Join the Booker Prize Book Club Challenge

Does your book club think it has what it takes to be Booker Prize judges? Would you like to attend this year’s Booker Prize ceremony?
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The 2022 Booker Prize judges (L-R): Helen Castor, Alain Mabanckou, Neil MacGregor, M. John Harrison, and Shahidha Bari. © Hugo Glendinning via the Booker Prize Foundation website.

The 2022 Booker Prize judges (L-R): Helen Castor, Alain Mabanckou, Neil MacGregor, M. John Harrison, and Shahidha Bari. © Hugo Glendinning via the Booker Prize Foundation website.

The Booker Prize, the leading literary award in the English-speaking world, has brought global recognition and readership to outstanding fiction for over 50 years. Each year, the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of our judges, the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK.  

But this year we don’t just want to hear what our official judges think. We have the exciting opportunity for six UK book clubs to help rate and review the 2022 Booker Prize shortlist. Members of the winning book club will be invited to attend this year’s Booker Prize winner ceremony in London. 

We’ve teamed up with The Reading Agency to launch the Booker Prize Book Club Challenge and we are inviting book clubs from all backgrounds and from all over the UK to apply.  

Once all applications are received, the judges of the 2022 Booker Prize will help select our six groups. The judges are cultural historian, writer and broadcaster Neil MacGregor, who chairs the panel; academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari; historian Helen Castor; novelist and critic M. John Harrison; and novelist, poet and professor Alain Mabanckou. They are looking for the most interesting, passionate and wide-ranging set of readers possible, as well as those who will shout the loudest about this year’s Booker Prize shortlist on social media to help encourage even more people to pick up those books. 

After we have chosen our six book clubs, two representatives of each club will be invited to attend our the 2022 Booker Prize official shortlist announcement party at the Serpentine Pavilion, London, on September 6, where they will receive a set of copies of one of the shortlisted titles. (The Booker Prize Foundation will cover the reasonable travel, accommodation, and subsistence expenses.)

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Our six chosen book clubs will then be asked to read, discuss, and review their assigned book in detail over the following month, sharing their views with the Booker Prize’s and The Reading Agency’s community of readers via social media and on the Booker Prize and the Reading Groups for Everyone websites. The Booker Prize’s editorial team may wish to interview members of each of our chosen clubs about the experience of taking part in our challenge. We may also wish to photograph or film members of each club.  

Please do not enter if your club does not wish to engage with any of activities outlined above. 

Our judges will then read and discuss all of the book clubs’ reviews of – and social media activity relating to – their assigned books. Two members of the club who, in our judges’ opinion, provided the most original and engaging reviews will be invited to attend the 2022 Booker Prize ceremony and dinner at The Roundhouse, London, on October 17. (Again, the Booker Prize Foundation will cover the reasonable travel, accommodation, and subsistence expenses.)

How to enter 

If you would like to apply to take part, please tell us more about your book club by filling in the form on The Reading Agency’s website (click here) and submitting it before 12 August 2022. You’ll find our full terms and conditions there, too.

Good luck!  

The Booker Prize Foundation
The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) established in 2002. It is responsible for the award of The Booker Prize for Fiction and for The International Booker Prize. The Booker Prize for Fiction is the leading literary award in the English speaking world, which has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over 50 years. It is awarded annually to the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. The International Booker Prize was established in 2005, biennially rewarding an author for a body of work originally written in any language as long as it was widely available in English. From 2016, the prize became a translation prize, awarded annually for a single work of fiction, translated into English and published in the UK & Ireland. Underlining the importance of translation, the £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author and the translator.

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