Gordon Burn Prize 2018 opens for entry

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The journalist and critic Alex Clark, novelist and poet Kei Miller, artist Gillian Wearing, and musician and producer Andrew Weatherall, will judge the Gordon Burn Prize 2018, which opens for entry today.

Now in its sixth year, the Gordon Burn Prize has set a standard for recognising and rewarding some of the boldest and most fearless contemporary writing. Denise Mina won the prize in 2017 for her novel The Long Drop, a darkly exhilarating read that crosses between literary thriller and true crime, and which resets the limits of both genres. Past winners of the prize are:

  • Denise Mina The Long Drop (2017)
  • David Szalay All That Man Is (2016)
  • Dan Davies In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile (2015)
  • Paul Kingsnorth The Wake (2014)
  • Benjamin Myers Pig Iron (2013)

The Gordon Burn Prize was launched in 2012 to remember the late author of novels including Fullalove and Born Yesterday: The News as Novel, and non-fiction including Happy Like Murderers: The Story of Fred and Rosemary West; Best and Edwards: Football, Fame and Oblivion and Sex & Violence, Death & Silence; Encounters with recent art.

A literary polymath, Gordon Burn wrote about subjects as seemingly disparate as serial killers, celebrity, sport and art, often blurring the line between fact and fiction. His approach was bold, applying a journalistic tenacity and rigour to the fictional process, while using fictional narrative techniques in his factual reporting. His writing remains as fresh and extraordinary today as when his debut novel, the Whitbread Prize-winning Alma Cogan, was published in 1991.

The Gordon Burn Prize, run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Faber & Faber and Durham Book Festival, seeks to celebrate the writing of those whose work follows in his footsteps.

The Gordon Burn Prize is now open for entry for published books written in the English language. The winner will be announced on Thursday 11 October 2018 at Durham Book Festival, a Durham County Council festival produced by New Writing North. The winning writer will receive a cheque for £5,000 and the opportunity to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in the Scottish borders.

The Gordon Burn Prize seeks to reward a published title (fiction or non-fiction) written in the English language, which in the opinion of the judges most successfully represents the spirit and sensibility of Gordon’s literary methods: novels which dare to enter history and interrogate the past; writers of non-fiction brave enough to recast characters and historical events to create a new and vivid reality; literature that challenges perceived notions of genre and makes us think again about just what it is that we are reading.

The prize is open to work written in World English by writers of any nationality or descent who at the time of entering are permanently resident in the United Kingdom or the United States of America. The prize is open to books published between 1 July 2017 and 1 July 2018. Publishers are permitted to submit up to six titles per imprint. Works of translation, books for children and poetry are not eligible for the prize.

Full entry guidelines are available on the Gordon Burn Prize website.