Newcastle University partners with New Writing North to sponsor Gordon Burn Prize

Newcastle University partners with New Writing North to sponsor Gordon Burn Prize

(IN BRIEF) Newcastle University has partnered with New Writing North to sponsor the Gordon Burn Prize for three years. The prize, which recognizes and celebrates bold writing that often finds its readers outside the mainstream, was launched in 2012 by New Writing North, the Gordon Burn Trust, and Faber & Faber. The winner of the 2023-24 Gordon Burn Prize will be announced at Northern Stage in Newcastle in March 2024, and the sponsorship from Newcastle University has doubled the prize fund to £10,000. Terri White, a journalist, screenwriter, and author, has been named the new chair of the judges for the prize.

(PRESS RELEASE) NEWCASTLE, 24-Mar-2023 — /EuropaWire/ —Terri White was also announced as the new chair of the judges for the Gordon Burn Prize. Terri White is a journalist, screenwriter and author of the 2020 memoir Coming Undone.

The Gordon Burn Prize was launched by New Writing North, Faber & Faber and the Gordon Burn Trust in 2012 and first awarded in 2013 to Benjamin Myers. For ten years, the prize was awarded as part of Durham Book Festival.

The Gordon Burn Prize 2023-24 will be announced at Newcastle’s Northern Stage in March 2024, with an accompanying programme of activities for University staff and students.  The new sponsorship from Newcastle University also means the prize fund has doubled to £10,000.

The Gordon Burn Prize remembers the author of novels including Alma CoganFullalove and Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel, and non-fiction including Happy Like Murderers: The Story of Fred and Rosemary West and Best and Edwards: Football, Fame and Oblivion.

The prize seeks to celebrate the writing of those whose work follows in Gordon’s footsteps, identifying and celebrating brilliant writing that often finds its readers outside the mainstream. It covers both fiction and non-fiction, awarding books that are fearless in their ambition and execution, often pushing boundaries and challenging readers’ expectations.

In 2022, Professor Preti Taneja, Director of Newcastle University’s Centre for the Literary Arts, won the Gordon Burn Prize for Aftermath, a work of narrative non-fiction that blurs genres and form to understand terror, trauma and grief.

Gordon was born in 1948 in the West End of Newcastle and retained a strong connection to the city throughout his life, writing about the city in both journalism and his novel, The North of England Home Service. While based in London, in later years he did much of his writing in a small cottage in rural Berwickshire, bought for that purpose. As well as winning £10,000, the winner of the Gordon Burn Prize will have the opportunity to take up a writing retreat at Gordon’s cottage.

Deep regional connection

Professor James Annesley, Acting Dean of Culture and Creative Arts at Newcastle University said: “Newcastle University is delighted to be sponsoring the Gordon Burn Prize in partnership with New Writing North, The Gordon Burn Trust and Faber & Faber. With its deep regional connection and its concern for the best and most challenging of books, the Gordon Burn Prize speaks to the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics’ world leading reputation for excellence in Creative Writing and Newcastle University’s wider commitment to culture and the arts.”

Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive of New Writing North said: “At a time when many literary prizes are struggling, we’re thrilled and very grateful to have new sponsors in Newcastle University and to be bringing the prize back to Gordon’s home city. We’re really excited for people here to celebrate Gordon’s writing and the work of those writers who follow in his footsteps and to extend our university partnerships in this way with Newcastle.”

Terri White, Gordon Burn Prize chair of the judges said: “As a passionate fan of Gordon Burn’s work, it’s utterly wild that I’ll have the honour of chairing the prize. Much like Burn’s work was without peer, the Gordon Burn Prize is unlike any other literary prize in the world, recognising work that is relentlessly radical, genre-busting, blazing and bold. I can’t wait to join the celebration of literature that treads the same pioneering path.”

Carol Gorner of the Gordon Burn Trust said: We are all very excited that the prize is going to be based in Newcastle. Gordon was absolutely passionate about it, and missed it so much that he chose the Scottish Borders to write in, so that he could be closer to the city. There is so much of his history there, and he would have been absolutely thrilled to know that through the Prize more wonderful writers will be connected to him and Newcastle in the future.”

The Gordon Burn Prize 2023-24 will open for entry in May 2023 to works in English published between 1 July 2022 and 30 November 2023 by writers of any nationality. The longlist will be announced in November 2023 and the shortlist in January 2024, before the prize ceremony in March 2024.

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SOURCE: Newcastle University


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