Judges announced for Gordon Burn Prize 2019

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The author AA Dhand, artist Gary Hume, writer and journalist Miranda Sawyer and musician Rachel Unthank will judge the Gordon Burn Prize 2019. The prize is now open for entry until Thursday 14 March 2019.

The Gordon Burn Prize was launched in 2012 to remember 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 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 prize has a reputation for recognising literature that pushes boundaries and crosses genres. Jesse Ball won the Gordon Burn Prize in 2018 for his novel Census, which weaves together elements of memoir and fable in a story inspired by the life of Ball’s brother Abram, who had Down’s syndrome and passed away at the age of 24.

The full list of winners of the prize is:

  • Jesse Ball, Census (2018)
  • 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)

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 is now open for entry for published books written in the English language. The winner will be announced on 10 October 2019 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.

Find out more and enter by Thursday 14 March 2019 at