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And the winner in our open category goes to the entry with the most original name…

We asked: “Tell us why you love this city. Write a love letter to London.”

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It has been wonderful to explore every single written submission and see the different views of the same city, sometimes looking back on a life lived here and others imagining what would be possible if they moved to London. We’re indebted to our judges for spending so much time selecting the winners and runners-up from a large collection, as well as our sponsors for making it all happen.

OPEN CATEGORY WINNER: Alice Bonomini Borges

Will they hail to our Lost Marys, pineapple yellows and baby blues

There's a brick at Sutton House, with the paw of a dog that was goofy for a second, about five hundred years ago.

And another one with the blueprint of a strand of grass, and it works like some sort of optical illusion: you stare at the clay and see how green it must have been, how lively.

There's the returning magic of the crockery and pipes scattered on the foreshore of the Thames, and the little golden idles and I chuckle thinking, will our wandering daughters find, three hundred thousand tides from now, the same idles, the same pipes, only in hard plastic and condensed into a pun.

Will they think we were such dandies, our theatre tickets, natural wines, us navigating chores in pretty clothes and hurried pouts. All of us some young Keats pacing up to the Spaniards, our heads wrapped around one line. Or will they see our nervous lunch breaks, tight commutes, and how the privilege of shift work is kept quiet, between the trees of Hampstead Heath on a Tuesday afternoon.

When you walk through Lower Clapton, you can play at Joshua Reynolds. If you peek inside the houses, your eyes will be jamming portraits, their thin frames on the mantelpiece, of kids in mustard coloured socks, their dogs, and freelance dads, and mum when she was young.

The days l'm angry at the city, I tell myself that charm is a very mundane mystery, and yes l'm curious, but l'm no detective, and I should go and love something else.

instead I go West, where the river gets green and wild like that, get myself a pint and mussels, let the sunset repair my motions, make me feel nice in my whatever boots.

Well, to the ghost of London future, this is what I found so far:

The secret of all secrets is that the DLR is operated by a few bright coloured buttons, and it looks like Playmobil.

And that Taco Queen must have risen right where Blake saw the angels queuing bright on Peckham Rye.

The winners and runners-up were announced at the NLA in Guildhall on Saturday 27 April 2024, and the certificates were handed out by our judges, Gita Ralleigh, Nile Bridgeman and Graham Clifford.

As a special treat, the winning entries were read out by actors Steven Elder and Sangeeta Reding.

Thanks to our sponsors Almacantar, Harriet’s Trust, Stiff + Trevillion who are supporting us for the third year running.

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