Eyes on the Prize


Open book
Literature development agency New Writing North will manage the prestigious David Cohen Prize for Literature from 2017

It's an exciting time for literature development agency New Writing North: they'll be managing the David Cohen Prize for Literature from this year. Established in 1992, it's one of the UK's most distinguished literary honours for dramatists, essayists, biographers, novelists and poets. The likes of Tony Harrison, Hilary Mantel and Seamus Heaney have scooped the award in the past, and now it's up to New Writing North to manage it.

Awarded biennially, the David Cohen Prize for Literature is worth £40,000 and recognises a living writer from the UK or the Republic of Ireland for lifetime achievement in literature. The prize was originally managed by Arts Council England and subsequently by BookTrust.

It's funded by the John S Cohen Foundation, which was established by David Cohen and his family in 1965 to support education, the arts, conservation and the environment. Arts Council England funds an additional prize, the Clarissa Luard Award, which from this year will award £10,000 to an independent publisher to support the development of new writing.  

Dr David Cohen said: 'I greatly welcome the involvement of New Writing North and I and my co-trustees look forward to working closely with them.  I anticipate that with their help the David Cohen Prize for Literature will go from strength to strength.'

The grand prize will be awarded later this year in November at an event in London – keep your eyes peeled for the winner.

Published in: February 2017

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