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Rules & condition of entry


a The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction (“the Prize”) will be awarded to the book that a panel of independent judges consider to be the best work of non-fiction published during the eligibility period (as defined 2(a) below). In selecting the winner, the judges will be looking for originality, quality of writing and the impact of the book upon the reader.

b Publishers are invited to submit up to three titles per imprint. Publishers may also submit up to three additional titles, accompanied by a brief justification, which they would like the judges to call in for consideration. (Please do not send copies of the call-in books.) The judges may also call in any other eligible book. The judges will choose the books they wish to read from all the submissions and call-ins and will then decide a longlist followed by a shortlist of six. The winner will be chosen from this shortlist.

c. If the Publisher agrees that a book called in by the judges is to be considered for the Prize, then that Publisher must sign an undertaking to the effect that it will comply with all the Prize’s rules. The called-in book will not be considered actively by the judges without receipt of this signed undertaking from the Publisher.

d. A new panel of independent judges is chosen each year by the Prize’s executive director, with the advice of the Board of The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction Limited, a company limited by guarantee. The Prize is administered by Four Agency, which is formally accountable to the Prize’s executive director.

e. The Prize may not be divided or withheld.


a In order to be eligible to win the Prize, a book must be published in the UK in English in the UK between 1 November 2023 and 31 October 2024 ('the eligibility period').

b Titles eligible for the Prize will be printed works of non-fiction published during the eligibility period by an imprint with a formal presence in the UK. Such an imprint will be, or be a part of, a UK registered company; publish at least three titles a year; sell its titles in pounds sterling; make print editions of its books available via the UK book trade; and deposit a copy of each title it publishes with the British Library.

c Eligible books are likely to come from the following categories: the arts, autobiography, biography, business and commerce, current affairs, history, natural history, popular science, religion, sport and travel.

d Authors of any nationality are eligible, and their entered books can have been published originally in any language provided that they are first published in English in the UK between the specified dates

e Collections are eligible but only when they have a single author.

f Hardbacks and paperbacks are eligible.

g The following categories of book are not eligible for the Prize:

  • Fiction, poetry, plays, practical manuals, guides, educational, academic and children’s books. Books where the preponderance of the contents are illustrations.
  • Books which have been written specifically as spin-offs from a television, radio or podcast series. Books which are complemented by a broadcast series but which can stand independently as literary works can be considered.
  • Reprints, re-issues or revised editions
  • Books written by more than two authors
  • Books that are published only in ebook or audio book format — that is, do not have an accompanying print edition -- or are available in print only as print-on-demand edition.

h Self-published works, where the author is the publisher, are ineligible for the Prize. If the publisher is a company that has been set up specifically to publish the work in question, and/or the author is the person who owns the majority shareholding or otherwise controls the company, the work is ineligible. Works are also ineligible if they have been published under any arrangement by which the publisher is paid to publish by the author and/or anyone on behalf of the author.

i Authors must be alive when their books are submitted or called in.

j Publishers must be able to supply biographical details of the author(s) of each submitted book. Books written by anonymous authors will not be considered.

k If the publisher goes into administration after having submitted, their books will become ineligible.

l The decision of the Prize's executive director as to whether a work is eligible shall be final and binding. No correspondence will be entered into.



a Publishers may enter up to three non-fiction titles per imprint with publication dates during the eligibility period. The entry forms for each title should be submitted electronically via the Prize’s website. The Prize will request finished copies in due course.

b Submissions for all titles need to be made by 11 June 2024 (“the closing date”). Three physical copies of each titles must be sent to the following address:

Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction (Four Agency C/O Parallel)


Unit 8

Hurlingham Business Park

Sulivan Rd


London, SW6 3DU

c If the judges call in other eligible books after the closing date, and the Publisher agrees that a book called in by the judges shall be considered for the Prize, the publishers will be required to submit three copies of each book to Four Agency at the address above.

d A book may only be entered by its UK publisher. The submission of an author’s work by the publisher will be taken as agreement by the author that they are willing for the submitted work to be considered and will abide by the rules of the prize.

e No books or proofs will be returned.

f There is no charge for entering, but by entering publishers of the shortlisted titles agree to contribute £3,000 each towards the marketing of the prize and 15 extra copies of the book. The publisher of the winning book agree to contribute an additional £5,000 towards marketing.

g The judges’ decision is final. No discussion or correspondence concerning any decision made by the Prize will be entered into.


a By entering the Prize, the publishers and authors of the shortlisted and winning titles are agreeing to co-operate actively in promoting the books and the prize.

b The winning title must display prominently the words ‘Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction’ according to the brand guidelines unless otherwise agreed on the cover of all editions of the winner of the Prize, including the paperback, ebook and audio edition.

c The Board of The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction Limited reserves the right to refuse entry to or withdraw from consideration any submission for any lawful reason, and reserves the right to vary the rules and conditions of the Prize at any time as it deems necessary.