October 28, 2021

Literature Journal

World literature news

Guardian First Book Award

The newspaper determined to change its book award after 1998, and during that year also hired Claire Armitstead as literary editor. At the inaugural First Book Award ceremony in 1999, she said that she was informed of the change, details to be arranged, by the head of the marketing department during her second week on the job. “By the time we left the room we had decided on two key things. We would make it a first book award, and we would involve reading groups in the judging process. This was going to be the people’s prize.”[1] About the opening of the prize to nonfiction she had said in August, “readers do not segregate their reading into fiction or non-fiction, so neither should we.”[3] There was no restriction on genre; for example, both poetry and travel would be included in principle,[1] and so would self-published autobiographies.

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