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Author: Secretary

TLP Prize Entry

How to enter the Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian Prize:

The £2,000 Tony Lothian Prize (sponsored by her daughter, Elizabeth, Duchess of Buccleuch) is for an uncommissioned proposal by a first-time biographer.

Proposals of no more than 20 pages (unbound), including synopsis, 10-page sample chapter (double-spaced, numbered pages), CV and note on the market for the book and competing literature, to: Ariane Bankes, email or by post to: E6 Albany, Piccadilly, London W1J 0AR. Enquiries: 07985 920341.

Deadline: 30 August 2018.

Entry fee: £15 (cheques payable to the Biographers’ Club). For mandatory entry form, see below.

This year’s judges: Alex Clark is a journalist and broadcaster who writes for the Guardian and the Observer, and is the Artistic Director for Words and Literature at the Bath Festival; Lindsay Duguid is a former editor at the TLS and a judge of the Duff Cooper Prize; Edmund Gordon is author of The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography and teaches at Kings College London.

[Only the shortlisted entrants will be contacted]

You can apply by downloading and printing out the Prize Entry Form below (sign and send by post to the Prize Administrator at the above address). Entry fee £15, cheques payable to the Biographers’ Club, or by bank transfer (email for our bank details).

microsoft_word Tony Lothian Entry Form 2018 (Word)

If you are a UK taxpayer, could you please fill in the Gift Aid form:

Gift Aid Declaration Form



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Previous winners – Exceptional Contribution (previously Lifetime Services) to Biography Award

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Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize Entry

This prize is for first-time biographers. Only entries submitted by publishers will be accepted for consideration. Literary memoirs are also eligible, but the following genres are not eligible: celebrity autobiographies and ghostwritten books. Read more

Previous Winners – Best First Biography Prize

Previous winners of the Best First Biography Prize, now known as the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize: Read more

Antonia Fraser on winning the Lifetime Services to Biography Prize

Ladies and Gentlemen, Thomas Carlyle once famously – or infamously – said that a well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one. This is certainly not the motto of the Biographers Club. Read more

Previous Winners – Tony Lothian Prize

Previous winners of the Biographers’ Club Prize (now the Tony Lothian Prize): Read more

Harriet Tuckey on what winning the Tony Lothian Prize meant to her

I had finished the first draft of my book before entering for the Tony Lothian Prize. I knew I had uncovered a really good story, about my eccentric, difficult father, the physiologist on the 1953 Everest Expedition. I couldn’t bear him, yet felt bound to write about him. Without his work, the Everest ascent in 1953 would not have been possible. Read more

Hewitt, Catherine

Catherine Hewitt

Catherine’s first biography, Valtesse de la Bigne: A Courtesan’s Conquest of Paris (Icon, 2015), was awarded the runner-up’s prize in the 2012 Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian competition. The biography traces the incredible tale of the bewitching courtesan, the Countess Valtesse de la Bigne, who clawed her way up from humble, impoverished origins to become one of the most sought-after and glamorous women in Paris. Her lovers included countless painters, writers and politicians, while her affairs with women caused a scandal in turn-of-the-century Paris.

Renoir’s Dancer: The Secret Life of Suzanne Valadon (Icon, 2017) explores the life of the woman considered to be the Impressionists’ most beautiful model, herself a talented artist. Suzanne had affairs with a number of the most renowned painters of the day, and gave birth to an illegitimate son, the future painter Maurice Utrillo. But, from a working class background and with no formal training, she pursued her artistic career, and in 1894 was accepted to the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.

Catherine has a long career in academia, with a special interest in 19th-century French art, literature and social history. Having completed her PhD on The Formation of the Family in 19th-Century French Literature and Art in 2012, Catherine set out to use her academic training to bring history and people alive for a mainstream audience. She now lectures regularly, writes, translates and runs workshops on 19th-century French art, literature and social history.

Catherine lives in a village in Surrey. When she is not working, she can be found helping restore her family’s cottage in the middle of rural France.


Bankes, Ariane

Ariane Bankes

Ariane Bankes worked in publishing for 25 years and left to focus on writing and to run her own arts festival, among other things. She writes for a variety of periodicals, and edited, with Jonathan Reekie, the New Aldeburgh Anthology (2009).

Tomalin, Claire

Claire Tomalin

Claire Tomalin’s books include The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, Shelley and His World, Jane Austen: A Life, Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man, Charles Dickens: A Life.