Frieze Writer's Prize Guidelines

Guidelines for submissions and Frequently Asked Questions

Aspiring art critics are invited to submit one unpublished review of a recent contemporary art exhibition, which should be 700 words in length. This year the prize will be judged by artist and writer James Bridle, frieze assistant editor Paul Clinton and writer Olivia Laing. The winner will be commissioned to write a review for frieze and will be awarded £2,000.

Entries should be emailed as a Word attachment to Please don't send images.

– Entries must be submitted in English, but may be translated (this must be acknowledged).
– Entrants must be over 18 years of age at the time of submission. 
– Entrants are allowed a maximum of three previously published pieces of writing on art.

The closing date for entries is 18 July, 2016.


Frequently Asked Questions

• What constitutes a 'contemporary art exhibition'?

Suitable exhibitions include: those focusing on the work of living artists or art made after 1950; group shows featuring contemporary and historical works; presentations of historical works in galleries which primarily show the work of contemporary artists.

• What do you mean  by a 'recent' exhibition?

One that has been running within the last six months of the time the review is submitted. 

• How many pieces can I have published and still be eligible?

To be eligible you may have only published a maximum of three pieces of writing on art. Published writing on subjects other than art are not counted and writers with experience outside of art criticism are eligible to enter the competition.

• By 'published' do you mean print and online, or print only?

Published writing includes articles submitted to both print and online third-party publications. Writing published on personal blogs and websites will not be taken into account when assessing the eligibility of entrants.

• What do you deem to be a publication - a blog, a catalogue essay etc?

Art criticism published in third-party publications including blogs, catalogue essays, reviews in print and online magazines, journals and newspapers all count.

• Can a published writer, who doesn't normally write on art, submit?

Yes, writers who have previously published on subjects other than art can still submit.

• Does '700 words' mean exactly 700 words?

We give an allowance, plus or minus 20 words.

• What are you looking for?

We value criticism that is intellectually rigorous but also clear, concise and accessible. Writers are asked to focus on describing and analyzing the artwork and to avoid using jargon or arcane terminology.

Browse the past winners, and their winning entries, here: