When you’re a reading addict, it’s always an exciting year in literature but 2018 is set to be even more exciting as one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world celebrates its half-centenary. The Man Booker Prize marks 50 years in 2018 and they are planning a year long celebration to mark it, and as usual it’s us readers who will benefit.
The Man Booker was launched in 1968 as a Commonwealth Award, and that makes 2018 a pretty exciting year as the Man Booker marks 50 years. The Foundation is running a range of global activities this year to “celebrate its heritage and inspire readers and writers for the next 50 years” and here are just some of the things that will be happening.
The Man Booker Flagship event to mark the 50 years will be in partnership with the Southbank Centre, and will run from 3rd to 6th July 2018. The so called Fiction at its Finest Festival will be hosted at a variety of spaces, including the Royal Festival Hall and will host interviews and conversations with Man Booker winning and shortlisted authors, workshops, masterclasses and debates. Tickets for this event will go on sale in February and the event programme goes live at the same time.
The Man Booker is also teaming up with several literary festivals including the Hay Festival in the summer with Man Booker winning authors, including Margaret Atwood.
An anniversary diary has also been created to mark the 50th year, in association with Third Millennium Publishing featuring all the jackets of the winners, details of the shortlists and behind the scenes commentary.
The BBC, the prize’s broadcast partner will also air a host of programmes around the anniversary and the Fiction at its Finest Festival, and the Man Booker is hoping to get involved in more activities and partnerships to be announced in the New Year.
All things considered it’s gearing up to be an exciting year for readers, and it looks like the Man Booker Foundation will be leading the way.
The Science Fiction Poetry Association’s award was started in 1978 in recognition of achievements in the field of speculative poetry. The award was named after the blind singer and storyteller “Noisy” Rhysling, the protagonist of Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Green Hills of Earth“.
Neil Gaiman’s poem The Mushroom Hunters beat a whole array of other-worldly poems to gain the prestigious first prize for a long poem. The poem has been heralded as the “first feminist poem about the dawn of science“.
Watch the reading, or read it yourself below.
The 2018 Orwell Prize for political literature goes to Scottish rapper Darren McGarvey who performs under the name Loki, who has won the prize for Poverty Safari, a searing examination of the British underclass.
The hall of fame for sci-fi and fantasy has been going since 1996 and Lee will be the first comic book writer to be included. Both he and Rowling have made a significant impact on the world of pop culture this past decade, with a stream of books and movies and an ever-expanding universe for both Marvel and the Potter fandom.
The scandal continued with many members resigning in protest, leaving the Academy in crisis due to its own rules. It looked as though the entire Nobel Prize Academy might have been disbanded forever but it was ultimately saved, although 2018 will be the first year in 69 years that the awards have not been given.
Tim Waterstone, founder of the eponymous book shop chain has been recognised with a knighthood for services to bookselling and charity. Author Kazuo Ishiguro has also received a knighthood for services to literature.