Literary Prize

Benjamin Franklin is one of history’s great figures. While he made lasting contributions in many fields, his first passion was writing. He believed in the power of the written word as the bedrock of a democratic society, to inform, and stimulate debate.

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. Winning entries will be posted here and also published online by media partner, The Telegraph.

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize is endowed by Benjamin Franklin House Chairman John Studzinski, a leading executive and philanthropist.

Literary Prize Judges

  • Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director of Benjamin Franklin House
  • Lord Guy Black, Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group
  • Nigel Newton, founder and chief executive of Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Wendy Moore, English journalist, author, and historian
  • Dr. Huw David, Director of Development at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford
  • Rory Sutherland, Board Member of Benjamin Franklin House

2018 Competition

The quote for 2018 was ‘Let all man know thee, but no man know thee thoroughly’ Poor Richard, 1743.

We accepted both fiction and non-fiction entries from aspiring writers aged 18 to 25. Our first place winner was James Waddell, who is currently studying at the University of Law, Moorgate. Read James’ entry, here.

Rachel Thomson was our second place winner, she is currently working in retail and spends her free time writing, painting and reading. Read Rachel’s entry here.

2019 Competition

The 2019 Literary Prize quote will be announced soon. Please check this space.

Join Us

Talk: The US Elections, Washington Politics and the Prospects for 2020

Philip Davies- Professor Emeritus of American Studies, De Montfort University and Former Director, Eccles Centre for American Studies, The British Library- will reflect on the lessons that can be taken from the US elections of Tuesday 6th November and whether they provide a reasonable lens through which to look forward to 2020.