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09 October 2020

Nine Dots Prize reveals this year's question

Launched in 2016, the Nine Dots Prize seeks to engage innovative thinkers to use new writing to address problems facing our modern world. The competition poses a global question and offers US$100,000 and a Cambridge University Press book deal for the winning response. For the 2021/2022 cycle, the question is 'What does it mean to be young in an ageing world?'

Entrants are asked to respond to this question in 3,000 words and create an outline for how they would expand this answer into a short book of 25,000 – 40,000. The Prize is judged anonymously, and invites entries from both established authors and new talent, including those who have not been published before. The Prize winner will receive editorial support from the Press, as well as the chance to spend a term developing their ideas at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). Find full entry details, terms and conditions on the Nine Dots Prize website

The Prize’s second ever winner was Annie Zaidi, whose powerful response to the question ‘Is there still no place like home?’ resulted in the book Bread, Cement, Cactus: A Memoir of Belonging and Dislocation, published by the Press earlier this year. This title explores notions of home and belonging rooted in Zaidi’s experiences of life in India, and was described the The Observer as a ‘compelling exploration of the intimate and political sides of an itinerant life.’ The inaugural Nine Dots Prize was won by James Williams, a former Google employee turned Oxford philosopher who wrote the winning response to the question ‘Are digital technologies making politics impossible?’. The resulting book, Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy, was published by the Press in May 2018 to critical acclaim.

The Nine Dots Prize is open to anyone around the world, aged 18 or over and writing in English. Entries must be submitted through the online submission form by 12 pm GMT 18 January 2021. The winning response to this year’s question will be announced in May 2021.

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