David Cohen Prize 2015

Latest update 'The 2015 judges for the David Cohen Prize for Literature have been announced '

We are pleased to announce the judges for the David Cohen Prize for Literature 2015.

Awarded biennially, the £40,000 prize honours a lifetime's achievement in literature for a writer in the English language who is a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. Writer and broadcaster Mark Lawson commences his third term as Chair of Judges.


The winner of the David Cohen Prize is selected by a panel of judges comprising authors, literary critics and academics. This year's judging panel, comprises:


About the David Cohen Prize 2015

Celebrating a lifetime’s achievement in literature

Established in 1993, the David Cohen Prize for Literature is one of the UK’s most distinguished literary prizes. It recognises writers who use the English language and are citizens of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, encompassing dramatists, as well as novelists, poets and essayists. Former winners include V S Naipaul, Harold Pinter, William Trevor, Doris Lessing, Seamus Heaney and, most recently in 2013, Hilary Mantel.
The biennial prize, of £40,000, is for a lifetime’s achievement and is donated by the John S Cohen Foundation. Established in 1965 by David Cohen and his family, the trust supports education, the arts, conservation and the environment. Arts Council England provides a further £12,500 (The Clarissa Luard Award) to enable the winner to encourage new work, with the dual aim of promoting young writers and readers.


Previous winners of the David Cohen Prize for Literature and recipients of the Clarissa Luard Award (in italics)


1993 V S Naipaul An award for a young biographer or cultural historian, administered by the Society of Authors, won by Rosemary Hill
1995 Harold Pinter The Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, for the development of young playwrights
1997 Muriel Spark The library of James Gillespie's High School, Edinburgh (the inspiration behind The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)
1999 William Trevor An award for a young writer from Omagh in Co. Tyrone, administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
2001 Doris Lessing The Art of Regeneration, in association with the Royal National Theatre
2003 Beryl Bainbridge and Thom Gunn (joint winners) The Arvon Foundation and the Kings Lynn Literature Festival
2005 Michael Holroyd Royal Society of Literature/ Jerwood Foundation Award for Non-Fiction, awarded to Alice Albinia
2007 Derek Mahon Gallery Press, Ireland
2009 Seamus Heaney Poetry Aloud!

2011 Julian Barnes The Reading Agency

2013 Hilary Mantel Katie Ward

Writers are considered for the Award through nomination by the judging panel; no submissions will be accepted.

For further information on the Award, please contact:


Lois Hopkins or 0208 516 2960

Press enquiries:

Email Monica Brimacombe or Harriet Jackson or call 020 8516 2976.