Stroud Book Festival launches The Laurie Lee Prize for Writing

Laurie Lee

Laurie Lee - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Laurie Lee Prize for Writing is launched for 2022

Stroud Book Festival, to be held from November 2 to 6, has announced the launch of The Laurie Lee Prize for Writing.

Open to unpublished Gloucestershire writers across a range of genres, the Laurie Lee Prize for Writing has been created to acknowledge and honour the work of Stroud’s most famous son, Laurie Lee (1914-1997).

The new prize was the idea of bestselling Stroud writer, Katie Fforde, and has been established under the umbrella of Stroud Book Festival with the blessing of Laurie Lee’s family, and his literary estate. Two annual £1,000 prizes will be awarded, one of which will go to a writer aged under 25. Announced in October 2022, the winners will be invited to read their winning entries at a public Laurie Lee Prize event at Stroud Book Festival in November 2022.

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 2022 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.

‘That Gloucestershire’s greatest writer didn’t have a prize in his name felt like an omission,' says Katie Fforde, 'so I decided to create one. I was thrilled when Stroud Book Festival took up the idea and am extremely grateful for the support of Laurie Lee’s family and for that of the judges. I hope that, in this 25th anniversary year of his death, some great writing will result to honour Stroud’s greatest literary son.’

Slad Valley, Gloucestershire

Laurie Lee's landscape: Slad Valley, near Stroud, Gloucestershire - Credit: PJ Photography/Shutterstock

‘I’m very grateful to Katie Fforde and Stroud Book Festival for progressing such an inspiring idea, says Jessy Lee. 'My father would have been very pleased to see local writers encouraged to put forward their work. It’s always heart-warming to keep Laurie’s name firmly alive – especially in the valleys of Stroud’.

The Laurie Lee Prize for Writing is open for entries until Monday, August 1. Visit stroudbookfestival.org.uk for more information.

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