Would you like to rival Anthony Burgess?

We love hearing about writing competitions and whilst we see plenty for budding novelists and short story writers, here’s one that’s a little out of the norm. A competition for wannabe art review critics – launched by the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in associationg with The Observer.

Anthony Burgess, who died in 1993, was (and still is) considered one of the nation’s most highly respected literary figures. As a novelist he brought us the cult classic A Clockwork Orange and we proudly publish two of his other books, Nothing Like the Sun and A Kingdom of the Wicked.  But he also led a heralded career as a literary journalist, most notably writing for the Guardian and Observer. And if you should be the one to triumph in this competition, you will see your winning review featured in the Observer where Burgess’ inimitable pieces would have run back in the day.

The Observer‘s recent article about Burgess and this new competition has piqued my curiosity about the man, who comes across as brash and incorrigible, arrogant but certainly engaging – someone who no doubt might shock but never bore you. And you have to respect a man who isn’t embarrassed, when writing about his career as reviewer and novelist, to publicly draw attention to the fact that he has had his fair share of cruel reviews for his books including: ‘I yawned on the first page and would have yawned on the last, if I’d ever reached it’ (Read Burgess’ full article here).  And how can you not be intrigued by a man who was sacked as fiction reviewer for the Yorkshire Post for writing about his own novel Inside Mr Enderby (written under the pseudonym Joseph Kell), including the brilliant commentary:

‘This is a dirty book. It is full of bowel-blasts and flatulent borborygms, emetic meals and halitosis. It may well make some people sick, and those with tender stomachs are advised to let it alone.’

So, if you think you can match Burgess’ talent as reviewer, find out more about the Arts Journalism Competition here.

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager

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