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University of Warwick Launches £50,000 Writing Prize

warwickprize_logo_small.jpgHow does writing evolve? Where is its moving edge? Is all writing – at its very best – a type of creative writing? To explore these questions – and to identify excellence and innovation in new writing – The University of Warwick is today, Thursday 10th July 2008,  launching the £50,000 Warwick Prize for Writing.

This substantial prize stands out as an international and cross-disciplinary award. It will be given biennially for an excellent and substantial piece of writing in the English language, in any genre or form. The theme will change with every prize: the 2009 theme is Complexity.

All members of the University of Warwick Staff - from nursery staff and gardeners to professors and porters - are invited to make a nomination for a prize entry by August. Warwick’s honorary professors and honorary graduates will also be asked to make nominations.

China Miéville, award- winning writer of what he describes as ‘weird fiction’, will chair the panel of five judges. Other judges include mathematician Professor Ian Stewart and literary blogger Stephen Mitchelmore. A longlist of 15 to 20 titles will be announced in October 2008 followed by a shortlist of six titles in January 2009. The winner will be announced in February 2009 in Warwick.

The winning submission will represent an intellectual, scientific and/or imaginative advance and be written with an energy and clarity that make it accessible and attractive to a wide audience.

David Morley, Director of the University of Warwick’s Warwick Prize for Writing, said: "We are tremendously excited about the Warwick Prize for Writing. The award brilliantly reflects the University’s thematic approach to learning and reputation for creative excellence. The prize itself will help define where writing might be going; what new shapes and forms it may take; and even through what media it might be conducted - including electronic forms as well as the traditional form of a book"

The University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift said:

"I am delighted that the University of Warwick is making this major commitment to excellence in writing. This new prize is part of the University’s Vision 2015 plan to enhance the University’s already significant international links and position it as an intellectual gateway to the UK and beyond. The University’s Warwick Writing programme is already one of the largest and most successful in the UK and this substantial new prize will help it build its international profile in the world of literature and creative writing. "

In addition to the £50,000 monetary prize, the winning author will be awarded the opportunity to take up a short placement at the University.

To find out more visit

Download a high-res version of the Warwick Prize for Writing Logo (Image file)

For further information please contact:

Ruth Cairns or Elise Oliver at Colman Getty
Tel: 020 7631 2666 Fax: 020 7631 2699
Email: or


Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 523708 or 07767 655860

Notes for Editors

• The University of Warwick is one of the UK’s leading research universities. Consistently ranked in the top 10 of all the University league tables produced by UK national newspapers and ranked 5th among the UK's 100 universities for quality of research (Funding Councils' Research Assessment Exercise, 2001); over 91% of academic staff in departments with top research ratings of 5 or 5*.

• The £50,000 Warwick Prize is entirely self-funded by the University. The University is able to make such an investment as it generates 63% of its own income.