Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Saturday, 18 July 2009 14:44 UK

Pinter literary prize is launched

Harold Pinter in 2005
Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005

A new literary prize set up in honour of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter has been launched.

The judging panel will include Pinter's widow Lady Antonia Fraser, playwright Sir Tom Stoppard and the broadcaster Mark Lawson.

"I am delighted to support this prize in Harold's name," Lady Antonia said.

The PEN/Pinter prize will be presented at the British Library on 14 October, with the British or UK-based writer receiving a cheque for £1000.

Their work must fulfil the vision for writing that Pinter set out in his 2005 Nobel acceptance speech - turning an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze upon the world, and showing a "fierce intellectual determination ... to define the real truth of our lives and our societies".

Artistic director of the National Theatre Nicholas Hytner and Lisa Appignanesi, president of English PEN, will also help judge the winner.

Lady Antonia said: "I am delighted to support this prize in Harold's name, which celebrates his long association with English PEN and recognises the courage of writers, both in this country and overseas, who, like him, have made a principled stand for writers' freedoms."

Pinter died on Christmas Eve in 2008, he had been suffering from cancer.

He wrote more than 30 plays including The Caretaker and The Birthday Party. His film scripts include The French Lieutenant's Woman

English PEN is part of a worldwide writers' association and charity which works to promote literature and freedom of expression.

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