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The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize

Benjamin Franklin is one of history’s great figures. While he made lasting contributions in many fields, his first passion was writing. He believed in the power of the written word as the bedrock of a democratic society, to inform, and stimulate debate.

Each year a question or quote exploring Franklin’s relevance in our time is open for interpretation in 1000-1500 words. The competition is exclusively for young writers, aged 18-25, with a first prize of £750, and a second prize of £500. Winning entries will be posted here and also published online by media partner, The Telegraph.

The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize is endowed by Benjamin Franklin House Chairman John Studzinski, a leading executive and philanthropist.

Literary Prize Judges  

*Marcia Balisciano, Director of Benjamin Franklin House
*Lord Guy Black, Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group
*David Hawkins, Committee Chair of Benjamin Franklin House
*Rory Sutherland, Board Member of Benjamin Franklin House   
*Andrea Wulf, author of 'The Founding Gardeners' 2011.

2018 Literary Prize

Please check back for the announcement of The 2018 Franklin quote.


*Entrants must be aged 18-25 years and living in the UK
*Entrants must provide their name, email, postal address, telephone number, age and place of study (if applicable; if they are not currently in education, they should provide a biographical note explaining their current activities)
*Entrants may submit only one entry; fiction or non-fiction accepted
*Entries of 1000-1500 words must be sent by 31 October 2017 to  


2017 Literary Prize Winners!

The Franklin quote for the 2017 prize was ‘If you would not be forgotten, As soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.’ Poor Richard, 1738.  The winning entry was written by Jasmine McCrory who is currently completing an MA in Literary Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast, Second place was awarded to Skot Wilson, a young playwright who is currently working at the Natural History Museum.



Read about the 2008-2016 Literary Prize Winners