Baillie Gifford ups prize money to £30k

Baillie Gifford ups prize money to £30k

The prize money for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, formerly known as the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction (1999-2015), has been set at £30,000: an increase of £10,000 on last year.

2016 is the first year the prize has been sponsored by Edinburgh-based investment management partnership Baillie Gifford. 

The "new chapter" for the prize follows the conclusion of an "open-ended" arrangement with an anonymous donor the past three years. Its new sponsors entered into a five-year contractual arrangement in November, though the prize continues to be owned by Samuel Johnson Prize Ltd.

Leading economist Stephanie Flanders (pictured) is to be chair of the judges of the prize this year. Flanders, formerly the BBC economics editor, is chief market strategist for the UK and Europe for J P Morgan Asset Management. She will be joined by four other judges, yet to be announced. 

Flanders said: “The Samuel Johnson Prize has helped changed the way we think about non-fiction writing in this country, with a yearly reminder that great books truly can come out of anywhere - and anything. Personally I'm delighted to be chairing the award in its new incarnation.”

Prize director Toby Mundy said: “This is the beginning of a very significant new chapter in the story of Britain’s most prestigious non-fiction prize, as we relaunch the award with our new sponsor Baillie Gifford. We are delighted that Stephanie Flanders has agreed to be our chair and that Baillie Gifford’s support enables us to increase the prize money for the winner.”

The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2016 will open for submissions on 23rd May 2016. The winner of the 2016 prize will be announced on Tuesday 15th November, following the shortlist announcement in October and longlist announcement in September. 

2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction winner Steve Silberman, whose popular science book Neurotribes (Allen & Unwin) was hailed a "tour de force of archival, journalistic and scientific research", will deliver the Baillie Gifford Lecture at the Hay Festival on Saturday 28th May.