IMPAC award looks for new sponsorship

IMPAC award looks for new sponsorship

The €100,000 International Impac Dublin Literary Award is looking for new sponsorship after the trust fund established to back to prize ran dry last year. 

The Irish Times has reported that for the first time in its 20-year history, the prize will be entirely publically funded by Dublin City Council while another sponsor is sought. The award will retain its name, though, while the search is ongoing, the newspaper said.

The news makes it the third literary prize this year to be in search of a sponsor. Last month the Folio Prize announced it was seeking new sponsorship after The Folio Society revealed it would not renew its backing following its initial two-year deal. 

And just last week the Samuel Johnson Prize also revealed it was looking for sponsorship.

James Irwin, the founder and president of American productivity company Impac, died in 2009 and the company ceased trading in the mid 2000s. The trust fund established to back to prize reportedly had €10,000 in it by the end of 2013, which went towards supporting the award, but there is no money left to back this year's prize. 

The financial situation means the €100,000 prize money and a further €80,250 required in administration costs will be entirely funded by Dublin City Council.

A spokesperson for the council said: “We are actively exploring suitable potential partnerships to support the future funding of the award.” The spokesperson added: “The award is widely known internationally as the ‘Dublin IMPAC’ and we see no benefit in losing that name recognition in the short term.

“It is possible that the name of the award would need to be changed if a new partner comes on board and so we see no advantage in changing the name now, only to have to change it again when [AND]if a new partnership is agreed.”

However, Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn revealed to the newspaper there was “absolutely no sign of a [new] sponsor whatsoever on this.”

The International Impac Dublin Literary Award is given to a novel written in English or translated into English, with nominations submitted by library systems in major cities throughout the world. 

The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on 17th June.