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FAQs

Want to find out more about the Man Booker Prize? See our most Frequently Asked Questions below.

What is Man?

Man Group is one of the world’s largest independent alternative investment managers, and a leader in liquid investment strategies. Across its four investment managers (Man AHL, Man FRM, Man GLG and Man Numeric), Man Group has diverse hedge fund strategies and long only products spanning equity, credit, managed futures, convertibles, emerging markets and multi-manager solutions. At 31 December 2015, Man Group’s funds under management were $78.7 billion. The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker EMG.L and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Man Group supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at www.man.com. 

What is the Booker Prize Foundation?

The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) established in 2002, since when it has been responsible for the award of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and for the Man Booker International Prize since its inauguration in 2005. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are: Baroness Kennedy QC – Chair, former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford; Lord Baker of Dorking CH; Bidisha – writer, critic and broadcaster; Victoria Glendinning CBE – biographer; James Naughtie – broadcaster; Christopher Pearce – former Finance Director of Rentokil plc; Dr Louise Richardson – Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford and Ben Okri – writer and former Man Booker Prize winner. Jonathan Taylor CBE is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Sir Ronald Harwood and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents. 

What is eligible for the prize?

The Man Booker Prize awards any novel originally written in English and published in the UK in the year of the prize, regardless of the nationality of their author. The novel must be an original work in English (not a translation) and published by a registered UK imprint; self-published novels are not eligible. For more details on submitting to the prize, please visit our submissions page. 

The Man Booker International Prize for Fiction is awarded annually for a single work of fiction, translated into English and published in the UK by a registered imprint. Both novels and collections of short stories are eligible. Previously, the prize was awarded every two years for a writer's entire body of work. For more details on submitting to the prize please visit our submissions page. 

How much is the prize worth to the winning author?

The Man Booker Prize is prize worth £50,000 to the winner. It is awarded to the author of the best, eligible full-length novel in the opinion of the judges. The prize may not be divided or withheld. In addition, £2,500 is awarded to each of the six shortlisted authors. 

Underlining the importance of translation, The Man Booker International Prize £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author and the translator. There is also a prize of £2,000 for each of the shortlisted titles divided equally between the author and the translator.

How are the judges chosen?

Following recommendations from the Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which also advises on any changes to the rules. It represents all sides of the book world. Its members are: Mark Chilton – Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Jonty Claypole – Head of Arts, BBC; James Daunt – Managing Director of Waterstones; Jonathan Douglas – Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson – writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Adam Freudenheim – publisher, Pushkin Press; Derek Johns – Author & Literary Agent; Peter Kemp – Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Rosanna Konarzewski – head of communications, Man Group; Nigel Newton – publisher, Bloomsbury; Fiammetta Rocco – Culture editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Michal Shavit - publishing director, Jonathan Cape; Eve Smith – Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation; Boyd Tonkin - Writer and critic; Gaby Wood – Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation.

The Chair of Judges is appointed by the Booker Prize Foundation. Every effort is made to achieve a balance between the judges of gender, articulacy and role. 

What difference does winning the prize make?

Winning the Man Booker Prize is the ultimate accolade for many writers. As 1996 winner Graham Swift commented, ‘Prizes don't make writers and writers don't write to win prizes, but in the near-glut of literary awards now on offer, the Booker remains special. It's the one which, if we're completely honest, we most covet.’ 2015 Man Booker winner Richard Flanagan described the experience as ‘the most extraordinary honour… you are fully aware that you are no longer standing in the same place you had been previously as a writer.’  

Every year, the Man Booker Prize winner is guaranteed international recognition and a huge increase in sales, firstly in hardback and then in paperback. The announcement of the winner is covered by television, radio and press worldwide The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan sold over 300,000 copies in the UK and almost 800,000 worldwide after his win, more than the combined sales of his previous novels; 12,466 physical copies of Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings were sold in the week following his 2016 win, a 933% increase on the week before. There is also a spin-off in global sales of books, in future publishing contracts and in film and TV rights. Hilary Mantel’s two winning novels (2012 and 2009) Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies have been adapted into award-winning adaptations on stage and screen, and Julian Barnes (2011) The Sense of an Ending has been adapted for film. Other winning novels that have gone on to have second or third lives as stage and screen adaptations include Schindler’s Ark (directed by Steven Spielberg as Schindler’s List), The Remains of the Day and The English Patient.

What do the winners spend their prize money on?

This is the question which, inevitably, is asked of every Man Booker Prize winner. There have been many different answers over the three decades of the prize. A.S.Byatt, winning with Possession in 1990, announced that she now had the money she needed to build her ‘longed-for swimming pool in Provence.’ Howard Jacobson, winning with The Finkler Question in 2010, bought his wife a handbag.

How can I access archive information relating to the prize? 

There is a Booker Prize Archive available to consult via The Special Collections at Oxford Brookes University Library. Click here to search the Archives catalogue. For more information about this facility or to arrange a visit please contact Special Collections at Oxford Brookes University Library