Goldsmiths Prize 2019 widens scope with new entry rules

Goldsmiths Prize 2019 widens scope with new entry rules

The entry rules for this year’s Goldsmiths Prize have been changed to extend beyond authors born in the UK or Republic of Ireland with competition bosses eager to have a wider range of voices and greater diversity in texts. 

Eligibility for the £10,000 Goldsmiths Prize is now extended to authors of any nationality, provided they have been resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland for a minimum of three years. Previously, the Goldsmiths Prize was only open to those born in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

This year’s judges are poet, writer, and Goldsmiths lecturer Professor Maura Dooley; novelist, video journalist and previous Goldsmiths Prize nominee Guy Gunaratne; the New Statesman’s Deputy Culture Editor Anna Leszkiewicz; and Icelandic poet, novelist and Academy Award-nominated lyricist Sjón.

Chair of judges Professor Maura Dooley said: “I'm looking forward to the excitement that mounts from the moment these new novels begin to arrive at Goldsmiths and this year the door is open wider. New rules allow for submissions not just from authors who are UK or Irish citizens but also from authors resident in these islands in recent years. In this way the range of writing and voices will be broader and richer than ever. I am thrilled to be chairing the panel of judges.” 

Goldsmiths Prize literary director Tim Parnell added: “Part of the Goldsmiths Prize’s mission is to shine a light on mould-breaking fiction being written in the UK and Ireland. This is especially important because British fiction, in particular, has often been seen as conservative. But while we have no desire to internationalise the Prize, we do not subscribe to narrow ideas of what constitutes a nation’s literature, and we feel it is important to signal this (more than ever in this Brexit year) by opening up our eligibility criteria. Submissions can now more fully reflect the diverse voices which contribute to the vibrant form of the novel in the British Isles today.”
Eimear McBride was the first winner of the prize for her work A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing (Faber), followed by Ali Smith in 2014 for How to Be Both (Penguin), Kevin Barry in 2015 for Beatlebone (Canongate), Mike McCormack in 2016 for Solar Bones (Canongate), Nicola Barker with H(A)PPY  (William Heinemann) in 2017 and Robin Robertson in 2018 for The Long Take (Picador).

The Goldsmiths Prize was launched in 2013 in association with the New Statesman. This year’s winner will be announced on 13th November.