The William Hazlitt Essay Prize
sponsored by Notting Hill Editions
Notting Hill Editions is delighted to launch an annual literary prize for the best essay in the English language, of between 2,000 and 8,000 words, published or unpublished, on any subject. The award is named in honour of William Hazlitt (1778-1830), the great master of the miscellaneous essay.
Chair of judges author and journalist Harry Mount says ‘The British have always underplayed the importance of the essay, and yet we’re naturally very good at them. The mixture of wit, brevity and original thought suits us down to the ground. Such a generous prize is bound to produce a fresh crop of first-rate essays from established and new writers.’
The prize will be judged on the originality of the ideas, the quality of the prose and the ability to communicate to a wide audience. All entries for the competition must be between 2,000 and 8,000 words.
Award value £15,000. Five runners-up will each receive £1000.
Harry Mount (chair), Gaby Wood, Adam Mars-Jones, Lady Antonia Fraser, David Shields.
Authors of any nationality are eligible, but submissions must have been written originally in English.
If already published, the essay must have appeared for the first time in periodical (print or online) but not book form, between 1 January 2012 and 31 July 2013.
Submissions may be made by author, publication or agent. Submission of an essay by a publisher or other third party will be taken as agreement by the author that he/she is willing for the submitted work to be considered. The judges reserve the right to call in any unsubmitted eligible essay.
Entries must include a cover letter and be uploaded to the NHE website using the link www.nottinghilleditions.com/essay-prize. Each entry must be paginated with the title of the essay on the top of each page. All entries must also be double-spaced. Please only include author name on the covering letter so that authors remain anonymous to the judges. There is an entry fee of £10 to cover administration payable via our website. Complete terms and conditions can be found at: http://www.nottinghilleditions.com/about/ep-toc
All essays will be judged with the author(s) unidentified to the judges. Final results will be announced on 31 October 2013.
Copyright in the works submitted remains with the authors, but Notting Hill Editions reserves the right to publish or reprint the winning entries in a dedicated collection.
The judges’ decision is final. Neither discussion nor correspondence can be entered into. No printed submissions will be returned.
“It does not treat of minerals or fossils, of the virtues of plants, or the influence of planets; it does not meddle with forms of belief, or systems of philosophy, nor launch into the world of spiritual existences; but it makes familiar with the world of men and women, records their actions, assigns their motives, exhibits their whims, characterises their pursuits in all their singular and endless variety, ridicules their absurdities, exposes their inconsistencies, ‘holds the mirror up to nature, and shows the very age and body of the time its form and pressure’; takes minutes of our dress, air, looks, words, thoughts, and actions; shows us what we are, and what we are not; plays the whole game of human life over before us, and by making us enlightened Spectators of its many-coloured scenes, enables us (if possible) to become tolerably reasonable agents in the one in which we have to perform a part. It is the best and most natural course of study.”