International Publishers Association Calls for Prix Voltaire Nominations

In News by Porter Anderson

‘Nominees will have recently published controversial works amid pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment’ in this now-annual prize in the freedom to publish.

Image – iStockphoto: Manakin

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

The Deadline for Nominations is April 7
The International Publishers’ Association (IPA) last year renamed its IPA Freedom to Publish Award the Prix Voltaire, and now has issued a call for nominations for the 2017 edition of the prize. The Prix Voltaire is being accelerated from biennial to annual frequency.

In a prepared statement, the organization emphasizes the importance of the award to its work:

Freedom to publish is one of the founding principles of the IPA.

“Publishers who provide authors with the means to disseminate their written ideas incur the same risks as the writers themselves.

“Their work requires a principled, altruistic compulsion and unwavering courage. Attempts to thwart this freedom worldwide are rife, with publishers being intimidated, attacked, imprisoned and even killed by governments, extremists or private interests.”

Several points about making nominations for the award:

  • Any individual, group or organization can nominate a publisher (defined as an individual, collective or organization providing others with the means to share ideas in written form, including via digital platforms).
  • Nominees will have recently published controversial works amid pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment.
  • Alternatively, they may be publishers with a distinguished record of many years spent upholding the freedom to publish and freedom of expression.
  • There is a form to use for nominations, and you can find it on this page.
  • Nominations must be made by April 7.
  • The winner receives 10,000 Swiss francs (€9,342 / US$ 9,976), and IPA is hoping to expand the pool of sponsors who supply the funding for the prize.

The nominations will be examined by members of the nine-person IPA Freedom to Publish Committee. That group will create a shortlist, and they’re scheduled to announce a winner in early May.

That group will create a shortlist, and they’re scheduled to announce a winner in early May.

As covered by Publishing Perspectives, last year’s award was given to Raif Badawi, the imprisoned Saudi online publisher. Maureen Freely, President of English PEN, was on-hand to meet Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar Mohammed, who accepted the award on the jailed Badawi’s behalf. Mohammed lives in Canada, which granted the family political asylum in 2013.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, at London's The Bookseller. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.