See our most Frequently Asked Questions below
New financial backing
On 28 February 2019 the Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation announced that Crankstart, the charitable foundation of Sir Michael Moritz KBE and his wife, Harriet Heyman, is the new supporter of the Booker Prize and the International Booker Prize.
Crankstart has committed to an initial five-year exclusive funding term with an option to renew for a further five years. The new arrangement will begin on 1 June 2019 after the 2019 Man Booker International Prize winner announcement, which marks the conclusion of 18 years of successful and generous sponsorship by Man Group. Thereafter the original prize will once again be known as The Booker Prize, while the prize for literature in translation will become The International Booker Prize.
Crankstart was established by Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman in 2000 to support ‘the forgotten, the dispossessed, the unfortunate, the oppressed and causes where some help makes all the difference’. It has organised or supported scholarship funds for students from low-income households at the University of Oxford, the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and many California Community Colleges and schools. Recipients of some of Crankstart’s more significant recent gifts include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and initiatives for the homeless in the San Francisco Bay Area. Crankstart’s activities also include a wide range of grants for arts and journalistic organisations which depend on philanthropic support.
What is Man Group?
Man Group has sponsored the Man Booker Prize since 2002 and the Man Booker International Prize since its inception in 2005.
Man Group is an active investment management firm focused on delivering performance and client portfolio solutions through its five investment management businesses: Man AHL; Man Numeric; Man GLG; Man FRM and Man Global Private Markets.
Man Group’s investment management businesses provide long-only, alternative and private markets products on a single and multi-manager basis, leveraging the firm’s robust infrastructure to provide a diverse range of strategies across investment approaches, styles and asset classes.
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 also 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 then 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.
Learn more about the Booker Prize Foundation here
What is eligible for the prize?
The Man Booker Prize awards any novel originally written in English and published in the UK and Ireland 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 or Irish 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 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 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. The Chair of Judges is appointed by the Booker Prize Foundation and every effort is made to achieve a balance between the judges of gender, articulacy and role.
Learn more about the Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee here
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.
What is Booker?
Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with 198 business centres and a national delivery network. It serves over 441,000 catering customers, 94,000 independent retailers and 641,000 small businesses.
Download the Man Booker Prize booklet that showcases the 50-year history of both prizes.