Sunday 21 January 2018

Irish publishers eligible to submit novels for Man Booker Prize for first time

Man Booker Prize 2017
Man Booker Prize 2017
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

A change in rules of entry mean that Irish publishers can submit novels for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction from today.

A new rule specifies that any novel written originally in English and published in Ireland by an imprint formally established in Ireland is now eligible for the prize.

It comes after a lengthy consultation between Publishing Ireland and the Booker Prize Foundation.

Until now, only Irish publishers who have headquarters in the UK were eligible to submit titles for the prestigious prize.  The new rule ensures that independent Irish publishers have the same opportunity to be recognised.

The Man Booker Prize 2018 logo (Man Booker)
The Man Booker Prize 2018 logo (Man Booker)

"We believe that this revision recognises the very close relationship between Irish and UK publishers, that it takes into account the highly integrated nature of the UK and Irish markets, and that it will allow a vital source of literature in the English-speaking world to flourish," said Publishing Ireland in a statement.

"Irish writing has long been celebrated on the world stage. This adjustment to one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards will give an unprecedented platform to Irish publishers large and small.

"Further to this, we believe that this news will prove to be of lasting benefit not just to the publishing community in Ireland but to writers and readers around the world and to the canon of literature itself."

In 2014 eligibility was opened to any English language novel and the prize was won by writers from the US in 2016 and 2017.

The prize celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Crime writer Val McDermid and philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah are among the judges of this year’s Man Booker. Cultural critic Leo Robson, feminist writer and critic Jacqueline Rose and artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton complete the panel, chaired by Appiah.

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