For budding and established scribes, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) for a potential prize of $15K is a pretty good incentive to really bring it to the storytelling arena. And that's exactly what Melbourne-based beauty powerhouse Aesop and narrative journalism mecca, The Saturday Paper, are banking on happening with their newly announced national essay award, The Horne Prize.

The prize pays respect to the late Donald Horne AO, an author, editor, journalist and general writing national treasure. As the author of Australian cultural critique, The Lucky Country, Horne's work sets the tone for what competition entrants will write about: an essay of up to 3,000 words around a theme of 'Australian Life'. Judged by a slew of culture makers such as Erik Jensen, editor of The Saturday Paper; Suzanne Santos, Aesop's General Manager, Retail and Customer Service; and Professor Marcia Langton AM - the essay will aim to shed light on a person or issue that helps us understand who we are as Australians.

It may seem surprising for a beauty brand to cross over to the scribe scene, but Aesop bucks the traditional cosmetics model of visage first, interior later - combining a passion for skincare and the written word.  Announcing the price, Aesop GM Suzanne Santos said, "It is an honour to launch this important new award in partnership with The Saturday Paper. Donald Horne epitomised the erudition, acumen and integrity long valued by Aesop, and it is our desire to see these qualities not only celebrated but also nourished afresh in Australian writing."

Entries are open August 6 - October 31. The winning essay will be published alongside the winners name in The Saturday Paper on December 24. Competition details for The Horne Prize can be found at thehorneprize.com.au

Pretty tall tales: new writing competition announced