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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  

 Professor Sarah Churchwell, Professorial Fellow in American Literature, IES School of Advanced Study
Lord Guy Black, Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group
David Hawkins, Committee Chair of Benjamin Franklin House
Lady Joan Reid, Former Board Member of Benjamin Franklin House
Rory Sutherland, Board Member of Benjamin Franklin House   
Andrea Wulf, author of 'The Founding Gardeners' 2011.

2016 Literary Prize

The 2016 Franklin quote is :

‘Light often arises from a collision of opinions, as fire from flint and steel’ - Benjamin Franklin, 1760


*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 30 November 2016 to  


2015 Literary Prize Winners!

The Franklin quote for the 2014 prize was If all Printers were determin’d not to print any thing till they were sure it would offend no body, there would be very little printed. The winning entry was written by Hannah Pankow, a student at the University of Aberdeen. Second place was awarded to Sophia Bannert, an Architecture Assistant.

Hannah Pankow (left), first place winner, and Sophia Bannert (right), second place winner, recieve awards from House Director Dr. Márcia Balisciano at a reception held for the winners.


Read about the 2008-2013 Literary Prize Winners