Residents and admirers of High Barnet have every encouragement to enter a competition to write the best "Love Letter to London" -- after all this is said by many to be the most historic town within Greater London.

The London Society has launched the contest – with £4,000 in prize money – to celebrate London in “all its life, charm and mystery”.

Local contestants might well be tempted to write a love letter to London with a Barnet twist – and there are lots of angles to choose from.

What better starting point than Charles Dickens masterful creation of Oliver Twist…Twist met the Artful Dodger in Barnet High Street (possibly on the steps of what was the Victoria Bakery).

Another source of inspiration might be the 1471 Battle of Barnet in the Wars of the Roses – and Barnet is the site of the only battlefield in London.

Anyone short of ideas might like to view the Barnet Tourist Board’s YouTube video “London’s Most Historic Town”.

The free to enter writing competition is to write up to 500 words on the theme “resilience and recovery” to fit with the London Society’s motto of “valuing the past; looking to the future”.

Entrants can write on any aspect of London’s past, present or future. It might be reportage, an historical essay, a think piece, a spot of futurology, a work of fiction, a poem. “We are open to all forms and styles”.

There are five categories, with prizes of £400, £200 and £100 in each, and a further overall winner’s prize of £500.

  • Under 18
  • Students (in full time education, 18+)
  • Open - all other UK entrants
  • International - from anyone not based in the UK
  • Poetry

Entries must be received by 23:59 on 30 November 2021. Final judging will take place during December and the winners announced in January 2022.

The London Society is encouraging the widest possible support for its “Tell us why you love London” competition.

“We’re biased, but we believe London is the greatest city in the world. It is the nation’s capital, but woven from hundreds of separate communities; the economic powerhouse of the UK with a richly diverse demographic.

“It has an amazing history, but is constantly evolving; it offers world class art, music, theatre and other live performances. It is ‘home’ to nine million people but attracts dozens of millions more each year as visitors.”

Acknowledgement: Drawing of Oliver Twist meeting the Artful Dodger is from the Mary Evans Picture Library.