Home News Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize opens, with prize of £3,000

Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize opens, with prize of £3,000

The Fitzcarraldo Editions/Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize now open for submissions

The Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize is an annual competition for unpublished writers and is open until 14 March 2022. 

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 or Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal.

In addition to the £3,000 prize the winner has the opportunity to spend up to three months in residency at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, to work on their book. The book will then be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.  


The judges are Joanna Biggs, Brian Dillon, Joanna Kavenna, Max Porter and Jacques Testard. The judges are looking for essays that explore and expand the possibilities of the essay form, with no restrictions on theme or subject matter.

The prize aims to find the best emerging essay writers and to give them a chance to develop and showcase their talent.

It also provides the winner with their first experience of publishing a book, from the planning, research and writing to the editing, production and publicity stages.

Heather McCalden was awarded the 2021 Prize with The Observable Universe, a prismatic account of grief conveyed through images, anecdotes and Wikipedia-like entries, calibrated specifically for the Internet Age.

For more information and submission guidelines, please see the website.