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Memoir Competition: The Problem With Gardening

After the extraordinary success of the memoir writing competition that we launched last year, The Garden Museum is delighted to announce that the Mollie Salisbury Cup will run again in 2019, once more generously sponsored by the Cecil family.

This year’s theme is ‘The Problem With Gardening.’ Candidates are invited to send entries, of no more than 1,500 words, to by Friday 17th May. The winner will receive £750, and two runners-up £250 each, and the winning entry will be published in Hortus. They will also read their work aloud on the final day of the Garden Museum Literary Festival 2019, taking place at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, on 21st and 22nd June 2019.

Last year we received well over 100 entries of astounding quality. The judges – Lord Charles Cecil, Allan Jenkins and Tom Stuart-Smith – eventually chose three winners whose work perfectly encapsulated 2018’s theme of ‘My First Garden.’ You can read their work here.

This year’s judges are:

Lady Rose Cecil is a mixed media artist, jewellery designer and writer. She is the daughter of the late Marchioness of Salisbury.

Nicola Shulman is a writer and historian who has written books about Reginald Farrer and Thomas Wyatt. She is a trustee of The Garden Museum.

Mary Keen is a celebrated garden designer and writer who writes for The Telegraph and The Spectator and has designed gardens in the UK, Corfu, France and America. She is the author of six books.

Mollie Salisbury (1922 – 2016) was a celebrated garden designer whose glorious creation at Hatfield House, the Jacobean Cecil family home in Hertfordshire, has won plaudits from critics and visitors alike. Despite having no conventional training, her careful study of contemporary houses in England and Europe, and of Hatfield’s archives, led to a garden with formal and informal elements. She also created gardens for The Prince of Wales, Evgeny Lebedev and Peter Brant, as well as rooftops and balconies in London. Lady Salisbury worked tirelessly well into her eighties, and was an early campaigner for organic gardening. Her memoirs, A Gardener’s Life (Frances Lincoln, 2007), tell her remarkable story.

Terms and conditions: the competition is open to individuals aged 18 and over, published or unpublished. To enter, send an original, unpublished piece of memoir writing, written in English, on the subject of ‘The Problem With Gardening’, of up to 1,500 words to
The competition closes at midnight on Friday 17th May 2019. Entries received after the closing date will not be considered. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges and will be based on literary merit, originality and readability. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these terms and to have agreed to be bound by them. We cannot provide feedback on individual entries.
The winner will have their writing published by the Garden Museum and a media partner, and will receive a £750 prize. Two runners-up will each receive a prize of £250. The winner and runners-up will be asked to read their entries at the Garden Museum literary festival at Houghton Hall, Norfolk on 22nd June 2019.
This competition is not open to any employees of the Garden Museum, the promoter or their immediate families, the promoter’s advertising agency and sales-promotion consultancy, or anyone else connected with the creation and administration of the competition. Only one competition entry, fulfilling the eligibility requirements above, will be accepted per person. Once selected, only the winner(s) will be contacted personally by email, using the contact details provided upon entry.
 Entry to the competition and acceptance of the prize constitutes permission to use any entrant’s name, image and any competition-entry photograph, for promotional and/or editorial purposes in any format in print and non-print media without additional consultation. It is assumed that you have the permission of your employer for any time off work that is required to claim the prize. The Garden Museum or the third party are not liable in any way to any winner who cannot attend. Winners will be notified by 10th June 2019.
By entering the competition and in consideration for the Garden Museum publishing your entry, you assign to the Garden Museum the entire worldwide copyright in your entry for all uses in all print and non-print media and formats, including but not limited to all rights to use your entry in any and all electronic and digital formats, and in any future medium hereafter developed for the full period of copyright therein, and all renewals and extensions thereof, any rental and lending rights and retransmission rights and all rights of a like nature wherever subsisting. The Garden Museum’s decision is final in every situation, including any not covered above, and no correspondence will be entered into in respect of the validity of any such decision. The Garden Museum shall be permitted to exclude or disqualify any entrant at any time at its sole discretion. The Garden Museum reserves the right to exclude late, incomplete or multiple registrations, or registrations made by third parties or agents. The Garden Museum does not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. The name of the winner(s)will be announced at the Garden Museum Literary Festival, 21st and 22nd June 2019.
No purchase is necessary. Once entered, entries cannot be returned or withdrawn. Spammers will be disqualified. Prizes must be taken as stated, although the Garden Museum reserves the right to change the prize in the event of unforeseen circumstances. By entering the competition, you agree to the terms of the Privacy Policy. In addition, the Garden Museum may pass your personal information to the promoters of the competition (where it is not the Garden Museum) and their data processors. However, we always demand that any such parties adhere to the same security procedures that we follow ourselves. The Garden Museum reserves the right to (i) cancel and/or withdraw this competition and/or (ii) amend these terms, at any time without notice. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the Garden Museum be liable, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, for any loss, damage or injury arising under or in connection with this competition. These terms are governed by English law, and entrants agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts in relation to all matters arising under or in connection with these terms.
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