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The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction announces a new sponsor

The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction announces a new sponsor

The Directors and Steering Committee of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the UK’s leading non-fiction prize, are delighted to announce new sponsorship arrangements to come into effect immediately, for the 2012 prize.

The new sponsor is a philanthropist who is passionately interested in books, reading and literacy and whose wish is to support the prize anonymously.

The BBC, which has supported the Samuel Johnson Prize for the last decade, will continue under the new arrangement to be the prize’s media partner, with coverage on BBC TWO’s The Culture Show and on Radio 4.

The winning author will receive a cheque for £25,000 (an increase of £5,000 from previous years) and the other shortlisted authors will all win £1,000 each.

Another major change for the prize in 2012 is the timing of the award: the winner of the 2012 prize will be announced on 12th November, following the shortlist announcement in early autumn (date tbc). This reflects the fact that the autumn is the prime season for non-fiction publishing and the period in which most non-fiction books are bought. For this year only the period of eligibility will be extended from May 2011 through to early November 2012. Colman Getty, who handle the administration of the prize as well as the PR, will announce arrangements for the submission of books shortly.

Stuart Proffitt, Chairman of the Samuel Johnson Steering Committee, comments: ‘At a time of general gloom and cuts in the arts and literary worlds, we are thrilled to be making an announcement of this kind. We are, of course, enormously grateful to our new sponsor, and very pleased to be continuing our broadcast partnership with the BBC, who have supported us so strongly since 2002. The impact of the prize, which grows every year, is a reflection of the quality and diversity of non-fiction publishing in the UK. This new arrangement will allow us to increase its influence further.’

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