The Financial Times and McKinsey, the management consultancy, have launched a new £15,000 award to discover the business authors of the future.
The Bracken Bower Prize – named after Brendan Bracken and Marvin Bower, architects of, respectively, the modern FT and McKinsey – will go to the best proposal for a business book on the challenges and opportunities for growth by a writer aged 35 or under.
The new competition runs in parallel with the well-established Business Book of the Year Award. Judges will be looking for authors who write with “knowledge, creativity, originality and style” and who “promise to break new ground, or examine pressing business challenges in original ways”.
McKinsey is supporting the Business Book of the Year for the first time this year. Dominic Barton, the consultancy’s global managing director, said the new prize was “aimed at encouraging the next generation to join the conversation on the challenges and opportunities of growth globally”.
Entrants will submit up to 5,000 words on their proposal and will have to demonstrate they know how to develop their ideas to book length.
The winner is expected to use the prize to fuel further research leading. While the winner will not be obliged to complete a book – and the organisers make no guarantee of publication – agents and publishers are likely to take a keen interest in the chosen proposals.
Once the finalists’ work appears on FT.com, authors will be free to solicit or accept offers to develop their idea.
The judges for the Bracken Bower Prize are Vindi Banga, partner, Clayton Dubilier & Rice; Lynda Gratton, professor, London Business School; Jorma Ollila, chairman, Royal Dutch Shell and Outokumpu; and Dame Gail Rebuck, chair, Penguin Random House, UK.
At the same time, McKinsey and the FT announced the panel of judges for the Business Book of the Year, which this year includes new members Mohamed El-Erian, former chief executive of Pimco, the fixed income investor; Herminia Ibarra, professor at Insead, the business school; Steven Denning, chairman of General Atlantic, the private investment firm; and Rik Kirkland, former editor of Fortune and McKinsey’s director of publishing.
Both awards will be presented at a ceremony in London on November 11.