Literary Prize 2023

2023 Competition Announcement

Each year a question or quote exploring Benjamin Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words.  The competition is open exclusively for young writers, aged 18-25, with a first prize of £750, and a second prize of £500. Winning entries will be published online at www.BenjaminFranklinHouse.org  and https://www.telegraph.co.uk/

The Franklin quote for interpretation in 2023 is;

“Government must depend for its Efficiency either on Force or Opinion.” From ‘The Colonist’s advocate’, VII. (Feb 1, 1770)

Please find details of how to enter below:

  • Deadline: Friday 15th December at 23:59
  • Entries of 1000-1500 words must be sent to education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org
  • Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK
  • Each Entrant is asked to provide their name, preferred email, postal address and phone number within the email and the entry attached as a word document. In addition entrants should provide their age and place of study (if applicable; if they are not in education, they should provide a biographical note explaining their current activities)
  • Entrants may submit only one entry; fiction or non-fiction

The 2023 Literary Prize Judges are;

  • Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director of Benjamin Franklin House
  • Lord Guy Black, Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group
  • Wendy Moore, English journalist, author, and historian
  • Dr. Huw David, Development Director at Wolfson College, University of Oxford
  • Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group and Board Member of Benjamin Franklin House

Please contact our Education Manager with any queries.

2022 Winner and Runner-up

In 2022, our quote for interpretation was;

‘The Eyes of other People are the Eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine Clothes, fine Houses nor Fine Furniture.’ Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, 1784.

We received some excellent entries to our 2022 Prize and we are proud to announce the names of the two young writers that were voted as the winner and runner-up by our team of judges;

Winner – Daniel Bresland

Daniel is 23 and from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He has just begun a PhD in English Literature at Queen’s University Belfast.

Runner-up – George White

George is 25 and from Derbyshire, England. He is a graduate of Nottingham Trent University’s Centre for Broadcast and Journalism. He is currently the Editor of the Nottingham-based arts and culture magazine LeftLion, which has a readership of around 50,000.

If you would like to read their entries for the 2022 Prize, please click on their names to view their work.

In March 2023, the winner, runner-up and other shortlisted writers were invited to Benjamin Franklin House for a special award ceremony to receive their prizes and meet the judging panel for the 2022 Prize.

We would like to congratulate those on our shortlist as well as everyone who entered this year’s Prize.

2022 Shortlist Announcement

Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. The competition is exclusively for young writers, aged 18-25, with a first prize of £750, and a second prize of £500.

This year, our quote for interpretation was;

‘The Eyes of other People are the Eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine Clothes, fine Houses nor Fine Furniture.’ Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, 1784.

We received some excellent entries to our 2022 Prize and today we are proud to announce the names of the five young writers that have made it to our 2022 Shortlist. In alphabetical order, these are;

Daniel Bresland
Diane de la Marck
George White
Lois Bodie
Olivia Todd

If you would like to read any of the shortlisted entries for the 2022 Prize, please click on the writer names to view their work.

To coincide with the 317th birthday of Benjamin Franklin, the winner and runner-up of the 2022 Literary Prize will be announced on the Benjamin Franklin House website on January 17th 2023. 

In March 2023, the winner, runner-up and other shortlisted writers will be invited to Benjamin Franklin House for a special award ceremony to receive their prizes and meet the judging panel for the 2022 Prize.

The 2022 Literary Prize Judges are;

  • Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director of Benjamin Franklin House
  • Lord Guy Black, Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group
  • Wendy Moore, English journalist, author, and historian
  • Dr. Huw David, Development Director at Wolfson College, University of Oxford
  • Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group and Board Member of Benjamin Franklin House

We would like to congratulate those on our shortlist as well as everyone who entered this year’s Prize.

If you are interested in participating in our 2023 Literary Prize, please look out for announcements on our website. The quote for next year’s competition will be announced at the 2022 award ceremony and posted shortly after.

2022 Competition

The Franklin quote for interpretation in 2022 was ‘The Eyes of other People are the Eyes that ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither fine Clothes, fine Houses nor Fine Furniture.’ Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, 1784.

2021 Competition

The quote for 2021 was ‘‘Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.’ Silence Dogood, No.8, The New-England Courant (1722). We accepted both fiction and non-fiction entries from aspiring writers aged 18 to 25.

Our first-place winner was Selin Cetin, a student in Journalism at the University of Kent. Read Selin’s non-fiction entry here.

Our second-place winner was Gabby Fadullon, a student in English Literature at UCL. Read Gabby’s fiction entry, here.

2019 Competition

Man giving a talk in Franklin's parlour
People standing and chatting in Franklin's parlour
A woman giving a talk in Franklin's parlour
People watching a presentation in Franklin's parlour