Freedom To Publish: IPA Opens 2018 Prix Voltaire Award Nominations

In News by Porter Anderson

Update: The International Publishers Association has extended its deadline for nominations to its 2018 Prix Voltaire to October 28.

Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire, circa 1800, by William Blake. Image: Manchester Art Gallery CC BY-NC-ND

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

A Quick Deadline for Submissions

Earlier this month, as reported by Publishing Perspectives, the International Publishers Association (IPA) announced that two industry leaders from Turkey share its Prix Voltaire for valor in pursuing the freedom to publish. They are the publisher, journalist, and critic Turhan Günay, and the publishing house Evrensel.

Now, IPA is issuing a call for the 2018 round of awards “for exemplary courage in upholding the freedom to publish and enabling others to exercise their freedom of expression.”

Here are details of the prize and nominations process.

  • The closing date for nominations for 2018 is coming rather quickly, extended now to October 28, because the presentation of the award is to be made during the February 10-14 IPA Congress in New Delhi.
  • The nine members of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish committee will create a shortlist in November.
  • A winner will be announced in January, prior to the presentation in February.
  • A nomination can be made by “any individual, group or organization can nominate a publisher, defined as an individual, collective or organization that provides others with the means to share their ideas in written form, including via digital platforms,” according to the guidelines.
  • To submit a nomination, use this form and email it to info@internationalpublishers.org .

The recipient of the award receives 10,000 Swiss francs (US$10,430–the IPA is based in Geneva). And that purse is made possible by these sponsors:

‘Threats, Intimidation or Harassment’
“Nominees have usually published controversial works amid pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment, be it from governments, other authorities or private interests.”IPA Prix Voltaire

As reported, this year’s prize is shared by two recipients in Turkey–the publisher, journalist, and critic Turhan Günay, and the  publishing house Evrensel.

The first recipient of the prize under its relatively new name, the Prix Voltaire, is Raif Badawi, whose prize was conferred in 2016.

This year’s recipients, Günay and Everensel, are to be given their award on September 29 at Gothenburg Book Fair in Sweden.

Previously known as the Freedom to Publish Prize, the award’s winners from the past can be found in a list here.

In a prepared statement for the media, the IPA’s discussion of the Prix Voltaire says, “The IPA Prix Voltaire is unique in honoring the freedom to publish, without which many forms of freedom of expression would be impossible. Publishers who provide authors with the tools to disseminate their written ideas assume the same risks as the writers themselves.

“Nominees have usually published controversial works amid pressure, threats, intimidation or harassment, be it from governments, other authorities or private interests.

“Alternatively, they may be publishers with a distinguished record of upholding the values of freedom to publish and freedom of expression.

“For the purposes of the IPA Prix Voltaire, the definition of ‘publisher’ is an individual, collective or organization that provides others with the means to share their ideas in written form, including via digital platforms.”


More coverage of the IPA Prix Voltaire is here.
More coverage of the International Publishers Association is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He 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 also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.