Journalism awards

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The Observer / Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism

Deadline: 31/10/14

The world has much solace to offer: love, food, music, the immense variety of race and language, literature and the pleasure of artistic creation. – Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess, best known for his novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), was also an energetic literary journalist. In his lifetime he published two substantial collections of journalism, Urgent Copy (1968) and Homage to Qwert Yuiop (1986), and between 1962 and his death in 1993 he wrote many articles and reviews for the Observer, which he often spoke of as 'my paper'. Among his 'discoveries' as a reviewer were Joseph Heller, Sylvia Plath and Umberto Eco.

To commemorate Burgess's long association with the Observer, we have set up the Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism.

Now in its third year, the aim of the competition is to reward new and exciting writing on arts and cultural subjects.

The winning piece will be a 1500-word review of a book, film, a concert, a ballet, a stage play or a TV show. The winner will receive £2000 and the opportunity to have their work published in the Observer.

The judges in 2014 will be Mariella Frostrup, Stuart Kelly and Helen Oyeyemi.

When choosing the winner, the judges will be looking for imaginative, original, and thought-provoking arts journalism that would be suitable for publication in the Observer. They will be looking for emerging talent, innovative approaches and writing from outside the mainstream, and they are especially keen to read entries from those who have not previously had work published by major media organisations. They are also, as William Boyd commented while judging the 2012 entries, looking for 'some Burgessian fizz and crackle and a bit of well-displayed erudition.'

The prize will be judged by a panel including Mariella Frostrup, Stuart Kelly, Helen Oyeyemi, and Robert McCrum from the Observer and Will Carr from the Burgess Foundation.

- the word limit is 1500 words
- the entry fee is £10
- entry can be made online here or by post to Observer / Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY.
- the deadline for submission is 31 October 2014
- the winner will be announced at a prizegiving
- ceremony in London in February 2015
- email or telephone 0161 235 0776 if you have any queries about the prize.


- one prize of £2000 will be awarded
- the winner will have an opportunity to have their work published in print and online editions of the Observer, and on the International Anthony Burgess Foundation website

Telephone: 0161 235 0776

Web: click here

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