Want to find out more about the Man Booker Prize? See our most Frequently Asked Questions below.
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The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) which, since 2002, has been responsible for the award of the prize. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are Baroness Kennedy QC Chair, former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College; Jonathan Taylor CBE, President, former Chairman of Booker plc; 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; Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University; and Ben Okri, writer and former Man Booker Prize winner. Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Sir Ronald Harwood and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents of the Foundation.
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 must not be self-published.
The prize is worth £50,000 to the winner. It will be 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.
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: Richard Cable, publisher; Mark Chilton, Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Jonty Claypole, Head of Arts, BBC; Emmanuel Roman, Chief Executive, Man; 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, the literary agent; Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstone’s; Nigel Newton, publisher; Fiammetta Rocco, Books and Arts Editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Eve Smith (Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation); and Robert Topping; Topping & Company Booksellers.
The Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation also sits on the Advisory Committee as Chair. Until April 2015, Ion Trewin occupied this role; his replacement will do so in due course.
The Advisory Committee chair is appointed by the Booker Prize Foundation. Every effort is made to achieve a balance between the judges of gender, articulacy and role. A judge is rarely enrolled a second time.
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.’
Every year the Man Booker Prize winner is guaranteed a huge increase in sales, firstly in hardback and then in paperback. There is spin-off too in global sales of books, in future publishing contracts and in film and TV rights. Besides the fortune, the winner of the Man Booker Prize can also be sure of fame. The announcement of the winner is covered by television, radio and press worldwide.
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.’
The information provided about authors and judges has been written to be relevant with the prize year that they are associated with. In some cases this copy has been updated for the launch of the new website in July 2012.
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.