The UK-based Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) is now accepting entries for this year's edition of its Young Classical Writers Prize. The prize was established in 2021 and is in memory of Gerald Larner, a British music critic and writer who wrote for publications like The Guardian and The Times.
In order to enter, applicants should write a piece of no more than 500 words on any topic, as long as it is related to classical music in some way. Submissions could include program notes for a particular piece, a short article, or a more creative piece of work that does not fit into the usual style of music writing.
Entrants may like to consult the RPS's guidelines and tips, which were put together by last year's judges, the writer and presenter Katy Hamilton, and the editor of BBC Music Magazine, Oliver Condy.
You can also read last year's winning entry, written by 22-year-old pianist Mark Rogers on Samuel Barber's song cycle Knoxville: Summer of 1916.
First prize is worth ₤500, while Second and Third Prize carry a value of ₤250 and ₤150 respectively. All applications must be received by 11 AM on Tuesday, March 22.
"As well as the insight and encouragement it gives others, writing about music can be hugely invigorating in itself," the RPS says. "Young people are often only asked to write about music in essays at school, college or university, where certain formalities can limit their expression. With this prize, we invite you to unleash your imagination, and set out to capture in words what makes classical music so boundless, enlivening and timeless."
You can read more about the competition on the RPS's website.