19 Sep 2013

Booker Prize expands eligibility

10:27 am on 19 September 2013

Britain's Man Booker Prize says it is expanding to cover all novels written in the English language.

New Zealand novel The Luminaries is one of the final list of six international novels shortlisted for the 2013 prize.

Until now the £50,000 prize has been awarded annually for the best work of fiction by an author from Britain, the Commonwealth or Ireland.

Booker Prize Foundation chairman Jonathan Taylor says in future, authors of any nationality will be eligible.

"The expanded prize will recognise, celebrate and embrace authors writing in English, whether from Chicago, Sheffield or Shanghai," he says.

The prize's trustees made the decision after 18 months of consultation with the publishing world, AFP reports.

The trustees considered setting up a new prize specifically for United States writers but were concerned that may jeopardise or dilute the existing Man Booker Prize.

Novels must still have been published in Britain and entered by their British publisher.