9-18 October 2020

Gordon Burn Prize 2020 opens for entry – judges announced

25 February 2020

UPDATE: The prize is now open for entries until Tuesday 31 March

The writer Anthony Anaxagorou, artist Rachel Howard, journalist and broadcaster Sali Hughes and author Richard T. Kelly will judge the Gordon Burn Prize 2020. The prize is now open for entry until Friday 20 March 2020.

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.

Now in its eighth year, the prize has a reputation for recognising literature that is fearless in its ambition and execution, often pushing boundaries, crossing genres or challenging readers’ expectations.

David Keenan won the Gordon Burn Prize in 2019 for his novel For The Good Times, set during the height of the Troubles in 1970s Belfast, where Sammy and his friends love sharp clothes and the songs of Perry Como – and are uncompromising in their dream of a Free State. Miranda Sawyer, one of the Gordon Burn Prize 2019 judges, praised the winning title for ‘revealing the truth about our recent history in a way that documentary cannot’.

The full list of winners of the prize is:

David Keenan, For The Good Times (2019)

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 15 October 2020 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 at the Gordon Burn Prize website

 

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