Authors are being invited to submit their entries for an annual book prize which will see one winner receive a cash prize of £500.

Entries for the Arnold Bennett Book Prize 2020/2021, are open to writers based in Stoke-on-Trent, the wider North Staffordshire area or living anywhere in the world if their work features North Staffordshire

It is the fifth year the international book prize has been organised by the Arnold Bennett Society and past winners include Guardian columnist Charlotte Higgins, who was born and raised in Newcastle-under-Lyme, novelist Jan Edwards, short story writer Lisa Blower and poet John Lancaster.

Freelance lecturer Morag Jones will chair the judging panel for the third year.

Morag said: “It’s marvellous to be able to award the Arnold Bennett Book Prize once again after a break due to the pandemic. The prize is for books published during 2020 or 2021. The judging committee members are looking forward to receiving and reading all of the submissions and we hope to attract lots of good quality entries again this year and hope that the various lockdowns mean lots of people have been busy writing.”

The judges will also include author and historian Fred Hughes, retired headteacher Elizabeth Leslie, retired senior librarian Philip Lees, Arnold Bennett Society trustee Erika Alcock, journalist and Made in Stoke-on-Trent coordinator Jenny Amphlett plus Arnold Bennett Society members Penny Michell and Pat Marshall.

The prize is for books published during 2020 or 2021 which will be divided into three categories – fiction, non-fiction and poetry/plays. They can be of any genre, fiction or non-fiction, and of any length. The books must exist in physical form, rather than purely digitally, and must have an ISBN number.

To enter, authors should submit two hard copies of their book, together with a covering letter including their full name, address and a contact telephone number. The closing date for entries is January 31, 2022.

Entries should be posted to: Jenny Amphlett, Arnold Bennett Book Prize, Staffordshire University, 6th Floor, Flaxman Building, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DE.

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