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The Bracken Bower Prize 2018

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Judges include:
Joel Rickett

Joel Rickett

Ebury (Penguin Random House)

Nora Rosendahl

Nora Rosendahl

Fifth Corner Inc.

Isabel Fernandez-Mateo

Isabel Fernandez-Mateo

London Business School

Overview

The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company, organisers of the Business Book of the Year Award, are looking for young authors who can tackle emerging business themes. A prize of £15,000 will be awarded to the best proposal for a book about the challenges and opportunities of growth. The judges will favour authors who write with knowledge, creativity, originality and style and whose proposed books promise to break new ground, or examine pressing business challenges in original ways.

If you will be under 35 on 30 November, 2018 and have an original idea for a book which provides a compelling and enjoyable insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management we want to hear from you.

The Deadline for Submissions is 30 September, 2018 (5pm BST). The Bracken Bower Prize will be given at The Business Book of the Year Award Dinner which will be held in London on 12 November, 2018.

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fallback Add to my Calendar 09/30/2018 00:00:0009/30/2018 00:00:00falseThe Bracken Bower Prize 2018The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company, organisers of the Business Book of the Year Award, are looking for young authors who can tackle emerging business themes. A prize of £15,000 will be awarded to the best proposal for a book about the challenges and opportunities of growth. The judges will favour authors who write with knowledge, creativity, originality and style and whose proposed books promise to break new ground, or examine pressing business challenges in original ways.If you will be under 35 on 30 November, 2018 and have an original idea for a book which provides a compelling and enjoyable insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management we want to hear from you.The Deadline for Submissions is 30 September, 2018 (5pm BST). The Bracken Bower Prize will be given at The Business Book of the Year Award Dinner which will be held in London on 12 November, 2018.The-Bracken-Bower-Prize-20182bbfc660dad1fd33367f84619679cfd8MM/DD/YYYY

How to write a good proposal

How to write a good proposal

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Full Overview

The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company, organisers of the Business Book of the Year Award, want to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes. They hope to unearth new talent and encourage writers to research ideas that could fill future business books of the year. A prize of £15,000 will be given for the best book proposal.

The Bracken Bower Prize will be awarded to the best proposal for a book about the challenges and opportunities of growth. The main theme of the proposed work should be forward-looking. In the spirit of the Business Book of the Year, the proposed book should aim to provide a compelling and enjoyable insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management. The judges will favour authors who write with knowledge, creativity, originality and style and whose proposed books promise to break new ground, or examine pressing business challenges in original ways.

The prize is named after Brendan Bracken who was chairman of the FT from 1945 to 1958 and Marvin Bower, managing director of McKinsey from 1950 to 1967, who were instrumental in laying the foundations for the present day success of the two institutions. This prize honours their legacy but also opens a new chapter by encouraging young writers and researchers to identify and analyse the business trends of the future.

Only writers who are under 35 on 30 November 2018 are eligible. They can be a published author, but the proposal itself must be original and must not have been previously submitted to a publisher.

The proposal should be no longer than 5,000 words – an essay or an article that conveys the argument, scope and style of the proposed book – and must include a description of how the finished work would be structured, for example, a list of chapter headings and a short bullet-point description of each chapter. In addition entrants should submit a biography, emphasising why they are qualified to write a book on this topic. The best proposals will be published on FT.com. Co-authored entries are welcome.

The organisers cannot guarantee publication of any book by the winners or runners-up. The finalists will be invited to the Awards Dinner which will be held on 12 November in London where the Bracken Bower Prize will be awarded alongside the Business Book of the Year Award, in front of an audience of publishers, agents, authors and business figures. Once the finalists’ entries appear on FT.com, authors will be free to solicit or accept offers from publishers.

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Judges (4)

Joel Rickett

Joel Rickett

Deputy Publisher
Ebury (Penguin Random House)

Joel Rickett is a publisher at Penguin Random House, where he edits a broad range of non-fiction including business, finance, economics, personal development, sports, memoirs and narrative. In his role at its Ebury division, the largest specialist non-fiction publisher in the UK, he oversees the Virgin Books, WH Allen and Vermilion imprints. Previously Mr Rickett was at Viking, and he launched the business list Portfolio in the UK, as well as helping to start Penguin Life. Authors his lists have published include Eric Ries, Simon Sinek, Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant, Richard Branson, Shawn Achor, Steve Peters, Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Brené Brown, David Enrich, Susan Cain, Ben Macintyre, Clare Balding, Jennifer Saunders… and Lionel Barber!

Nora Rosendahl

Nora Rosendahl

Chief Operating Officer, CFO & Co-Founder
Fifth Corner Inc.

Former management consultant turned entrepreneur and author, Nora Rosendahl works on multiple fronts to tackle the stress epidemic in the modern workplace. After years of high-paced work at McKinsey & Company, “career climbing” was the path she was on. After a meditative weekend spent in self-reflection Ms Rosendahl nonetheless jumped off the career ladder and took the leap into the start-up world. Four years later, the digital health & wellbeing company she co-founded is working with some of the largest companies in the world, helping modern knowledge workers reduce stress and thrive at work through small behavioral changes.

Through her work she’s seen how companies are struggling with the exhausted and disengaged employee, how employees are feeling alone with the burden of burnout, and how despite the growing costs and human suffering – we still do not address exhaustion and burnout openly and honestly. Moreover, having seen other millennials around her suffer from a growing cognitive load, and having herself stumbled to juggle the requirements of work and family, she speaks from experience. Her book proposal on stress in the (millennial) workforce won the Financial Times Bracken Bower Prize for best business book proposal in 2016.

