The Laurie Lee Prize for Writing

Stroud Book Festival is delighted to launch the Laurie Lee Prize for Writing

The prize has been created by Gloucestershire novelist Katie Fforde in association with Stroud Book Festival and with the blessing of Laurie Lee’s family to acknowledge and honour the work of Laurie Lee (1914–97). A resident of Slad, Laurie Lee was a poet and the author of Cider with Rosie and other autobiographical works. His works stand as a testament to the beauty of the valleys around Stroud and the creativity they continue to inspire.

The judges will present two prizes, with each author winning prize money of £1,000. One of the winners must be a young person under the age of 25 at the time of submission.

The competition is open to anyone who has not previously published a full-length work, and who currently lives full time in Gloucestershire or was born there. To enter, you must submit 4,500–5,500 words of fiction or non-fiction, or up to 125 lines of poetry, on a nature or conservation theme (urban or rural). This can be:

  • An extract from a novel
  • An essay
  • A short story
  • An extract from a memoir
  • A piece of travel writing
  • Poetry (maximum 125 lines across up to five poems)


The 2022 Prize

Entry period opens: Monday 14 March 2022 at 12pm.

Entry period closes: Monday 1 August at 5pm.

The 2022 judging panel will include Katie Fforde (chair), Jessy Lee (Laurie Lee's daughter), Norah Perkins (Laurie Lee’s literary agent), Jamila Gavin, Adam Horovitz and Jane Bailey.

The winners will be announced in October 2022 and they will be invited to read their winning entry at a public Laurie Lee Prize event at Stroud Book Festival 2022 (2–6 November).

Click here for rules of entry and here for how to submit your work


About Laurie Lee

Laurie Lee was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1914, and was educated at Slad village school and Stroud Central School. At the age of 19 he walked to London and then travelled on foot through Spain, as described in his book As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning. In 1950 he married Katherine Polge and they had one daughter, Jessy. His bestselling Cider with Rosie (1959) has sold over six million copies worldwide, and was followed by two other volumes of autobiography: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969) and A Moment of War (1991). Laurie Lee also published four collections of poems, The Sun My Monument (1944), The Bloom of Candles: Verse from a Poet's Year (1947), My Many-coated Man (1955) and Pocket Poems (1960), as well as A Rose for Winter (1955), The Firstborn (1964), I Can’t Stay Long (1975), and Two Women (1983). Village Christmas, an anthology of uncollected essays, was published posthumously. Laurie Lee died in May 1997 and is buried in Slad village graveyard.

© The Estate of Laurie Lee
© The Estate of Laurie Lee