I Have published the announcement of a new prize on the UK for small presses. I am really happy to see this prize as many of the Publishers I review books from are from small publishers. I feel the passionate people I know Like Susan from Istros Stefan from And other stories and Jacques from Fitzcarraldo editions need to be acknowledged for the hard work they do in opening the eyes of readers to challenging literature .
Judges Announced for The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses
Submission Deadline: 31st October 2016
Longlist Announcement: 30th November 2016
Shortlist Announcement: 2 January 2017
Winner Announcement: 16 February 2017
Prize: min of £3000: £2000 to the press, and £1000 to the writer, plus a bottle of Amarone each.
The Republic of Consciousness is delighted to announce the selection of judges for the first Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses.
Launched earlier this year, by award-winning novelist Neil Griffiths, the prize seeks to celebrate “small presses producing brilliant and brave literary fiction”.
The judges of the award are made up of a selection of independent booksellers and bookshop owners from across the UK and reflect the award’s aim to highlight the important role that booksellers play in helping to bring quality literature to the attention of readers. It’s often those hand-sold copies or bookseller recommendations that will be a reader’s first introduction to the world of independent publishing, and the relationship between the booksellers and independent publishers cannot be overstated.
“We wanted the judging panel to comprise independent booksellers because the spirit behind the prize is to support the more vulnerable sections of the publishing community, and given the prize is for independent presses, it made sense to approach booksellers who share a similar ethos. This we did, and we are thrilled with the response. Across the 9 judges we have a strong regional spread, with a good a mix of urban and rural locations. Each judge brings something different to the prize, but they all share experience, dynamism and a willingness to take risks, perfectly mirroring the kind of presses the prize aims to support.’” Neil Griffiths, founder of The Republic of Consciousness & co-chair
Submissions for the prize are now officially open – to UK and Irish publishers with a maximum of five full-time people working for them – and will close at the end of October. Each publisher is allowed to submit one novel or single author collection of short stories for this year, with one wild card call-in allowed per judge.
A shortlist of eight novels will be announced in January 2017, followed by the winner announcement in February 2017.
Neil Griffiths is also putting out an appeal to fellow authors and readers alike to help support the prize with donations which will go towards the final prize money. Already a great financial boost to most small presses, an increase in the amount will make an immense difference to the winners.
Neil Griffiths (President of The Republic of Consciousness & co-chair)
Awarding-winning novelist of Betrayal in Naples (Penguin), winner of the Writers’ Club First Novel Award and Saving Caravaggio (Penguin), short-listed for the Costa Best Novel Award 2007. His new novel Family of Love will be published in 2017.
Marcus Wright (co-chair)
Tax inspector, bibliophile, and sometime writer on jazz.
Sam Fisher – Burley Fisher Books (London)
Sam Fisher has worked at Camden Lock Books for the last three years and together with Jason Burley opened Burley Fisher Books – specialists in new titles by independent presses – in Kingsland Road this February.
Gary Perry – Foyles (Charing Cross Road, London)
Assistant Head of the Fiction Department at the Foyles flagship store on Charing Cross Road, Gary has been with Foyles for six years and works hard to promote fiction in translation and independent publishing.
Anna Dreda – Wenlock Books (Shropshire)
Owner of Wenlock Books and founder of the Wenlock Poetry Festival, Anna Dreda was also one of the judges for the 2014 Costa Poetry Awards.
Helen Stanton – Forum Books (Northumberland)
Owner Helen Stanton previously worked for Waterstones, Headline and Canongate before taking over Forum Books nearly 5 years ago.
Lyndsy Kirkman – Chapter One Books (Manchester)
Former NHS stem cell scientist, Lyndsy Kirkman, is one half of the dynamic sibling duo (along with Christine Cafun) who opened Chapter One, a bookstore, café and performance space, in Manchester last summer.
Emma Corfield – Book-ish (Crickhowell, Powys, Wales)
Owner of the independent family run bookshop based in the rural market town in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Book-ish is one of the regional winners of the British Book Industry Awards’ Independent Bookshop of the Year. Praised for being a “small shop that punches well above its weight” they were also awarded a James Patterson Bookseller Grant of £5000 for their book bus project.
Gillian Robertson – Looking Glass Books (Fife, Scotland)
Founder of independent bookshop Looking Glass Books, Gillian is committed to using the shelves in her shop to shine a light on the gems offered by the many brilliant small independent presses in the UK & beyond.