baby’. They both receive £500 and two mentoring sessions with either Jacqueline Crooks or Lily Dunn, a development meeting with the editor Kit Caless and the agent Robert Caskie and be published on the Spread the Word website.
Three writers were shortlisted, and six writers were longlisted. You can read all the pieces in the Life Writing Prize showcase.
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 Life Writing Prize will open for entries in November 2019.