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January 22, 2010

Michael Rosen to Chair Judging Panel for Warwick Prize for Writing

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Michael Rosen, the award-winning writer and former Children’s Laureate was announcedRosen yesterday as Chair of the judges for the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. The £50,000 Prize, run by the University of Warwick, was launched in 2008 and is awarded once every two years. Unique in its scope, it stands apart from other literary prizes as an international cross-disciplinary biennial award open to substantial pieces of writing in the English language, in any genre or form.

The theme changes with each prize, and the 2011 theme is ‘Colour’. Submissions for the 2011 Prize are now open, and all University of Warwick students and its staff– from porters to professors– are invited to make a nomination by 7 May 2010. The Prize aims to identity excellence and innovation in new writing, and help define where writing might be going: what new shapes and forms it may take and even through what media it might be conducted.

Michael Rosen comments:

"This is a prize that matches people's reading habits: most of us read across genres, hopping from fiction to journalism to history to biography. I'm guessing that one of the challenges in judging this will be comparing books that are usually regarded as too unlike to be compared. We'll have to raise our game to cope with that, I think, and that's something I'm looking forward to immensely.” 

Michael Rosen is a writer, broadcaster, performer and Visiting Professor of Children’s Literature at Birkbeck, University of London. He was the Children’s Laureate 2007 – 2009 and has been writing books for children since 1975. He has presented many radio shows and occasional TV programmes, and is the current presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Word of Mouth’.

A longlist of 15 to 20 titles will be announced in October 2010 followed by a shortlist of six titles in January 2011, and the winner will be announced in February 2011. Naomi Klein was announced as the inaugural winner of the Prize in February 2009, for her book The Shock Doctrine (Penguin). On winning the award, Klein said:

“At a time when the news out of the publishing industry is usually so bleak, it’s thrilling to be part of a bold new prize supporting writing, especially alongside such an exciting array of other books.”

Professor Jeremy Treglown, Director of the Warwick Prize for Writing, comments:

“The Prize brings together students and staff in debates about current work across all disciplines and genres. It adds a thrilling dimension to our teaching.”

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