The UK’s Ondaatje Prize Announces Its 2024 Shortlist

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The 20th anniversary Ondaatje Prize for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that ‘evok[es] the spirit of place’ announces its 2024 shortlist.

Image: The Ondaatje Prize

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

Evoking ‘the Spirit of Place’
As part of a new wave of book and publishing contest news, we have today the six-title shortlist for the Royal Society of London’s Ondaatje Prize in the United Kingdom.

To refresh your memory as to this particular awards program:

  • The Ondaatje Prize is annual and it offers a purse of £10,000 (US12,504) to its winner.
  • It can be given to a writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry that, in the jury’s purview, “best evokes the spirit of a place.”
  • This contest is limited to works by writers who are citizens of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, or the Republic of Ireland “or a writer who has been resident in the UK for three years.”
  • This year’s program is expected to produce a single winner by May 14.

To learn more about this program, please see our longlist story here.

You’ll note that one of the shortlistees here, Isabella Hammad, has just been awarded the Aspen Words Literary Prize in New York City overnight for her Enter Ghost. That story is here for you.

The UK’s 2024 Ondaatje Prize Shortlist
Sheila Armstrong Falling Animals Bloomsbury Circus
Isabella Hammad Enter Ghost Grove Press
Noreen Masud A Flat Place Penguin Random House / Hamilton Hamish
Benjamin Myers Cuddy Bloomsbury
David Nash No Man’s Land Dedalus Press
Ian Penman Fassbinder Thousands of Mirrors Pan Macmillan / Picador

As mentioned in our longlist story on the Ondaatje Prize, in light of the plethora of awards contests in the UK, we will not be carrying news of these competitions, which are also produced by the Royal Society of Literature:

  • International Writers awards
  • Companions of Literature
  • Encore Award
  • Christopher Bland Prize
  • Entente Littéraire Prize
  • The Giles St Aubyn Awards for Nonfiction
  • V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize
  • Literature Matters Awards
  • Sky Arts Writers Awards
  • Benson Medal

More from Publishing Perspectives on book prizes and similar contests is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s market 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.com, 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.

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