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Love Letters to London

A new writing competition from the London Society and sponsored by Almacantar - open to all. Write a ‘Love Letter to London’ and you could win £900.

After 18 months like no other, let’s be positive about the future. Tell us why you love London - Write a ‘Love Letter’ and celebrate our city.

This year The London Society aims to celebrate the city in all its life, charm and mystery, with a writing competition “Love Letters to London”. We want you to tell us why you love this city. Write us up to 500 words around the theme of “recovery and resilience”.

We’re biased, but we believe London is the greatest city in the world. It is the nation’s capital, but woven from hundreds of separate communities; the economic powerhouse of the UK with a richly diverse demographic. It has an amazing history, but is constantly evolving; it offers world class art, music, theatre and other live performances. It is ‘home’ to nine million people but attracts dozens of millions more each year as visitors.

To fit with The London Society motto of ‘valuing the past; looking to the future’, entrants can write on any aspect of London’s past, present or future. It might be reportage, an historical essay, a ‘think piece’, a spot of futurology, a work of fiction, a poem. We are open to all forms and styles. Entries can have been published elsewhere, but must fit the brief and have been written in 2021.

Categories and Prizes

  • Under 18 (sponsored by Stiff + Trevillion)
  • Students (in full time education, 18+, sponsored by ftwork)
  • Open - all other UK entrants (sponsored by ftwork)
  • International - from anyone not based in the UK
  • Poetry

  • Category winner        £400
  • Category second       £200
  • Category third           £100

There will also be a prize for the overall winner - to be picked from the winners of each of the five prize categories - of an additional £500

Entries must be received by 23:59 on 30 November 2021. Final judging will take place during December and the winners announced in January 2022. See ‘how to enter’ above for full rules.

Judges

  • Razia Iqbal, BBC
  • Nicholas Spice, London Review of Books
  • Dr Nick Browne / N M Browne, Author
  • André Naffis-Sahely, Poetry London
  • Dave Hill, OnLondon



Sponsors

Almacantar is a property investment company specialising in large-scale, complex developments in Central London. Known for its design-led approach, the company focuses on creating long-term value through development, repositioning or active asset management.

Since it was launched in 2010 by Mike Hussey, Almacantar has acquired over 1.5 million sq ft of prime assets in the heart of London including live projects; Centre Point, Marble Arch Place, One and Two Southbank Place and Lyons Place.

Find out more

Stiff+Trevillion are a well-established West London practice with a strong reputation for elegant and sophisticated architecture. Collaboration is at the heart of the practice's ethos. The studio employs a diverse team of architects, technicians, visualisers, interior and furniture designers. This blend of skills reflects the work we do across the commercial, restaurant & retail and private residential sectors and creates a lively and vibrant working culture. 

Find out more

ftwork’s aim is to ensure clear social principles underpin development and drive good practice. With pressure to build new homes and whole neighbourhoods, economic expediency drowns out the need to create diverse places with a sense of their own identity. It’s people that make lively and successful places. In thriving communities they stay put; they have some autonomy, are mutually supportive and feel secure; they have varied opportunities to mix, to work and to be creative.

Find out more

How to enter

Please read the full rules (below, or downloadable here.)

Tell us why you love this city. Write a Love Letter to London of up to 500 words around the theme of ‘recovery and resilience’.

You can write on any aspect of London’s past, present or future. It might be reportage, an historical essay, a ‘think piece’, a spot of futurology, a work of fiction, a poem. We are open to all forms and styles.

There are five categories, with prizes of £400, £200 and £100 in each, and a further overall winner’s prize of £500.

  • Under 18
  • Students (in full time education, 18+)
  • Open - all other UK entrants
  • International - from anyone not based in the UK
  • Poetry

The closing date of the competition is 23:59 (UK time), 30 November 2021.

Entries must be on a Word or Google Docs file with title. All entries will be judged anonymously, so the first page of the entry should have the title of your entry, the category you are entering, and your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.

Email your entries to TheLondonSociety1912@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Competition Rules

Please read thoroughly. The rules may be downloaded here.

  1. The competition is open to anyone aged under 18 (Under 18 category) and 18 or over at the time of entering (Other categories). International entries are welcome.
  2. All entries must have a title and must not exceed 500 words or for poems 40 lines in length (excluding title). Entries are to be around the theme of “recovery and resilience” on can be about any aspect of London’s past, present or future. It can be reportage, an historical essay, a ‘think piece’, a spot of futurology, a work of fiction, a poem.
  3. Entries must be the entrant’s original work.
  4. Entries can have been published elsewhere but must fit the brief and have been written in the past two years.
  5. The closing date of the competition is 23:59 (UK time), 30 November 2021.
  6. Entries must be on a Word or Google Docs file with title. All entries will be judged anonymously, so the first page of the entry should have the title of your entry, the category you are entering, and your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.
  7. There is a limit of 3 on the number of entries a single entrant can make.
  8. No one can win more than one category. There is, however, an additional award for the best of the winners of the five categories.
  9. Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
  10. Under no circumstances can alterations be made to the pieces once entered.
  11. Online entries should be sent to TheLondonSociety1912@gmail.com
  12. Postal entries are accepted, to be sent to:
    Love Letters Competition; The London Society, Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED
  13. Telephone or email confirmation of receipt is not available. The London Society is unable to confirm the content of documents submitted online or by post, so please ensure you send the correct version.
  14. The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice and not to award prizes if, in the judges’ opinion, such an action is justified.
  15. All entries are read, The decision of the judges is final; neither the judges nor The London Society will enter into any correspondence.
  16. No one associated with running the Competition, or a Trustee of The London Society, can enter the competition.
  17. Copyright in all entries will remain with the entrant, but The London Society has the right to use any entry for free in its own publications in print, online or in other media.
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