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Man Booker Prize restricts publisher submissions

The Man Booker Prize has introduced a restriction on the number of books each publisher can submit for the prize.

As of 2014, the number of submissions granted to each publisher will depend on how many of their books have been previously longlisted for the prize. Each publisher will be allowed to enter one book, but a publisher who has had one or two longlisted books in the past five years will be allowed two submissions; a publisher with three or four longlisted books will be allowed three submissions; and a publisher with five or more longlisted books will be allowed four submissions. In the past, all publishers could submit two titles, as well as any titles by an author who has previously won the prize—a rule that will continue.

The chair of the Booker Prize Foundation Jonathan Taylor said in a statement that the new restriction will ease the reading burden on the judges, who considered 151 books for this year’s award. ‘The number of books publishers are allowed to submit has long been a concern and we were wary of increasing the reading challenge for the judges,’ said Taylor.

Taylor said that the prize ‘will continue to be open to all publishers, existing and emerging, all of whom will be entitled to enter at least one novel as well as proposing the other novels for the judges to consider’.

Following media reports earlier this week, the Man Booker Prize has also confirmed that it will expand its eligibility from 2014 to include novels originally written in English and published in the UK, regardless of the nationality of the author. The prize has previously only been open to novels by writers from the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth countries.

Taylor said in the same statement that the decision to open up the prize was made after ‘the views of writers, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers and others were canvassed on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond’.

‘Initially the thinking was that we might set up a new prize specifically for US writers. But at the end of the process we were wary of jeopardising or diluting the existing Man Booker Prize. Instead we agreed that the prize, which for 45 years has been the touchstone for literary fiction written in English of the highest quality, could enhance its prestige and reputation through expansion, rather than by setting up a separate prize,’ said Taylor.

A survey conducted by the Bookseller revealed that 85% of respondents were against the eligibility expansion, with fears that it would ‘downplay the impact of the prize and marginalise both UK and Commonwealth writers’.



Category: Local news