The Man Booker Prize for Fiction announced a change in its rules of entry from 2018.
As of 2018, a new rule has been added specifying that any novel written originally in English and published in Ireland by an imprint formally established in Ireland is now eligible for the prize.
We are thrilled to hear this great news. The Man Booker Prize is an important part of the literary scene in the UK and Ireland, and we have a great record of Irish authors winning it. Irish readers love to know what’s on the shortlist and to debate the merits of the winner every year. Allowing Irish publishers to be part of that, instead of having to sell on rights to authors we find and nurture, is massively consequential for the Irish publishing scene. Irish publishers can now compete for authors on a more level playing field with our colleagues in the UK. (Check out this article we wrote for the Irish Times and this one for the Guardian in 2016 for some background. We also wrote this piece for Prospect Magazine on 9 Jan: Why the Man Booker Rule change could revolutionise Ireland’s literary culture.)
It’s also fantastic news for Irish-based authors who have written interesting and ambition work that’s sold across the UK but who would be nonetheless left out of this prize because their publisher is based in Ireland.
We can’t wait to see this year’s longlist!
– Lisa & Sarah