Booktrust puts three prizes on hold due to funding cuts

Booktrust puts three prizes on hold due to funding cuts

Booktrust has suspended the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, Booktrust Early Years Award and Booktrust Teenage Prize for 2011, blaming funding cuts.

The book charity said it hopes to bring them "back with a bang next year", so long as they are able to find new sponsorshop. The book charity lost 50% of its funding from the Department of Education in February this year, receiving £7.5m in 2011-12 and £6m in 2012-13 to execute its national bookgifting programmes.

In a statement, Booktrust said: "The last few months have been particularly challenging for Booktrust. Our new funding settlement with the Department for Education has allowed us to protect the universal offer of our national bookgifting programmes, but it has nonetheless forced us to undertake a thorough review of all of the projects in the Booktrust portfolio."

The Early Years Prize celebrates the best books for babies and toddlers, with the Teenage Prize highlighting the best books for teens. The John Llewellyn Rhys Prize is awarded to an author from the Commonwealth who is under 35.

Booktrust said it was a "difficult decision" to place each of the prizes on hold but said it was working on attracting sponsors to bring back each prize "with a bang" in 2012.

Booktrust has taken on three new prizes in the last two years, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the David Cohen Prize for Literature, with support from Arts Council England, and the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. It continues to run the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Blue Peter Book Awards, the Orange Prize and the BBC National Short Story Award.