Nine Dots $100,000 book prize now open

News - Prizes Friday, 05 October 2018

Cash prize plus CUP book deal on offer to winning author


The prize, which is funded by judged anonymously and funded by the Kadas Prize Foundation, a charity established to fund research into significant questions relevant to today’s world. Its name references a lateral thinking puzzle that can only be solved by drawing outside of a box of nine dots arranged in three rows of three, literally thinking outside the box.

The first iteration was won by Google employee turned Oxford philosopher, James Williams, who answered the inaugural question ‘Are digital technologies making politics impossible?’ The resulting book, Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy (Cambridge University Press) was published in May.

Entrants must respond to the set question in 3,000 words and provide an outline showing how they would expand their response, backed up with relevant research and evidence, into a short book of between 25,000-40,000 words. The winner will receive editorial support from CUP.

The Prize will be judged by 11 academics, authors, journalists and thinkers. In 2018/2019 they will include Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author Anne Applebaum; head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge Professor David Runciman and co-founder and publishing director of one of Cassava Republic Press, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf. The Board will again be chaired by Professor Simon Goldhill, Professor in Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.

Goldhill said: "What makes the Nine Dots Prize unique is the anonymous judging process, which ensures that it is awarded solely based on the entrants’ ability to engage fully and insightfully with the question and deliver an original and well-evidenced response. The Prize seeks answers to some of the major challenges facing the world today, but the questions that we set are intentionally open to allow for different responses. We are looking for a new voice that has a new perspective on one of the most pressing issues for modern life."

Williams (pictured) said: "Before winning the Nine Dots Prize, I’d spent several years at Oxford investigating a problem that I felt was of great consequence for society. However, I lacked a clear platform for bringing that thinking to the world. Winning the Nine Dots Prize gave me such a platform: it afforded me the time, the resources, and the support structure I needed to quickly distil some of those ideas into a book. This is a unique prize. If you feel you’ve got something unique to say, I’d strongly encourage you to contribute a response to this year’s question."

The prize is open to anyone worldwide aged 18 years or over writing in English. Entries must be submitted through the online submission form by 21 January 2019; the winner will be announced on 29 May 2019. http://www.ninedotsprize.org/

The Kadas Prize Foundation was established to fund research into significant but neglected questions relevant to today’s world. Its main charitable activity is as a prize-awarding body, enabling Prize winners to further their work in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences to the benefit of the public. The Foundation was established by Peter Kadas, who has worked around the world for a number of leading institutions. Originally from Hungary, he holds Canadian and UK citizenship and currently lives in Barcelona, where he is a senior adviser at BXR Corporate Consulting Partners SL, an adviser to investment group BXR Group.

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