Returning for 2021, the Marlborough LitFest and English Literature at Bath Spa University are excited to launch this year’s ‘Love Books’ competition, to celebrate a love of reading amongst all ages. With almost 100 entries in 2020 across three age groups, LitFest and Bath Spa University were delighted with the breadth of interest and talent and hope to recreate this enthusiasm once again. As in 2020, winners in each age category will each win £300; runners-up each win £100.

The competition, which runs until 30th June, invites participants to explain their choice of a favourite book, poem or play by either a written (up to 750 words) or video (no more than four minutes) response. The emphasis needs to be on what entrants love about their chosen read and why they think others should try it. For more information on the competition:

The competition will be managed by Bath Spa students studying English Literature as part of their degree course. Open to three age groups: 13-16, 17-19 and 20+, judges will be looking for creative, passionate and engaging responses. Judges for 2021 will be Ian Gadd, Professor in English Literature at Bath Spa University, Judy Carver (daughter of William Golding), writer and CEO of William Golding Ltd, and Jan Williamson (ex-Chair of Marlborough LitFest).

Nicola Presley, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Bath Spa University, said: “For the 2020 competition, we were delighted to receive such creative and passionate responses on such a diverse range of texts. We look forward to more in 2021.”

Genevieve Clarke, Chair of the Marlborough LitFest, said: “Our partnership with English Literature at Bath Spa University for the Love Books Competition feels like a really creative way of celebrating reading. We were delighted with the response to its first year and hope that even more adults and young people from around the country will share with us their enthusiasm for books in 2021.”

Further information including full submission guidelines can be found here.