London: 13 September 2012: The Financial Times and Bodley Head today announce the launch of the Financial Times/Bodley Head Essay Prize, aimed at attracting future talent in long-form essay writing from around the world. Open to writers up to the age of 35, the competition offers a £1,000 prize for the winning entry as well as an e-publication with the Bodley Head and a mentoring session with an FT or Bodley Head writer.

The distinguished judging panel include Simon Schama (Professor of History and Art History, Columbia University, and FT contributing editor); Stuart Williams (Publisher, Bodley Head); Dan Franklin (Digital Publisher, Random House Group); Lucy Tuck (Editor of Life and Arts, Financial Times); and Caroline Daniel (Editor, FT Weekend).

Judges will consider dynamic, authoritative and lively essays of no more than 3,500 words. In keeping with the ethos of both sponsors essays can address any topic – from finance to history, current affairs or scientific discovery – the key component being quality writing.

Stuart Williams, Publisher, Bodley Head says: “The essay is making a comeback so we are delighted to announce this competition that we hope will encourage young writers to put pen to paper.  I can’t think of a more inspirational writer to launch this than Simon Schama, and no better platform than the international reach and intellectual calibre of the Financial Times.”

Caroline Daniel, editor, FT Weekend, adds: “As a news organisation that covers business news alongside a wide variety of cultural writing and long-form reads, and is home to some of the world’s most prominent journalists and feature writers, we are delighted to partner in this prize. FT Weekend contributor Simon Schama sums it up in this weekend’s launch essay: ‘Essays are the last, heroic stand for the seriousness of prose entertainment; our best hope of liberating text from texting’.”

In addition to one winner, four runners-up will be involved in a separate e-publication with the winning entry. Essays can have a journalistic focus or be case studies and be either broad or in-depth. The deadline for entries is 18th November 2012 (midnight GMT). See bit.ly/O1uQFN and www.ft.com/BodleyHeadFTcompetition for more details and terms & conditions.

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 For further information contact:

CLARA WOMERSLEY, 020 7840 8578, CWOMERSLEY@RANDOMHOUSE.CO.UK

Kristina Eriksson, Financial Times, +44 (0) 20 7 873 4961, kristina.eriksson@ft.com

Andrew Green, Financial Times, +1 917-551-5093, +1 646-299-4628, andrew.green@ft.com

About the Financial Times: 

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of almost 600,000 (Deloitte assured, 2 April 2012 – 1 July 2012) and a combined print and online average daily readership of 2.1 million people worldwide (PwC assured, May 2012). FT.com has more than 4.8 million registered users and over 300,000 paying digital subscribers. The newspaper has a global print circulation of 290,765 (ABC, July 2012).

About Bodley Head: 

The Bodley Head, an imprint of Random HouseUK, publishes a distinguished list of non-fiction books by writers who are expert in their field on subjects including science, politics, history, music and economics. Its authors include Karen Armstrong, Misha Glenny, Jeffrey Sachs, Simon Schama, Jonathan Powell and Roger Penrose.