The competition will now be open for entries until September the 7th at midnight.

As the oldest literary and arts review in the UK, The London Magazine has a long history of publishing great essayists; works by the likes of T.S. Eliot and Nadine Gordimer can be found in our archives.

In our second Essay Competition, we hope to find the most exciting new essays to reaffirm and develop the magazine’s strong nonfiction tradition.

All essays submitted must be previously unpublished and no longer than 1500 words. There will be no set theme or subject. We are looking for non-academic, original work with a powerful voice that is not afraid to surprise. This competition is open to international entries and entrants of all ages.

Last year’s winner can be found here:

On Writing Ethnic Stoies – Haleh Agar



Entry fee: £10 for first essay | Subsequent entries: £5 per essay
Student entries: £5 per essay (must use school/university email)
There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit

Opening date: 1st July 2018
Closing Date: MIDNIGHT 7th September August 2018

First Prize: £500
Second Prize: £300
Third Prize: £200

The winning essay will be published in a future issue of The London Magazine, and the second and third placed essays will appear on our website.


Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

Pico Iyer is the author of two novels and ten works of non-fiction, translated into 23 languages, and has been a constant contributor to The New York Review of Books, Granta, Prospect, the London Magazine and scores of others for more than 40 years. In recent years, he has given three TED Talks, and they have received more than 8 million views.

Photo by Jennifer Durham


Nicola Griffith is a multi-award-winning novelist and essayist. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Nature, New Scientist, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her multimedia memoir, And Now We Are Going to Have a Party, won the Lambda Literary Award, which Nicola has now won six times. She has also won the Washington State Book Award, the Tiptree Award, the Nebula Award, and the Premio Italia.



As of 1st July, you’ll be able to apply via Submittable:

Alternatively, you can download the Essay Competition 2018 Entry Form to fill in and post with your entry. (N.B. There is no need to complete an entry form if entering via Submittable). All entries must be received by August 31st.


  • Please read our competition rules carefully before entering.
  • Essays should be no longer than 1,500 words. The title is NOT included in the word count.
  • Essays should NOT be academic essays.
  • The London Magazine will have the unrestricted right to publish winning submissions (including runners up) in the magazine and online. 
  • Make sure to include your completed entry form with your submission if submitting by any means other than Submittable. This can be downloaded from our website and sent to us by email or post.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Emma at competition@thelondonmagazine.org.

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