The Booker Prize Foundation, which oversees the U.K.'s annual literary awards, has reached a five-year agreement with Crankstart, a U.S.-based philanthrophic foundation, to provide financial backing to the Booker Prize and The International Booker Prize.
The new financial relationship with the Crankstart Foundation will begin on June 1, 2019, at which point the Man Booker prize will revert to its former name, The Booker Prize, and the award for literature in translation will become the International Booker Prize. The awarding of the International Booker Prize on June 1 will mark the end of the Man Group’s 18 year sponsorship of the Booker Prize.
The Crankstart Foundation was established by venture capitalist and author Michael Moritz and his wife, novelist and journalist Harriet Heyman, in 2000. The Crankstart foundation provides a variety of public support in the form of scholarships to low-income students, homeless initiatives, gifts to the ACLU in support of civil liberties and grants for the arts and journalism.
“Neither of us can imagine a day where we don’t spend time reading a book,” Moritz said in remarks about the new agreement with the Booker Foundation. “The Booker Prizes are ways of spreading the word about the insights, discoveries, pleasures and joy that spring from great fiction.”
The winner of the Booker Prize is awarded each year to the best original novel in English published in the U.K. The International Booker Prize, which debuted in 2005, is presented annually to the best work of fiction in translation published in the U.K. The winner of The Booker Prize receives £50,000; and the winners of the International Booker Prize receive £50,000 which is split equally between the author and the translator.
Helena Kennedy, chair of the Booker Foundation board of trustees, said the foundation is “thrilled” to have Crankstart as its financial partner. “Thanks to Crankstart, we will be able to continue the charitable activities of the Booker Prize Foundation, working with the National Literacy Trust in prisons, with RNIB to make the shortlist accessible to blind and partially sighted readers and in universities around the U.K.”