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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 June, 2004, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Booker goes global with new prize
DBC Pierre
Last year's UK Booker Prize was won by DBC Pierre
The organisers of the Booker Prize for Fiction have launched a new 60,000 international literature award.

The Man Booker International Prize will be handed out every two years from the middle of 2005.

Organisers said it would reward a writer's "continued creativity, development and overall contribution to fiction on the world stage".

Prize chairman Prof John Carey said it would "celebrate English language fiction as a major cultural force".

The existing Booker Prize is open to citizens of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.

The new global prize can be won by an author of any nationality, providing his or her work is available in the English language.

'Excellence'

Judges will meet several times in different parts of the world.

A shortlist of 15 contenders will be announced early in 2005, and the winner's prize presented at an awards ceremony in London later in the year.

Harvey McGrath, chairman of sponsors the Man Group, said the international prize would extend the UK-based Booker's global influence.

It would "create a new benchmark in search for literary excellence", he said.

Last year's Booker prize was won by author DBC Pierre for Vernon God Little.


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