Monday, 20 April 2015

THE NOTTING HILL EDITIONS ESSAY PRIZE 2015 - Deadline 1st May 2015 #writing #contest #competitions

Notting Hill Editions is an independent Publisher devoted to the best in non-fiction essay writing. NHE runs a biennial Essay Prize for the best essay in the English language, of between 2,000 and 8,000 words, published or unpublished, on any subject.

The 2015 Essay Prize will be launched on February 25th at Jewish Book Week, with the previous winner Michael Ignatieff in conversation with Phillip Lopate, passionate advocate of the essay, and Adam Mars-Jones chair of the judges of the 2015 prize.

The 2015 panel of judges includes:

Adam Mars-Jones (Chair) - Novelist, essayist and critic. He has written non-fiction (Blind Bitter Happiness, 1997) and fiction including Lantern Lecture (1981), The Waters of Thirst (1993), Pilcrow (2008) and Cedilla (2011). He is author of the celebrated essay Noriko Smiling published by Notting Hill Editions in 2011.

Michael Ignatieff is a Canadian writer, teacher and former politician, currently Edward R Murrow Professor at Harvard's Kennedy School. He is the author of The Needs of Strangers (1984), The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004), Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013) and other works. He was the winner of the 2013 NHE William Hazlitt Essay Prize.

Phillip Lopate – Essayist, poet and novelist. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including three personal essay collections - Bachelorhood, Against Joie de Vivre and Portrait of My Body; a critical study, Notes on Sontag and To Show and to Tell: the Craft of Literary Nonfiction. He also edited The Art of the Personal Essay and a further collection of personal essays Portrait Inside My Head (2015) is published by NHE.

Eileen Battersby – Journalist and literary correspondent for The Irish Times. She has written about all aspects of the arts, particularly classical music and literature. Four times winner of the Arts Journalist of the Year award, she has most recently won the Critic of the Year and has published two books; Second Readings and Ordinary Dogs.

Professor Raymond Tallis – Philosopher, poet, novelist and cultural critic who was, until recently, a physician and clinical scientist. In the Economist's Intelligent Life Magazine (Autumn 2009) he was listed as one of the top living polymaths in the world. His recent publications include Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity (2012) and The Black Mirror: Fragments of an Obituary for Life (2014).

The awards will be presented on 3rd October 2015 at King's Place London along with the publication of the prize winning entries in the treasured Notting Hill Editions hardback format. It is a condition of entry that prize winners should be available to attend the ceremony. (See terms and conditions)

The 2015 prize money is £20,000 to the winner and £1000 each to five runners up.

Entry fee is £20.00 to include a copy of the 2013 Winners book (in hard back for UK residents and e-book for non-UK residents).
The inaugural 2013 award was named in honour of William Hazlitt (1778-1830), great master of the miscellaneous essay.
Commenting on the winning essay, Judge Adam Mars-Jones added, ‘The best of the literary-critical essays, it opened up the subject and scrutinised it with some fierceness, widening the context without ever losing sight of its original remit. The suggestion about moral extremes and the aesthetic sense seemed to me powerful and unfamiliar, the borrowing of Kafka's "hunger artist" rewarding’.
Michael Ignatieff described the essay as ‘that wonderful form invented by Montaigne that endures today even in a 140 character Twitter universe because as William Hazlitt said so well, it “ shows us what we are, and what we are not.”’ Ignatieff also commented, ‘Raphael Lemkin, the subject of my essay, was the Polish refugee who in 1943 coined the term genocide to describe the crime that wiped out his entire family. He died unknown and forgotten on a New York street in 1959, yet if we have a Genocide Convention it is because of him. Here’s to refugees, may they always have a home with us.’
The essays were judged on the originality of the ideas, the quality of the prose and the ability to communicate to a wide audience. Selected from a shortlist of 13 essays, the five runners up were Scottish Man Booker Prize shortlisted author, Andrew O’Hagan, American poet and critic J.T. Barbarese, award winning short story author and novelist Belle Boggs, American debut novelist Leslie Jamison and Daily Telegraph assistant books editor Sameer Rahim. The essays examine a wide range of subjects; Operation Yewtree, political apathy in the US, female infertility, the ability to empathise and the birth of Islam.
The winning essay was awarded £15,000 and the five runners-up each received £1000.

All six essays are published by Notting Hill Editions in an exquisite, clothbound hardback edition, available here.

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