The UK based company Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) is now accepting entries for this year’s edition of its Young Classical Writers Award. The award was established in 2021 and is in memory of Gerald Larner, a British music critic and writer who has written for publications including The Guardian and The Times.
To enter, contestants must write a piece of no more than 500 words on any topic, as long as it is related in some way to classical music. Submissions may include program notes for a particular piece, a short article, or a more creative work that does not fit the usual style of music writing.
Participants can consult the RPS’s guidelines and tips, which were put together by last year’s judges, the writer and presenter Katy Hamilton, and BBC Music Magazine editor, Olivier Condy.
You can also read last year’s winning entry, written by a 22-year-old pianist Marc Rogers on Samuel Barber’s song cycle Knoxville: Summer 1916.
The first prize is worth ₤500, while the second and third prizes are worth ₤250 and ₤150 respectively. All applications must be received by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22.
“In addition to the insight and encouragement it gives others, writing about music can be hugely invigorating on its own,” says RPS. “Young people are often only invited to write about music in essays at school, college or university, where certain formalities may limit their expression. With this award, we invite you to unleash your imagination and to capture in words what makes classical music so limitless, invigorating and timeless.”
You can read more about the competition on RPS website.