A year on from the Lehman Brothers collapse that launched the global financial meltdown, EFG Private Bank has announced a partnership with the Sunday Times to launch the world's richest award for an individual short story with a first prize of £25,000 and five prizes of £500 for the runners-up.
An annual prize, open to authors who have been published in the UK and Ireland, it builds on the success of the weekly short story section, introduced in the Magazine in November 2008.
The non-voting chairman of the judges is Matthew Evans, who is Chairman of EFG, and the judges are the writers Lynn Barber, AS Byatt, Nick Hornby, Hanif Kureishi, and Sunday Times Literary Editor Andrew Holgate.
John Witherow, the paper's Editor, said: Our weekly short story has been a great success, attracting some of the most talented names - among them Julian Barnes, William Trevor, Hilary Mantel and Zoe Heller. It has also tempted authors such as Alexei Sayle, Frank Skinner and Julie Burchill to try their hand at the genre for the first time. I am delighted that EFG Private Bank has agreed to join us in this great initiative to further the popularity of the short story in Britain and Ireland.
Lord Evans, previously Chairman of Faber & Faber, said: I am particularly pleased to have the opportunity to connect my earlier career in book publishing with my current activities in banking. At EFG I am constantly impressed by the creative talents of both our clients and our staff, so I see the Sunday Times/EFG Private Bank Short Story Award as a perfect partnership.
Applications for the award, which is being administered by the Booktrust, close on 30 November 2009. The winner and runners-up will be announced at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in March 2010.
Full details can be found here.