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John Murray announces new prize for non-fiction in association with The Spectator

3 January 2018

4:57 PM

3 January 2018

4:57 PM

John Murray – the publisher of Byron, Goethe, Jane Austen and Charles Darwin, inter alia – turns 250 this year. This week, they’re launching – in association with The Spectator (a stripling at 190-odd) – a new international prize for non-fiction.

Entrants, who must be previously unpublished in book form, are invited to submit an essay of up to 4,000 words on the theme of ‘Origin’ (to be interpreted as each writer chooses), together with a proposal for how it might be turned into a book.

The winning entry will be published in The Spectator (in print and online), and its author awarded a £20,000 publishing contract with John Murray to produce a book based on their proposal.

The entries will be judged by a panel of five: Andrea Wulf (biographer of Alexander von Humboldt), Sumit Paul-Choudhury (the New Scientist’s editor-in-chief), the historian Amanda Vickery, Stig Abell (editor of the TLS) and yours truly, in my role as this magazine’s literary editor.

The deadline for entries is 1 May 2018 and they should be submitted by email to

You can find full details, including terms and conditions, here. 

Good luck to all!

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