2023 Laurie Lee Prize for Writing Open for Entries

LL 22 onstage

We are delighted to announce that The Laurie Lee Prize for Writing 2023 is now open for entries.

Free to enter, and open to unpublished Gloucestershire writers across a range of genres, the Laurie Lee Prize for Writing was created last year to acknowledge and honour the work of Stroud’s most famous son, Laurie Lee (1914-1997).

The prize was the idea of bestselling Stroud writer, Katie Fforde, and was established under the umbrella of Stroud Book Festival with the blessing of Laurie Lee’s family, and his literary estate. The 2022 winners were JLM Morton and Archie Woolls.

Two prizes will be awarded again this year. The first will go to a writer aged 21 or over who will receive prize money of £1000.

The other prize will go to a writer aged between 16-20 years (1st place: £500, 2nd place: £300, 3rd place: £200).

The closing dates for entries for both prizes is Friday 14 July 2023, with the shortlists for each prize announced in September. The 2023 winners will be announced at a celebratory Laurie Lee Prize event, open to all at Stroud Book Festival in November 2023.

Submitted writing – whether fiction, non-fiction or poetry – must be on a nature or conservation theme. The Prize is open to writers currently resident in Gloucestershire, and to those who were born in the county.

The 2023 judges are Katie Fforde (chair), Jessy Lee (Laurie Lee’s daughter), Norah Perkins (Laurie Lee’s literary agent), and Gloucestershire writers, Jamila Gavin, Adam Horovitz, and Jane Bailey.

Stroud writer JLM Morton who won one of last year’s prizes commented:

Winning the Laurie Lee Prize felt like I’d been flung a line with a current running through it to electrify my writing and light up the sky – even if only for a moment. I have loved Laurie Lee’s work since I was a child growing up in Gloucestershire, so to have won this prize was a genuine honour.  Winning the prize gave me confidence – a priceless gift for a writer. I entered the competition almost by mistake – a last minute snap decision – so if you are thinking of entering, go for it, you never know what might happen. 

The Laurie Lee Prize for Writing is open for entries between Wednesday 1st March and Friday 14th July.

For more information, email Dominique Shead at info@stroudbookfestival.org.uk.

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