Wednesday, 4 April 2012

New Literature Prize could coincide with the London Book Fair

The Literature Prize is to be awarded in the spring of each year, with founder Andrew Kidd saying it will take place for the first time in 2012 if the necessary funding is secured by the end of this year.

Kidd said the prize would be awarded "after the Costa, before the Orange, and some distance from the Booker". Since the Costa is usually awarded in January, and the Orange in May, this means the prize may be awarded close to London Book Fair, which takes place next year on 16th to 18th April.

Kidd said: "It had occurred to us that we might coincide [the award] with the London Book Fair, though of course it's too early to make a decision on that. Ultimately, though, this is a prize for readers, and the book fair is an industry event."

Books eligible for the prize must have been published in the UK in the 12 months of the calendar year prior to the spring ceremony, and must have been written initially in English. Therefore, if the prize were to take place in 2012, all six of this year's Man Booker-shortlisted titles would be eligible.

Kidd, an agent at Aitken Alexander, said it would be "absolutely fine" if the prize ever shared a winner with the Booker, saying it "inevitably might happen".

Prize money is still to be confirmed, but Kidd said it would be in the same league as other major literary prizes. The Booker Prize awards £50,000 to its winner, the Orange Prize awards £30,000 and the Costa Prize gives £35,000. He said a £1m launch pot would be "an exaggerated figure in terms of getting a prize off the ground", but added: "Obviously long-term funding would be significant."


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Literature Prize could coincide with LBF:

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