Katy Whitehead wins the 2017 Fitzcarraldo Editions/Mahler & LeWitt Essay Prize


Katy Whitehead has won the 2017 Fitzcarraldo Editions/Mahler & LeWitt Essay Prize for Adventures in Synthetic Fun, an essay exploring the concept of ‘synthetic fun’ coined in the 1960s by Jeremy Sandford, and the changing nature of fun in an era of increasing automation, disputed oppression, widespread affective labour, illusory meritocracy, costly social mobility, divisive politics, and a degraded imagination.

Katy Whitehead is a writer living in Walthamstow. She has been longlisted for a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship and the Mslexia Novel Competition, and shortlisted for the Myriad Editions’ First Drafts Prize and Penned in the Margins’ Generation Txt. 

The other four shortlisted entries were Wolf: An Anatomy of an Illness by Elinor Cleghorn; English as a Foreign Language by Evan Harris; Other, Mixed by Will Harris; and Possession by Rebecca Ley. The 2017 Essay Prize was judged by Joanna Biggs, Brian Dillon, Joanna Kavenna, Paul Keegan and Jacques Testard.