The Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, worth £7,500, is awarded biennially.
The 2018 – 2019 Prize winners have been announced.
The winner of the twenty-sixth Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize, worth £7,500, is Anna Burns for her novel Milkman.
Given the rubric of the Prize, and the strong commitment to Europe of both Jane and Christopher Ewart-Biggs, a separate Ewart-Biggs prize, also of £7,500, is awarded this year, to a work dealing with the implications of Brexit for Ireland, Britain and Europe.
This has been won by Katy Hayward, for the Twitter account on which she provides her own political and sociological account of the Brexit process as it unfolds, as well as curating an up-to-date link to a range of work by other authorities.
‘Work’ is defined broadly; as can be seen from the list of previous winners. It has in the past been won by works from the genres of history, politics, fiction, drama, journalism and memoir.
Occasionally a double presentation has been made. The Judges have also from time to time made a Special Award to recognize a person or group whose body of work has contributed to the objectives of the Prize. Such recipients have included, in the past, the essayist Hubert Butler, the politician Garret Fitzgerald, and the poet Michael Longley.
The first prize was awarded in 1977.
The objectives of the Prize are to recognize work that promotes and encourages peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a greater understanding between the peoples of Britain and Ireland, or closer co-operation between the partners of the European Community. These are the ideals which inspired Christopher Ewart-Biggs and to which his widow Jane subsequently dedicated herself.
The Prize is administered by the Ewart-Biggs Trust, which includes the children of Christopher and Jane Ewart-Biggs, Robin, Kate and Henrietta; and by the Judges’ panel, chaired by Professor Roy Foster.