John Murray

The John Murray Prize: Terms and Conditions

Text settings

Terms and Conditions for The John Murray Prize

Those interested in entering should visit the main page here.

  1. The prize for this competition is an opportunity to have a book published by John Murray Press (“JMP”), an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton Limited (“Hodder”) with an advance of £20,000. The Winner will also receive at least two hours of mentoring and the Winner’s essay will be published in The Spectator.
  2. Entrants to the competition are required to submit: (1) a previously unpublished non-fiction essay of no more than 4000 words on the theme of origin and; (2) a separate outline of no more than 1000 words on how this essay could become a full length book. The essay and outline must be in English and must be double spaced.
  3. The entries will be judged on originality of the idea, how well it fits the theme, the quality of the writing and the potential to be worked into a full length work.
  4. A shortlist of up to ten essays (the “Shortlisted Essays”) will be chosen from entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. The entrants who submitted the Shortlisted Essays (the “Shortlisted Entrants”) will each: (1) have their essay published by JMP as part of an anthology (with a flat fee of £100 for each essay to be paid, subject to agreement of terms and signature of the publishing contract); (2) have extracts from their entries and their names included in JMP’s social media campaigns in October 2018; and (3) receive a selection of four books published by JMP. In the event that the terms for publication of any Shortlisted Essay are not agreed, a replacement essay may be selected to be published in the anthology.
  5. The winning essay will be chosen from the Shortlisted Essays by a panel of five judges comprising Andrea Wulf (author of The Invention of Nature), Sumit Paul-Choudury (editor in chief of New Scientist), Amanda Vickery (professor of history at Queen Mary), Sam Leith (literary editor of The Spectator) and Stig Abell (editor of the Times Literary Supplement) (together the “Judges”). The Judges’ decision is final.
  6. The winning essay will be published in The Spectator online and in print on a date to be confirmed.
  7. The entrant who submitted the winning essay (the “Winner”) will, once they sign the contract referred to in Paragraph 8 below: (1) receive two hours of mentoring with Georgina Laycock, Non-Fiction Publisher at JMP (or a suitable alternative at JMP) to take place within twelve months of the Winner being announced and (2) receive an invitation to JMP’s birthday party. The times and dates of the mentoring to be agreed. The prize does not include any travel or other expenses in connection with the mentoring or birthday party and there is no cash alternative if the Winner is unable to take up the opportunity of mentoring or attending the party or does not sign the contract referred to in Paragraph 8.
  8. The Winner will be offered a publishing contract, such contract to be agreed between the Winner and Hodder. The contract will set out the terms and conditions relating to publication of the book including but not limited to the advance of £20,000 to be paid against royalties, the royalty percentages, details of the rights to be granted and other provisions relating to delivery and production of the book. The Winner will be required to grant all rights in all languages throughout the world.   In the event that no agreement is reached between the Winner and Hodder, Hodder will be at liberty to consider and select another of the Shortlisted Essays for publication as a book and if the entrant of that Shortlisted Essay reaches agreement on the contract, then they will be entitled to the mentoring referred to in Paragraph 7 above. The original winner may not in such a case refer to themselves as the winner of this competition.
  9. Hodder reserves the right to not select any Winner from the Shortlisted Essays if a suitable entry that meets all the criteria and accords with these Terms and Conditions cannot be found.
  10. By entering this competition the entrant undertakes and warrants that the Essay has not been previously published, is their own original work and will not infringe the intellectual property rights of anyone. If a third party’s material is used, such as lyrics of a song, the entrant will secure the necessary permission and will provide it to Hodder on request. The entrant further warrants that the work will not contain any material which is defamatory, private or confidential or which is unlawful in any way. Any entry in breach of this clause will be disqualified from being considered for the shortlist or by the Judges
  11. Entries must be submitted by email to Entries may only be submitted between 12:01am GMT on 2


    January 2018 and 11.59pm BST on 1


    May 2018. Any entries received outside these specified times and dates and any entries that do not meet the requirements of these Terms and Conditions will not be eligible for entry to the competition.
  12. The names of the Winner and the Shortlisted Entrants will be announced by 31st October 2018. They will be informed via email. Their names may also be publicised on websites, in other media and on social media sites.
  13. Entrants must be aged 18 or over and must not have had any full length book published previously in any format (except for self-published works). The competition is not open to employees of John Murray Press, Hachette UK Limited or The Spectator Limited, their families, or to anyone professionally connected to the competition or to the Judges either themselves or through their families.
  14. An entrant may only submit one entry. Further entries will be disqualified. Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk.
  15. Hodder is not responsible for contacting or responding to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries that are lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.
  16. Hodder reserves the right to cancel the competition and to alter the details of the prizes or judging panels without notice.   No cash alternative or other alternatives to the prize will be provided.
  17. The names and email addresses of entrants will be collected by Hodder and will be used in accordance with its privacy policy which can be found here
  18. and here

    The Shortlisted Entrants will be asked to provide their postal addresses in order that they may be sent the books referred to above. Their names and addresses will be shared with Hodder’s distributor so that their prize may be sent to them and will be deleted after the later of posting the books or once the Winner or another Shortlisted Entrant signs the contract referred to above or once it is determined that there will not be a Winner.

    1. No purchase is necessary to enter the competition.
    2. By entering the competition, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
    3. These Terms and Conditions and any disputes or claims (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of these Terms and Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England, whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.
    4. This competition is being organised by Hodder & Stoughton Limited, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ.