Gordon Burn Prize 2021 opens for entry

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Denise Mina has been appointed as the new chair of the judges of the Gordon Burn Prize. Along with literary journalist and editor Sian Cain, novelist and short story writer Irenosen Okojie, and writer and poet Derek Owusu, she will judge the Gordon Burn Prize 2021.

The prize is run in partnership by the Gordon Burn Trust, New Writing North, Faber & Faber and Durham Book Festival, a Durham County Council festival. It is now open for entry until Wednesday 7 April 2021.


About the prize

The Gordon Burn Prize, founded in 2012, remembers the late author of novels including Fullalove and Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel, and non-fiction including Happy Like Murderers: The Story of Fred and Rosemary West and Best and Edwards: Football, Fame and Oblivion.

The prize seeks to celebrate the writing of those whose work follows in Burn’s footsteps.??It recognises?literature that is forward-thinking and fearless in its ambition and execution, often?playing with style, pushing boundaries, crossing genres or challenging readers’ expectations.

Like Gordon’s own work, the Gordon Burn Prize is open to a diverse range of themes and perspectives drawn from the breadth of today’s cultural?and social?concerns. It welcomes books by writers emerging from backgrounds underrepresented in the mainstream literary culture.

The judges seek work that shows an affinity with 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.

The Gordon Burn Prize is open to published fiction and non-fiction books written in the English language. The winner will be announced on Thursday 14 October 2021 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.


Read the eligibility and entry criteria

Apply by 7 April 2021