Baillie Gifford Prize boosts prize money to £50,000 in new sponsorship deal

Baillie Gifford Prize boosts prize money to £50,000 in new sponsorship deal

The Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction has announced a new seven-year sponsorship agreement that will see its prize money boosted to £50,000.

Independent investment partnership Baillie Gifford has committed to support the annual award until at least 2026. Prize money at the 19th November ceremony will now go up from last year’s £30,000.

This year’s judging panel will be chaired by Times Literary Supplement editor Stig Abell. He will be joined by by writer, Dr Myriam Francois, professor of English Literature Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, critic and biographer Frances Wilson, writer and lawyer Petina Gappah, and writer, doctor and TV presenter Dr Alexander van Tulleken.

There will also be a series of podcasts launched in April, hosted by BBC special correspondent Razia Iqbal. The recordings will feature former winners, prize judges and other literary figures.

Abell said: “I read books to increase my knowledge and to widen my outlook on the world. I talk to smart people for the same purpose. So chairing the Baillie Gifford Prize will be a total joy: a bunch of smart people talking about the year's most interesting, provocative and arresting non-fiction. I can't wait to get reading.”

Submissions are now open for this year’s prize, with a deadline of 12th June to enter up to three non-fiction books per imprint with publication dates between 1st November 2018 and 31st October 2019. 

Last year’s winner was Harvard professor Serhii Plokhy for Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy (Allen Lane)

The announcement of renewed sponsorship comes after mixed fortunes for UK book prizes. The Rathbones Folio Prize increased its money to £30,000 after seeing is future secured until 2023 in a new sponsorship deal. However, the Man Booker Prize is seeking a new sponsor after investment management firm Man Group announced it would end its support.