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The Warwick Prize for Writing 2013

Shortlist Announced

  • Fiction, non-fiction and poetry shortlisted for literary prize of £25,000
  • Cross-disciplinary and international, the prize celebrates literature in all its forms
  • Shortlisted authors include an academic neuroscientist, a debut novelist and a theoretical physicist

The shortlist for the third Warwick Prize for Writing is announced today, Friday 30 August. The announcement was made at a special event at as part of Melbourne Writers' Festival, Australia.

The judges' selection of six titles, from a longlist of twelve, encompasses works of fiction, science, history and poetry vying for the £25,000 biennial prize.

The Warwick Prize for Writing 2013 shortlist is:

Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science
by Jim Al-Khalili
– Non-fiction
Sufficient Grace
by Amy Espeseth
- Fiction
Delusions of Gender
by Cordelia Fine
(Icon Books)
Suddenly, a Knock on the Door
by Etgar Keret
(Chatto & Windus)
– Fiction
The Old Ways
by Robert Macfarlane
(Hamish Hamilton)
– Non-fiction
by Alice Oswald
(Faber and Faber)
- Poetry

The varied and international shortlist, which features works from British, Iraqi-British, Canadian-British, American-Australian and Israeli authors, includes one poetry, three non-fiction and two fiction titles. The selected authors include the chair of judges for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2013, Robert Macfarlane, theoretical physicist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili and 2002 T.S. Eliot Prize winner Alice Oswald. Exemplifying the prize's inclusive approach, the shortlist includes a richly imaginative poetic reworking of Homer's Iliad, a polemical look at the science behind sexual difference and a debut novel set in a religious community in rural Wisconsin.

The prize was founded in 2009 and is run by the University of Warwick. It is unique as an international, cross-disciplinary award open to substantial pieces of writing in the English language, in any genre or form. This year, for the first time, the nominations process has been expanded to include Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, following the formation of the Monash-Warwick Alliance. Students and staff at both universities were invited to make nominations from which the judging panel has made their selection.

The chair of judges is Professor Ian Sansom of the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, alongside acclaimed writer Professor Marina Warner CBE and Professor Ed Byrne, Vice-Chancellor and President of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Professor Ian Sansom comments

My fellow judges and I are thrilled to have arrived at this diverse list of works of undeniable quality after many hours of reading. We believe the shortlist exemplifies the inclusive approach to the appreciation of literature that the Warwick Prize for Writing was established to promote.”

Naomi Klein was the inaugural winner of the prize in 2009, for her book The Shock Doctrine, an exposé of how a privileged few are making millions from worldwide disasters. Peter Forbes won the prize in 2011 for Dazzled and Deceived, a fascinating story of mimicry and camouflage in nature, art and warfare.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony held at the Wallace Collection, London, on 24 September 2013.

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For further information about The Warwick Prize for Writing, please contact: Lucy Chavasse or Matt Railton at Four Colman Getty on 020 3697 4254 or 020 3697 4262 /

For further information about the University of Warwick, please contact: Luke Harrison, Press and Communications Manager, on 02476 574 255 or 07920 531 221