Spread the Word’s Life Writing Prize 2021 is open for submissions

Launched in 2016 in association with Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre, Spread the Word’s Life Writing Prize was established to celebrate and develop Life Writing in the UK. Free to enter, the Prize is open to writers who have yet to publish a full-length work or have a literary agent.

The winner of the Life Writing Prize will receive £1500, an Arvon course, a writing mentor, two years’ membership of the Royal Society of Literature, and an optional development meeting with an agent or editor.

Two highly commended writers will each receive £500, a writing mentor and an optional meeting with an agent or editor.

The top twelve writers will be offered publication on the Spread the Word website and in a Life Writing Prize booklet designed to showcase the Prize’s top writers to the literary world.


To enter the Prize, please send an unpublished piece of life writing that is up to 5000 words. This can be a stand-alone piece or the beginning extract of a larger piece of writing. For the purposes of this Prize, life writing is ‘intended to be true’, reflects someone’s own life journey or experiences and is not fiction. It is writing from the author’s own personal experience.

To enter you must be:

  • Based in the UK;
  • Aged 18+;
  • Currently unagented.

Because the Prize celebrates new talent, you are not able to enter the Prize if:

  • You are agented;
  • Your submission is due to be published or has been published elsewhere;
  • You have published a full-length work or had a full-length work performed.
  • Please note that writers who have self-published their books are eligible to enter the Prize.


Submissions open at 12 noon on Monday 2 November and close at 11:59pm on Monday 1 February.

Late entries will not be considered. The Prize is free to enter.





Published on:
6 Nov 2020


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