The Orwell Prize, given annually to the best in British political writing, has this year awarded its prize for books to novelist James Meek, for his non-fictional examination of the privatisation of UK public services, Private Island. The book is a collection of essays largely drawn from the pages of the London Review of Books, to which Meek is a contributing editor. Though Meek has previously worked as a journalist, and remained on staff at The Guardian until 2005 having been the newspaper’s Moscow bureau chief throughout the 1990s, he is best known as a novelist, finding his widest success with the Booker-longlisted The People’s Act of Love that same year.
The biennial Man Booker International Prize, awarded to living authors of any nationality for a body of work readily available (either in its native tongue or in translation) in English, has this year been presented to Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai. It is the first time the award has been given to an author whose work was not originally published in English since the inaugural prize in 2005, when it was presented to the Albanian Ismail Kadare. It is also the first time a non-North American author has won the award since its sophomore prize in 2007 went to Chinua Achebe.
The Folio Prize is in search of a new financial benefactor and, consequently, a new name, following the decision of the Folio Society not to renew its title sponsorship of the award. The literary award, which was presented in its first two years of existence under the Folio Society’s name, hopes to continue, and is currently in search of a new sponsor that will allow it to present its 2016 winner with a £40,000 prize.
The Crime Writers’ Association has unveiled the longlist for this year’s Dagger in the Library prize, recognising an author not for a single book but for their complete body of work. Nominations came from votes cast by readers online, this year through the award’s sponsor, Penguin Random House crime imprint/community Dead Good.
The Richard & Judy Book Club is set to continue into its fifteenth year, with its namesakes having signed a contract that will keep it going through 2019.
The Royal Society of Literature has revealed the shortlist for this year’s Ondaatje Prize, awarded to writers of fiction, non-fiction or poetry resident in the Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland, whose work evokes ‘the spirit of a place’.
Wednesday night saw the launch of BookMachine’s Shapshots II, the second compilation of some of the best blogs from the BookMachine archive. This time round, the collection focuses on consumer relationships, marketing and new publishing models.
The Edgar awards – presented by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition of achievement in crime writing – has revealed its 2015 winners, with some big (and perhaps surprising) names amongst the awards.
Multi-platform publisher and app developer YUDU has teamed with Pearson ELT (English Language Teaching) to launch a free app accompanying Pearson’s Poptropica English® range of learning resources. The app can be downloaded now from the App Store for iOS, with the Android version coming next week. It contains six books available for in-app purchase.
The Orwell Prize, presented annually to political books and journalism that come closest to realising George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’, has revealed its 2015 shortlists.