Each year the Blake Society gives a grant to encourage a work of the imagination. We call it the Tithe Grant because the prize is funded by donating 10% of the income from our annual subscriptions. The theme of the Grant changes every year – music, photography, film, aphorisms, painting … and for 2017 the topic is Letters.
This year the 2017 Tithe Grant will be awarded to a letter inspired by Blake’s own correspondence.
William Blake’s own letters are so challenging & extraordinary that we are inviting people to write a letter that Blake might have written himself today.
We try to invite a Judge who champions the particular theme of the year – for example we were honoured to have the Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir for choral music, the Hollywood director Alan Parker for film, the Turner Prize Winner Jeremy Deller for drawing and Stephen Fry for aphorisms.
For the 2017 Tithe Grant we are delighted that the Judge will be Tracy Chevalier. She has published nine novels including Burning Bright  about William Blake and perhaps her most famous novel is Girl With a Pearl Earring  about the painter Johannes Vermeer.
The Tithe Grant is open to anyone, anywhere and is entirely free to enter.
A Letter is deemed to contain less than 1000 words
Entries may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
or posted to:
Tithe Grant 2017
The Blake Society
St James’s Church
London W1J 9LL
Entries must be received by 28 November 2017.
The winning entry and runners up will be announced at the December Blake Society event to be held at the City of Westminster Archives Centre on 13 December 2017.
Unfortunately the Blake Society is unable to return submissions sent by post.
Any questions should be emailed to:
Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:
Q : Are you imagining Blake coming back from the grave to write this letter?
A : Yes, alive with the anger and poetry of a prophet writing today.
Q : So, you are not looking for a clever 18C pastiche?
A : Certainly not; we are looking for William Blake, wherever and whoever she might be, now.
Q : What is the financial value of the 2017 Tithe Grant?
A : £469 representing 10% of our subscription income from 2016.
Q : If I do not live in the UK may I take part?
A : Yes! Previous winners have come from as far away as Australia and Alaska.
Q : If I am not a citizen of the UK may I take part?
A : Yes! The only Nation is the ImagiNation.
Q : Do I have to be a member of the Blake Society to take part?
A : No. All are welcome.
Q : Do I have to be over 18 years of age to enter?
A : Yes.
Q : How many letters may I submit?
A : You can submit as many letters as you wish.
Q : Should entries be anonymous?
A : No, indeed please remember to include your full name and address including email and phone so that we might contact you in case you are a finalist.
Q : Can a letter contain a drawing or doodle or a graphic element?
A : Why not?
Q : Where can I find examples of Blake’s own letters?
A : They are all published in the collected works of Blake and also in separate editions of The Letters.
Q : Did Blake sign one of his letters : Your Devoted Rebel ?
A : Indeed, he did.
Q : Are there any love letters that survive between Catherine and William ?
A : None – except for the one you write …
Q : What should the content of a letter be about?
A : Whatever Blake might have written about today.
Q : But could it be about everyday matters – the humdrum administration of a life?
A : Administration is divine.
Q : Will the Award be announced online?
A : Yes, details of the Finalists and the Winner will be announced on our website on this page shortly after the Award Ceremony.