Friday 20 July 2012

Behind the scenes at the Man Booker Prizes: new website launched

Intimate insights into the lives of Man Booker Prize writers and judges, an interactive timeline from 1969 to the present and the latest news from the literary world: just some of the treasures that can be found on the new-look website for the Man Booker Prizes, launched on Friday 20th July 2012.

Reflecting the evolution of the Man Booker awards in the digital era, the enhanced site will continue to focus on the very best in fiction whilst allowing visitors to experience the prizes in greater depth and across a variety of new platforms and formats. It’s never been easier to keep up with prize news online, be it on pocket-sized smartphones, tablets or widescreen monitors. Live feeds from Twitter and Facebook also mean up-to-the-minute updates on what people are saying about the prizes and the wider world of literature.

Regular features will include video interviews with highly acclaimed writers, kicking off with Howard Jacobson talking about his experience of winning the 2010 prize and writing his new novel, Zoo Time, as well as Kazuo Ishiguro and Sarah Waters, talking about the impact of the Man Booker Prize on their careers and giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their writing habits and favourite authors. For the next month, visitors will also have the chance to watch an exclusive interview with 2011 Man Booker Prize winner, Julian Barnes, as he speaks candidly about his experience of being shortlisted and, finally, winning the prize.

As well as hearing about prize-winning authors, two key names behind the prizes – Ion Trewin, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, and Fiammetta Rocco, Administrator of the Man Booker International – will give an insight into what it is to oversee a leading literary prize. There will also be podcasts from the prize season, such as Dame Stella Rimington’s winner announcement at last year’s award ceremony, as well as interviews with 2011 shortlisted authors.

Additionally, in the coming months there will be picture galleries from Man Booker Prize events and an events calendar to help book lovers keep up with writers and judges throughout the year, from local bookshop signings to major literary festivals.

Visitors to the new site can also explore the history of the prizes through an online archive; over 40 years of fascinating facts from 1969 to the present day. This timeline allows visitors to filter information by years, prizes, books, judges and writers.

The Man Booker Prize celebrates its 44th year in 2012, whilst the Man Booker International Prize will award its fifth winner in 2013. In the last year alone, the Man Booker Prizes website has attracted in excess of a million visitors from across the globe, whilst its Twitter feed has accrued almost 15,000 followers. The new website is the latest in a series of digital initiatives for the prize, which include a Man Booker Prize room on Apple's iBookstore and Kindles for Man Booker Prize judges.

The 2012 Man Booker Prize judges will announce ‘The Booker Dozen’, their longlist of 12 or 13 titles, on 25th July 2012, followed by a shortlist of six titles on 11th September.  The winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize will be announced at London’s Guildhall at an awards ceremony on 16 th October 2012.

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