Adam Mars-Jones writes:
The essay can seem to be the cosy heartland of belles-lettres, a place where nothing urgent is ever said. Recently, though, publishers have seemed willing to take on and even promote this landlocked genre. Notting Hill Editions, which publishes essays exclusively, has established a prize of £20,000 for an unpublished submission of up to 8000 words. Fitzcarraldo awards a prize of £3000 to a book-length essay (minimum 25,000 words) not yet taken on by a publisher.