The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize Competition 2020

Deadline: 24 September 2020
Open to: anyone between 18 and 35 years old
Benefits: monetary awards and publication of winning essays


Every year, the Financial Times and The Bodley Head, one of Britain’s leading publishers of non-fiction, team up to find the best young essay-writing talent from around the world. Now in its eighth year, The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize competition has been the springboard for many exciting writers. This year our regular judging panel is joined by the award-winning writer Yiyun Li and leading literary agent Emma Paterson.


The Bodley Head/FT Essay competition is open to anyone between 18 and 35 years old. The judges are looking for a dynamic, authoritative and lively essay of no more than 3,500 words in English, on any subject.


GBP 1,000 cash and an e-publication with The Bodley Head, publication in the FT of their winning essay and a mentoring session with The Bodley Head. Two runners-up will win GBP 300 cash each and an e-publication with The Bodley Head.


You can find tips on how to write a winning entry here.

If you have any questions about your entry, email

For more details, please visit the official website.