1. Be the sole work of one writer (illustrations and introductions excluded)
2. Be published for the first time in the calendar year preceding the award
3. The author must be living at the time the book is submitted for the Award.
4. Be comprised substantially of work which has not been previously published in individually authored collections
5. Be a work of poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction (see note below)
6. Be published by an established publishing house, which is here defined as a house that publishes a list of titles by a range of authors and distributes its books through recognised booksellers. Self-published books are not eligible.
7. Be intended for an adult readership
PLUS AT LEAST ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. Be written in the English language
2. Be written in English , or someone who was schooled in the UK
3. Be of clear relevance to England and English culture (see definition below)
Creative non-fiction is defined as prose writing which is either primarily creative in nature or discursively engages with other’s fiction, non-fiction or poetry.
This includes all literary criticism, as well as other prose where the creativity of verse is central to the nature of the work.
Types of books which COULD fall under such criterion include travel writing, autobiography/biography and social history.
Definition of works which are of clear relevance to England and English culture
Titles which discuss and/or add to themes which have a tradition of discourse in English literary fields can, on occasions, be determined eligible for consideration despite the writer having no linguistic, residential or adolescent links with England.
Work published within anthologies of multiple writers is not eligible for consideration.
Translations are not eligible for consideration unless they are deemed to be of major significance to English literature far beyond existing versions of the source material.