The longlist for the first-ever Warwick Prize for Writing was announced last week.
The twenty-strong list is comprised of eight fiction and twelve non-fiction titles with the award being billed as “an international cross-disciplinary biennial award open to substantial pieces of writing in the English language, in any genre or form.”
The theme for the 2009 Prize is ‘complexity’ although the topics discussed include slavery, global warming, music and economics. The victorious writer will win £50,000 as well as the chance to take up a short placement at the university.
Among the longlisted writers are Alex Ross, one of the finalists from this year’s Pulitzer Prize, the British Science Fiction Association winner Ian McDonald and Joseph O’Neill, who was longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize.
The university is hoping that this new literary award will “redefine traditional forms of writing.” China Meiville, chair of the judging panel said, “The style, form, genre and content of the works on the list is incredibly varied; the quality is anything but. Getting from this longlist to a shortlist, let alone a winner, will demand exactly the kind of open-minded and argumentative reading the prize is designed for, and, we hope, start many conversations about literature.”
Peter Dunn, the university’s Press and Media Relations Manager, told The Boar that the award doesn’t only have the potential to make waves in the literary world but will also benefit Warwick students: “Anything that adds to the prestige of the University obviously adds to the prestige of any degree from that University. It also further enhances the Warwick Writing programme, benefiting students and staff alike.”
A shortlist of six titles will be announced on 23rd January with the winner being announced on 24th February.