The Burgess Prize

The Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism

in this section

Terms and conditions:

Below are the terms and conditions for the Observer / Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism.

If you have any questions about these or any aspect of the prize please contact the International Anthony Burgess Foundation by email on, or by telephone on 0161 235 0776.

Entering the Competition

1. The Observer / Anthony Burgess prize for Arts Journalism competition is open to people aged 18 and over.

2. Employees or agencies of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, or anyone else connected with the Competition, may not enter the Competition.

3. By entering the Competition you are accepting these terms and conditions.

4. To enter the Competition, You must submit a review of new work in the arts of not more than 800 words in length via the website or by post to Observer / Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY.

5. By “new”, we mean an occurrence of art that has taken place since 1st January 2023, although we’re not using that date as a hard-and-fast rule. That occurrence could be (and is not limited to) the publication of a book, the release of a film, the staging of an exhibition or event, an online stream, or the broadcast of a production. The subject of the thing you’re reviewing could be from any time, such as a new exhibition about the Napoleonic Wars.

6. The maximum length of entries must be not greater than 800 words. Titles are included in the word count.

7.  All work submitted for consideration must be the entrant’s own original writing, and should not have appeared in print or on a website (including blogs and social networking sites) or have been broadcast, or be submitted for publication or consideration elsewhere, for the duration of the Competition (which is deemed to begin on the date of entry and end on 31st May 2024). Work found to be published in print or on a website or to have been broadcast will be disqualified without refund of the entry fee. Your entry must not otherwise be obscene, defamatory or in breach of any applicable legislation or regulations.

8. Entries can be from anywhere in the world, but all work must be word-processed and written in English. Translations into English of work written in other languages can be accepted, provided that the source text is the entrant’s own original work and has not been published (in print or on a website including blogs and social networking sites) or submitted for consideration elsewhere; translations into English of work published (in print or on a website including blogs and social networking sites) elsewhere in other languages will not be accepted.

9. Online entrants will be required to pay an entry fee of £10 via PayPal: the automated web entry process will redirect you from your completed entry form to the PayPal website. This redirection is confirmation that your entry form has been received. Once paid, PayPal will display a confirmation of your payment. There will be no separate confirmation of entry, but if you want to check, email You do not need a PayPal account to enter.

10. Postal entrants will be required to pay an entry fee of £10 by cheque with their entry and will receive a note acknowledging receipt of entry and payment (normally within 28 days of entry, once the entry has been processed and checked). Cheques should be payable to International Anthony Burgess Foundation.

11. There is no restriction on the number of times you can enter the Competition.

12. The closing date and time of the Competition is 11.59pm on 29th February 2024. Entries received after that date and time will not be considered.

13. You own the copyright to your Competition entry as its author.

14. By submitting an entry to the Competition, you give Guardian News and Media Group:

a. Permission for your entry to be published on and grant GNM a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide licence to republish your Competition entry in electronic format and hard copy for purposes connected with the Competition; and

b. The right to use your name and town or city of residence for the sole purpose of identifying you as the author of your entry and/or as a winner of the Competition.

15. Entries submitted for consideration may be withdrawn from the Competition by entrants by notification in writing. Where work is withdrawn, entry fees will not be refunded.

16. Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted. Entries cannot be amended, corrected or substituted. If entrants wish to correct errors, they must withdraw them from the Competition as above and enter again with payment of entry fee. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.

17. If You have any questions about how to enter or in connection with the Competition, please e-mail us at with “Observer / Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism” in the subject line.

Picking the winner

18.   A panel of judges will choose one winning entry from all the Competition entries. The judges’ decisions are final, and no correspondence about their decisions will be entered into. We reserve the right to change the panel of judges without notice. The judges reserve the right not to award the prize, or to reduce the prize money, if, in their opinion, such action is justified for any reason.

19.   When choosing the winner, the judges will be looking for imaginative, original, and thought-provoking reviews that would be suitable for publication in the Observer. They will be looking for emerging talent, innovative approaches and writing from outside the mainstream, and they are especially keen to read entries from those who have not previously had work published by major media organisations.

20.   The judges’ decision of who the winner is will be made by 1st May 2024.

The Prize

21.   The Competition will award a prize to winners consisting of:

–  a sum of £3000 to one winner

– a sum of £500 to two runners-up.

–  Publication opportunities for the winning pieces, or another suitable piece, in the Observer. Publication will be at the discretion of the editor of the Observer.

22. Short-listed entrants may be invited to attend an evening prize-giving ceremony in May 2024. The winner will be announced at this event. Short-listed entrants will be notified by email or telephone and asked to confirm attendance at the ceremony. In cases where short-listed entrants are unable to attend the ceremony, they will be invited to send a representative (a friend or relative) on their behalf; if a representative is unable to attend, short-listed entrants will be asked to submit a short written statement to be read out at the ceremony should they win.

23. The prize cannot be exchanged or transferred by you and cannot be redeemed by you for any other prize.  You must pay all other costs associated with the prize and not specifically included in the prize.

Some other rules

24. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed.

25. We take no responsibility for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason. Proof of delivery of the entry is not proof of receipt.

26. No purchase is necessary.

27. The winner may be required for promotional activity.

28. The Promoter of the Competition is the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY. Any complaints regarding the Competition should be sent to this address.

29. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall exclude the liability of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence.

30. The International Anthony Burgess Foundation accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by You as a result of entering the Competition or accepting any prize.  The International Anthony Burgess Foundation further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to You or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the Competition.

31. The International Anthony Burgess Foundation reserves the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, this Competition with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including, without limitation, in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in all matters under its control is final and binding.

32. The International Anthony Burgess Foundation shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion, inevitable accidents, supervening legislation or any other circumstances amounting to force majeure.

33. The Competition will be governed by English law.