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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.

Details about the 2014 Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize will be available in the Spring.

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
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.

2014 Literary Prize

The 2014 Franklin quote is: “When the Well’s dry, we know the Worth of Water” Entrants should interpret this quote for its significance today.


*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 2014 to  

Read the press release here


2013 Literary Prize Winners!

The Franklin quote for the 2013 prize was “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” The winning entry was written by Robyn Marks, a student at King’s College London. Second place was awarded to Alison Wallace, a graduate from the University of Bristol.

The Literary Prize reception, celebrating the winning entries, took place at Benjamin Franklin House in February 2014.

Lit Prize Winner 2013

House Chairman John Studzinski presents the first prize to 2013 winner Robyn Marks

Lit Prize Runner-Up 2013

Alison Wallce is recognised for her second prize win




Read about the 2008-2012 Literary Prize Winners