2018 FITZCARRALDO EDITIONS ESSAY PRIZE

The Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize is an annual competition for unpublished writers. Initially made possible by an Arts Council grant in 2015, the prize awards £3,000 to the best proposal for a book-length essay (minimum 25,000 words) by a writer resident in the UK and Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal. 

Submissions are open from 1 January to 15 March 2018 and will be judged by an editorial committee put together for this purpose. The judges will be looking for proposals for essays that explore and expand the possibilities of the essay form, with no restrictions on theme or subject matter. In addition to the £3,000 prize, which will be in the form of an advance against publication with Fitzcarraldo Editions, the winner will have the opportunity to spend up to three months in residency at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, during the summer of 2018, to work on their book. The book will then be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.

The Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize aims to find the best emerging essay writers and to give them a chance to develop and showcase their talent. It will also provide future winners with their first experiences of publishing a book, from the planning, research and writing of it through to the editing, production and publicity stages.

In 2017, Katy Whitehead was awarded the 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. 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. 

In 2016, Matthew McNaught was awarded the inaugural Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize for Immanuel, an essay about faith, doubt and radical religion, inspired in part by his experiences growing up in an evangelical Christian community in the south of England. The other four shortlisted entries were Corona by Felix Bazalgette; Bad For You by Alice Hattrick; Growing up Modern by Jennifer Kabat; and Double-Tracking by Rosanna Mclaughlin. 

THE MAHLER & LEWITT STUDIOS

The Mahler & LeWitt Studios are established around the former studios of Anna Mahler and Sol LeWitt in Spoleto, Italy. The residency programme provides a focused and stimulating environment for artists, curators and writers to develop new ways of working in dialogue with peers and the unique cultural heritage of the region. For more information please visit mahler-lewitt.org

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE

Joanna Biggs is a writer and editor at the London Review of Books. Her book about the way we work, All Day Long, is published by Serpent's Tail. 

Brian Dillon is a writer and critic. His books include Essayism (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017) The Great Explosion (Penguin, 2015), Objects in This Mirror: Essays (Sternberg Press, 2014), Sanctuary Sternberg Press, 2011), Tormented Hope (Penguin, 2009) and In the Dark Room (Penguin, 2005; Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2018). He is UK editor of Cabinet magazine, and teaches critical writing at the Royal College of Art.

Joanna Kavenna is the author of The Ice MuseumInglorious (which won the Orange Prize for New Writing), The Birth of LoveCome to the Edge and A Field Guide to Reality. Her writing has appeared in the New YorkerGuardian, Observer, Telegraph, SpectatorLondon Review of Books and New York Times and she has held writing fellowships at St Antony's College Oxford and St John's College Cambridge. In 2011 she was named as one of the Telegraph's 20 Writers Under 40 and in 2013 was listed as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in Oxfordshire.

Paul Keegan has been editor of the Penguin Classics and Faber poetry editor; he co-founded Notting Hill Editions, has edited the Collected Poems of Ted Hughes and The Penguin Book of English Verse.

Jacques Testard is the publisher of Fitzcarraldo Editions, and a founding editor of The White Review.  

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Please read these eligibility and entry rules carefully before submitting. Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of the entry rules. For any queries not covered below, please info@fitzcarraldoeditions.com. 

1) The competition is open to unpublished writers residing in Great Britain and Ireland only.

2) Entrants should submit a proposal for a book-length essay (over 25,000 words) to essayprize@fitzcarraldoeditions.com. The proposal itself should be no longer than 5,000 words. Entrants may also submit a separate writing sample of up to 5,000 words. Proposals and samples should be double-spaced, 12pt. 

3) Each proposal should outline the subject matter, scope, style and structure of the proposed essay, and include a word count, delivery date and biographical note.  

4) The proposals must be original, not previously submitted to a publisher. The writing sample may be previously published work. 

5) Entries can also be sent by post to Fitzcarraldo Editions, 243 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DN. 

6) Only submissions received by email or by post by midnight on 15 March 2018 (GMT) will be considered.

7) Entries that are incomplete, are corrupted or submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

8) The entry must be the entrant’s own original creation and must not infringe upon the right or copyright of any person or entity.

9) Co-authored entries will not be accepted. 

10) Writers who have existing contracts, or who have previously held contracts, with publishers for books of fiction or non-fiction are not eligible to enter.

11) Writers who have published writing (fiction or non-fiction) in magazines and journals are eligible to enter.

12) Writers who have published books of poetry are eligible to enter.

13) Writers may submit only one proposal per iteration of the prize. 

14) The proposed essay must be written in English (no translations).

15) Submissions must be made by the author of the proposal.

16) There are no age restrictions.

17) When submitting, please include a short covering letter including your contact details, your name and the title of your proposed essay. The covering letter should be in the same document as your submission. Entrants should also submit a separate one-page cover letter on how they propose to use the residency at the Mahler-LeWitt Studios. 

18) Submissions from writers residing outside of Great Britain and Ireland will not be considered.

19) All submissions should include page numbers.

20) The essay must be original and should not have been previously published anywhere in full or in part. Published work is taken to mean published in any printed, publicly accessible form, e.g. anthology, magazine, newspaper. It is also taken to mean published online, with the exception of personal blogs and personal websites.

21) A meeting will be organised with all shortlisted writers to discuss their book proposal before the award of the prize. 

22) Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted.

23) No editorial feedback will be provided to unsuccessful entrants.

24) The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.

25) Fitzcarraldo Editions will have the exclusive right to publish the winning essay once it has been written, but reserves the right not to publish. 

26) Only submissions which meet all Terms and Conditions will be considered.

26) By entering this competition, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.