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Row of books

7 Feb 2019

PhD students and academics encouraged to apply for £25,000 publication competition

Profile Books and Aitken Alexander have partnered together to launch the Profile Aitken Alexander Non-Fiction Prize for the best debut trade non-fiction proposal from an academic.

The prize of the competition is £25,000 and a publication agreement with Profile Books, with editorial development and support from agents at Aitken Alexander Associates.

The competition is open to those with a PhD or equivalent qualification, graduate-level lecturers, and senior researchers.

The submission must be for an author’s first trade non-fiction book and must be focused in an area in which the entrant holds a postgraduate qualification.

Submissions must be written in English and take the form of a 3,000-4,000-word outline or essay that sets out the intended subject, argument and approach for the book.

The winner and two runners-up will be selected by a panel of judges, which includes Ed Lake (Editorial Director at Profile Books), Chris Wellbelove (Director at Aitken Alexander), Margaret MacMillan (Historian and Professor), Eugenia Cheng (Author and Mathematician) and Matthew Reisz (Books Editor at Times Higher Education).

Ed Lake said: “Profile was built on great non-fiction, from stars like Mary Beard and Kwame Anthony Appiah, as well as our brilliant fellow judges, Margaret MacMillan and Eugenia Cheng. This prize is designed to spot the non-fiction stars of the future – the thinkers, explorers, researchers and communicators who can explain the world, and in so doing change it, one reader at a time.”

Chris Wellbelove added: “Whether or not we’re in an Age of Experts, the last few years have shown that there is continuing appetite among readers for good and original ideas, engagingly expressed. UK institutions are full of talented academics working on such ideas, and we are delighted to be launching this prize with Profile to find them."

The closing date for entries is 30 April and the winners will be announced in October 2019. For more information and to submit an entry visit the website.