Warwick Prize for Writing 2015 Shortlist Announced

Warwick Prize for Writing 2015 short list announcement

Warwick Prize for Writing 2015 short list announcement

The Warwick Prize for Writing has announced its shortlist of six titles under consideration for the £25,000 (AUD $50,000) biennial literary award. 

The prize run by the University of Warwick, is an international cross-disciplinary award open to any genre or form of writing and is chosen from submissions from students, staff and alumni from Monash University and the University of Warwick, alongside publisher submissions. The theme for this year’s prize is ‘Instinct’.

The shortlist announced at a special event at the Cheltenham Literature Festival by judge Robert Macfarlane, is:

  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves byKaren Joy Fowler (Serpent’s Tail) 
  • Her Birth by Rebecca Goss (Carcanet)
  • Redeployment by Phil Klay (Canongate) 
  • A Man In Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Harvill Secker)
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (Virago) 
  • Skyfaring byMark Vanhoenacker (Chatto & Windus)

Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and Marilynne Robinson’s Lila grapple with the inescapable legacy of atypical childhood experiences, while the residual effects of trauma are explored through the loss of a child in Rebecca Goss’ Her Birth and the horror of war in Phil Klay’s Redeployment

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s A Man in Love, from the bestselling autobiographical fiction series My Struggle, and Mark Vanhoenacker’s love letter to commercial aviation Skyfaring round off the list, which despite the shared theme is formally very diverse, with short stories, poetry and prose represented.

In addition to winning the £25,000 (AUD$50,000) monetary prize, the winner will be awarded the opportunity to take up a short placement at the University of Warwick.

The judging panel for the 2015 prize is chaired by Warwick alumna and author A L Kennedy, who is joined by author and academic Robert Macfarlane, actress and director Fiona Shaw, Warwick alumnus and Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler, and physician and writer Gavin Francis. 

On announcing the shortlist, the chair of judges, A L Kennedy said the judges were excited by this year’s chosen topic of instinct, its variety of interpretations and expressions. 

“We are delighted by the shortlist and the ability of all the authors included to work within their chosen forms, to explore the full breadth of human nature and experience. We feel all the authors included offer readers unique and rich experiences, quality writing and the consolation of real contact with other, remarkable minds,” she said.

The Warwick Prize for Writing was founded in 2009 and is run by the University of Warwick.  The nominations process was expanded to include Monash University in 2013 following the formation of the Monash Warwick Alliance. Students and staff at both universities were invited to make nominations alongside publisher submissions. 

Naomi Klein was the inaugural winner of the prize in 2009, for her book The Shock Doctrine, an exposé of disaster capitalism. The 2011 prize was awarded to Peter Forbes for Dazzled and Deceived, a cultural history of mimicry and camouflage in nature, art and warfare. The prize was awarded to a poet for the first time in 2013, to Alice Oswald for Memorial.

The winner of the 2015 Warwick Prize for Writing will be announced on Tuesday 10 November at a ceremony in London. Further information is available at warwick.ac.uk/go/prizeforwriting

Formed in early 2012, the Monash Warwick Alliance represents an innovation in higher education and research and aims to accelerate the exchange of people, ideas and information between Monash University and the University of Warwick.