Ms Rosendahl is a dedicated book-worm. She loves good copy. If she can put something into an excel sheet, she will. A glass of good red wine and heated discussions with her husband-to-be make her day. 

Isabel Fernandez-Mateo

Isabel Fernandez-Mateo

Adecco Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
London Business School

Isabel Fernandez-Mateo is the Adecco Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, where she has been on the faculty since 2004. She obtained her PhD from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and is an expert on how social networks influence career outcomes - particularly in hiring, job transitions, and career advancement. She is especially interested in gender diversity in the executive labour market, and is currently doing research on the access of women to top management jobs. Professor Fernandez-Mateo advises organizations on these topics and teaches a variety of related courses to both MBA students and executive audiences.

Jorma Ollila

Jorma Ollila

former Chairman
Royal Dutch Shell and Nokia

Jorma Ollila was appointed chairman of Royal Dutch Shell between June 2006 and May 2015. During March 2013-March 2018 Mr Ollila was chairman of the Board of Directors of Outokumpu Oyj. He is vice-chairman of the board of directors of Otava Books and Magazines Group. He is also a member of the board of directors of Tetra Laval Group and advisory partner of Perella Weinberg Partners and Chairman of Miltton. He is also a member of the board of directors of TBG AG and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Xinova Management Company LLC.

Mr Ollila started his career at Citibank in London and Helsinki, before moving in 1985 to Nokia, where he became vice-president of International Operations. In 1986, he was appointed senior vice-president finance and between 1990 and 1992 he served as president of Nokia Mobile Phones. Between 1992 and 1999 he was president and CEO of Nokia, and from 1999 to 2006 he was chairman and CEO. He remained chairman from 2006 until May 2012.

Mr Ollila has a master of political science (University of Helsinki), a master of science (Econ.) (London School of Economics), and a master of science (Eng.) (Helsinki University of Technology).

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Podcast: How to write a book proposal

BBP Podcast

In this half-hour podcast, the FT’s Management Editor Andrew Hill discusses how to turn your business book idea into a solid proposal for the FT/McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize with two leading figures from the publishing industry. Ella Diamond Kahn, Co-founder of the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency, and Joel Rickett, Deputy Publisher at Ebury give their practical guidance about using your own experience to find a book idea, developing it into a polished proposal, and presenting it in a compelling way.

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Entry Guidelines

Format

● no longer than 5,000 words

● essay article with an argument, scope and style of a proposed book

● a description of the finished work’s structure

Content

● tackle emerging business themes

● identify and analyse the trends of the future in business, economics, finance or management

● focus on the challenges and opportunities of growth

● examine pressing business challenges in unique ways

Author

● must be under 35 on November 30, 2018

● can be a published author

● the proposal itself must be original & not previously submitted to any publisher

● you can submit a biography

● co-authored submissions are also welcomed

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Advice from the FT's Andrew Hill

ADVICE FROM THE FT'S ANDREW HILL

As one of the FT and McKinsey team that filters Bracken Bower Prize entries for our judges, I’m always pleasantly surprised by the overall quality - and I’m delighted a number of our finalists have managed to land publishing deals. Still, there are few do’s and don’ts worth bearing in mind:

DO give the judges a flavour of the book. Outline how the whole work would hang together, but try to write your proposal in the style that you would adopt, rather than in bullet points.

DO write as much as you can. Brevity is a virtue, but in this case you would be better writing 4,999 words than sending a few short paragraphs.

DO submit a book proposal - not a business idea or an advertisement for your company. This is not the place to get your business plan noticed.

DO think about the title - but DON’T agonise over it. Judges will look at the whole proposal. There are no extra points for a clever title. It will probably change if your book makes it to publication.

DO make your biography relevant. The judges don’t need your life story, but if you’ve done something that makes you particularly well qualified to write this book, make sure you include it.

DON’T miss the deadline. Some of our finalists admit they filed their successful entries with seconds to spare - like good journalists - but there are no extensions.

DON’T copy. We run longlisted entries through an automated check for plagiarism. Quotations are fine, but the computer won’t swallow large chunks of undigested text from elsewhere.

DON’T write in a foreign language. The optimist who decided submitting his proposal in Russian would catch the judges’ eye was sorely mistaken. English only, please.

DO have fun. Remember that we are looking for proposals for books that are “compelling and enjoyable”.

Andrew Hill is the FT management editor and helps organise the Bracken Bower Prize and the Business Book of the Year Award.

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2017 Finalists

Winner

Mehran Gul, The New Geography of Innovation

Finalists:

Alexandre Lazarow, Startup Heretic: Emerging Markets and the Gospel According to Silicon Valley 

Michael F. Motala, The Peer-to- Peer Social Contract: How Aristotle’s Philosophy of Friendship Can Rescue the Platform Economy from Moral Meltdown​

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CONTACT US

Louis Leslie
Bracken Bower Prize Enquiries
Financial Times

Organisers (2)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT marks 130 years in 2018 with a record paying readership of more than 940,000, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc, which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public, and social sectors achieve lasting success. For over 90 years, our primary objective has been to serve as our clients' most trusted external advisor. With consultants in over 120 cities in more than 60 countries, across industries and functions, we bring unparalleled expertise to clients anywhere in the world. We work closely with teams at all levels of an organisation to shape winning strategies, mobilise for change, build capabilities and drive successful execution.