TLS and Arts Council back Republic of Consciousness Prize

TLS and Arts Council back Republic of Consciousness Prize

The Times Literary Supplement has become the official media partner of The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses. The prize has also been awarded Grant for the Arts funding from The Arts Council.

The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses was founded last year by author Neil Griffiths to reward small presses supporting "hard-core literary fiction and gorgeous prose". Last year’s inaugural winner was Fitzcarraldo Editions for Counternarratives by John Keene.

The 2018 award will see all shortlisted presses receive £1,000 while the winner will win a minimum of £5,000.

Griffiths said: "The partnership with the TLS takes the prize from the artisan fringe into the heart of literary life in UK and beyond. I’ve subscribed to the TLS for 20-odd years and cannot be more excited."

Toby Lichtig, the TLS fiction editor, said: "Hard-core literary fiction and gorgeous prose is what the TLS is all about, and as such we couldn’t think of a better prize for us to support. Small presses are currently publishing some of the most innovative and daring fiction in the UK, and by partnering with The Republic of Consciousness we hope to help to draw attention to important books that might otherwise be overlooked."

The 2017 longlist will be announced on the TLS website in late November, the shortlist will be discussed on the TLS podcast in February, and the winner will be excerpted in the TLS itself.

The prize has been awarded Grant for the Arts funding from The Arts Council to enable it to continue next year. This funding also means increased spend on mainstream and digital marketing, and events beyond the capital which will help the prize reach more media, bookshops and readers.

This year's judges are Gayle Lazda of the LRB Bookshop; Sally Shakti-Willow, from The Contemporary Small Press, University of Westminster; Matthew Leigh of the Lighthouse Bookshop; Claire Salisbury from the Fiction department of Waterstones Deansgate; and Jay Moran of Foyles, Birmingham.

The 2018 winner be announced at a ceremony in central London in the spring.

Submissions for the prize close on 31st October 2017. Novels, translated fiction, short stories are all eligible – the only requirement for submission is that the press is from the UK or ROI, and has no more than five full time members of staff.