The Prize

    • A prize of £10,000 will be awarded to the author of the work that the judges consider to be the best eligible entry that evokes the spirit of a place. This may be a work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. The prize may not be divided or withheld.
    • The judges will be responsible for compiling a shortlist of outstanding books. This will be announced in spring 2024 and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter in May.
    • The prize is administered in all respects by the Royal Society of Literature.

      Eligible Books

      • The Prize is open any full-length work of fiction or non-fiction, or volume of poetry, which evokes the spirit of a place, and which is written by a citizen of the UK, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland, or a writer who has been resident in the UK for three years.
      • All entries must be published (in any format) for the first time in the UK or RoI within the calendar year 2023. Previous publication of the book outside of the UK does not disqualify it.
      • The book must be a unified and substantial work. Collections of short stories, novellas or children’s books are not eligible.
      • Books originally written in another language, and translated into English, are not eligible.
      • Self-published books are not eligible.
      • A book submitted on behalf of an author who was deceased at the date of publication will not be eligible for consideration.

      Entry of Books

      • Fill out all the details on the entry form. Submissions will only be accepted from trade publishers based in the UK or RoI (regardless of the author’s citizenship or residency). Authors may not enter themselves.
      • Each publisher, or imprint of a publisher, may enter one book only, in any form. If you don’t not have separate imprints for different forms, e.g. fiction and non-fiction, then you must only enter one book.
      • Each publisher or imprint may also submit a list of up to two further fiction or non-fiction titles and may also submit an additional third title—which must be poetry—for the judges to call in. These books must meet all of the criteria outlined here above and a justification of up to 1,250 characters is requested on the entry form for each one. Please do not send in or upload the call-in titles unless requested. While the judges are not obliged to call in any of these titles, they are also at liberty to call in titles that have not been submitted.
      • Three copies of your main entry (not call-in titles) should be sent to:
        RSL Ondaatje Prize
        Royal Society of Literature
        Somerset House
        WC2R 1LA
        Books must not be sent direct to the judges and no books submitted can be returned.
      • If you have a digital copy of the book, please upload this as an epub file when filling out the entry form. There should be no watermarks or crop marks, and we ask that the cover and copyright page are included.

      The deadline for entries is
      Friday 8 December

      The RSL is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes submissions from people of all backgrounds and experiences. To give us insights into who is being entered, we would appreciate it if people could complete an Equality and Diversity Monitoring Survey for the author. A link will be provided in your confirmation email. The information provided here will be treated in the strictest confidence and not linked to entries.