The Baillie Gifford Prize: A ‘Winner of Winners’ Shortlist

In News by Porter Anderson

Turning 25, the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction names its shortlist for a special one-time £25,000 award for one of six previous winners.

Image: Baillie Gifford Prize

Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Winner of Winners’ To Be Named April 27
The latest addition to the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction program in the United Kingdom is a one-off “winner of winners” honor.

The Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction today (March 9) is announcing a 25th-anniersary shortlist comprised of six titles that have previously won the prize. The winner is to be announced on April 27, and the moment carries a purse of £25,000 (US$29,594).

This is is an add-on to the normal sequence of the program’s awards—like those created by other, competing award programs—something that can generate news-media attention beyond the year’s regular award.

The announcement of the winner is to be held at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland. These titles chosen for the anniversary award are said to encompass 18 of the program’s 25 years.

Two of the six “winner of winners” contenders are Canadian authors and three are Americans.

The Baillie Gifford Prize Anniversary Shortlist
Author, Translator (Nationality) Title Publisher and/or Imprint, Year of Win
Craig Brown (United Kingdom) One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time HarperCollins / Fourth Estate, 2020
Wade Davis (Canada) Into the Silence: The Great War Mallory and the Conquest of Everest Penguin Random House UK / Vintage / Bodley Head, 2012
Barbara Demick (United States) Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea Granta 2010
Patrick Radden Keefe (United States) Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty Penguin Random House UK / Doubleday, 2021
Margaret Macmillan (Canada)

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed The World (formerly Peacemakers: Six Months That Changed The World)

Hachette UK / John Murray Press, 2002
James Shapiro, United States

1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

Faber & Faber, 2006

Waterstones is to have displays in its stores of the 24 previous winners.

The six shortlistees were chosen by New Statesman editor-in-chief, Jason Cowley (chair); academic, critic and broadcaster, Shahidha Bari; journalist, author, and academic, Sarah Churchwell; and biographer and critic Frances Wilson. 

More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing industry and book awards is here, more on the United Kingdom’s market is here, more on the Baillie Gifford Prize is here, and more on nonfiction 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 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.