The Reading for Pleasure Prize Competition has launched to find "compelling, disruptive and innovative" ideas that encourage people in the UK and beyond to read for pleasure throughout the year.
The prize is run by Jolabokaflod CIC, a London-based not-for-profit company founded by publishing entrepreneur Christopher Norris that promotes the 75-year-old Icelandic ‘Christmas book flood’ tradition (known as Jólabókaflóðið). He was inspired to start the initiative after learning about Icelandic book trends in 2015. The ‘Christmas book flood’ tradition encourages people to buy books as presents for loved ones to start reading as soon as they receive them on Christmas Eve. The company adapts this literary concept for the digital age, to engage the book trade and the reading public in the UK and around the world.
The new competition asks entrepreneurs, innovators and the general public to crowdsource "compelling, disruptive and innovative" ideas that capture people’s imagination and fire their enthusiasm to read for pleasure, Jolabokaflod CIC said.
The call for entries for the ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ Competition opens on 26th October (First Day of Winter in the Old Norse calendar; a public celebration in Iceland). A jury panel of global book-trade experts will select via a blind judging process a shortlist of up to six entries for the best ideas submitted to the competition by the deadline of midnight on 24th December (the culmination of Jólabókaflóðið in Iceland on Christmas Eve). The shortlist will be published on 1st January 2020 (New Year’s Day) and the winner announced on 6th January 2020 (Twelfth Night, the official end of the Christmas season).
The winner receives a cash prize of £500. In addition, a crowdfunding campaign at CrowdPatch, to put the winning entry into action, will open on 7th January 2020 (the day after Epiphany) and close on 14 February 2020 (Valentine’s Day, International Book Giving Day, and the end of Jolabokaflod’s winter crowdfunding cycle).
The £500 prize was donated by Jolabokaflod CIC, and founder Norris will join Twelve Ronnies’ co-founders Jake Shaw and Simon Krystman to present the cheque to the winner at a ceremony to be announced in early 2020 when the winning entry is revealed.
The award forms part of the new 12R Prizes scheme which is run by entrepreneur agency Twelve Ronnies to crowdsource solutions to complex issues.
Norris said: "In our busy 21st-century world, time is our most precious commodity. Some of our most valuable activities, however, require time to enjoy and feel the benefit. Reading for pleasure is one of these vital life experiences: it is easily submerged in the hectic cycle of daily life yet when we take time to read, we benefit emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and even physically as our brains are nurtured and refreshed."
He added: "This prize competition seeks compelling, disruptive and innovative ideas to encourage everyone to read for pleasure throughout the year as an attractive entertainment choice during our leisure time."
Simon Krystman, co-founder of 12R Prizes and Twelve Ronnies, said: "We are delighted to be hosting the 'Reading for Pleasure Prize' Competiton on behalf of Jolabokaflod, as it will inspire people to read books that fire their imaginations and enhance the quality of their creative ideas."
For more information, visit the award website.