The Booker Prize is launching its first contest to win places for the winner’s ceremony in October, inviting book clubs across the country to join the judges as they evaluate the shortlisted books.
Six book clubs will be selected by this year’s jury, chaired by Neil MacGregor. Representatives of each group will be offered an all-expenses-paid trip to the Booker Prize 2022 shortlisting party at the Serpentine Gallery in London, where they will be present for the live announcement of the list, and will receive one copy per member of their allowance. book to read and discuss.
The Booker Prize Book Club Challenge has been launched in partnership with the Reading Agency, which will coordinate entries. Applications are open to book clubs across the UK, from all walks of life until August 12.
The judges will be looking for the most interesting, passionate and wide-ranging group of readers possible, as well as those who are ready to shout the loudest about this year’s Booker Prize shortlist on social media so that readers of the world can follow the judging process and enjoy the books.
In the weeks leading up to the announcement of the winner, the judges will read and evaluate all social media activity from the six book groups in relation to the titles they have been awarded. Two members of the group who, in the opinion of the judges, provided the most original and engaging reviews will be invited to attend the 2022 Booker Prize ceremony and dinner at the Roundhouse in London on October 17.
Gaby Wood, Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said: “In order to protect the nervous systems of shortlisted authors, it is essential that the deliberations of the Booker Prize judges remain confidential. But we always wanted to find a way to share the liveliness and excitement of refereeing meetings with the general public. Now, with the Booker Prize Book Club Challenge, avid readers across the country can feel some of that drama. Although they won’t compare one book to the others, they will each read a book up close – which is what the judges do too. By the time the judges decide on a winner, they will have read these six books three times. So having book clubs reading alongside them will be as close to camaraderie as secret decision-making can get.
Karen Napier, CEO of Reading Agency, added: “We have been a proud supporter of the Booker Prizes for years and are delighted to continue this with the Booker Prize Book Club Challenge. The opportunity for reading groups to immerse themselves in the excitement of the Booker Prize and the joy of reading the shortlisted titles, upholds our values as a charity. We hope that groups across the UK will want to get involved and that perhaps new groups will form to enjoy this experience together.
Booker’s long list will be announced on July 26, followed by the short list at an event at the Serpentine Pavilion on September 6. Shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.
The £50,000 winner will be announced on October 17 at an awards ceremony to be held at the Roundhouse. Last year’s winner, Damon Galgut The promise (Chatto), saw its sales jump 1,925% in volume after its victory.