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Bolivia and its dreams of the sea
In the winner of the 2015-16 Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize, Laurence Blair explores the aspiration of landlocked Bolivia to build its naval presence

The riot that made me write
To launch the 2015 Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize, Stephen Witt recalls a ‘primal political dilemma’ that inspired him to take up writing

‘Eiderdown’ by Edward Posnett
The winning entry of the 2014 Bodley Head/FT essay prize explores the links between Icelanders, ducks and capitalism. Edward Posnett’s first book, ‘Harvest’, due for publication in 2017, grew directly from his winning essay


From head to heart – essays that inspire
To launch the 2014 Bodley Head/Financial Times essay prize, leading writers tell us about their favourite prose – from Seneca to Christopher Hitchens

Adnan Sarwar
As a British Pakistani boy growing up in Burnley, the author endured racial abuse. In his winning 2014 entry, the writer and actor explores what led him to join the British Army

Hedley Twidle revisits South Africa’s Highway N2
To launch the 2013 Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize, last year’s winner examines how one South African road reflects the state of the nation

Hedley Twidle
The South African academic’s 2012 winning essay about working in the shadow of JM Coetzee


Simon Schama: Why I write
Dickens’ abundance and Orwell’s asperity are equally inspiring, writes the historian and FT contributing editor



Raghu Karnad
Runner-up for the 2012 prize, the Delhi- and Bangalore-based journalist writes about the forgotten Indian soldiers who served the British during the second world war

Video: A British Pakistani growing up in Burnley, Lancashire, Adnan Sarwar endured racial abuse but joined the British army. Winner of The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize 2013 for ‘British Muslim Soldier’, Sarwar talks to Caroline Daniel, FT Weekend editor.

How to enter the 2015-16 Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize (*now closed*)

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