The University of Warwick has just launched the Warwick Prize for Writing, with a purse of £50,000. A panel of five judges, headed by China Miéville and including mathematician Ian Stewart and literary blogger Stephen Mitchelmore, will announce a list of 15 to 20 titles in October. A short-list of six titles will follow January 2009, and the winner will be announced the month after.
While the award describes itself as focused on innovative writing on a theme - this year's in Complexity - it's interesting to see it embrace genre fiction. Not all such prizes do... unless of course the writer doesn't identify as a genre writer. Like Jeanette Winterson, or Margaret Atwood, or PD James... Of course, it remains to be seen if Miéville's leadership, and Stewart's presence, will result in a list which includes science fiction or fantasy works. I expect we'll see something not unlike this year's Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist.