Baillie Gifford Prize winners at Brooklyn Book Festival

The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction will hold its first ever US event at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday, September 22. 

American-Ukrainian author Serhii Plokhy, who won the prize in 2018 with Chernobyl: A History of a Nuclear Catastrophe, and American author and film-maker David France, who won the prize in 2017 with How to Survive a Plague, will discuss their books and the importance of truth with Toby Mundy, director of the Baillie Gifford Prize.

Edinburgh-based global investment giant Baillie Gifford has more than £200 billion of assets under management.

It is owned is owned by 48 partners, and has around 1,200 employees.

“Winning the Prize brings with it incredible excitement, media coverage and a sudden rise in popularity,” said Serhii Plokhy.

“But the most exhilarating part of the win is the possibility to attend book festivals and meet with your readers. Nothing can compare to that.” 

The Baillie Gifford Prize is the most influential non-fiction award in the UK.

Worth £50,000 to the winner, the prize covers all non-fiction across current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

David France commented on the importance of the prize reaching new audiences: “The Baillie Gifford Prize is not just a great honor but a powerful imprimatur that lifts books into the canon of notable literature. 

“How to Survive a Plague is, among other things, a very personal story.

“The jury recognized that, and the prize gave the book the promise of a very long life.” 

Mundy said: Baillie Gifford’s sponsorship of Britain’s pre-eminent non-fiction book prize has transformed the award.

“First and foremost, it has given us the confidence and long-term security to plan ahead.

“This in turn has allowed us to increase the prize money to the winning author and pursue creative new ways to expand the award’s footprint in the U.K. and internationally.

“One of these is to forge a much-expanded presence at literary festivals, of which Baillie Gifford is also Britain’s leading sponsor.” 

The Baillie Gifford Prize event at the Brooklyn Book Festival will take place on Sunday, September 22 at 12 noon in the Moot Courtroom at Brooklyn Law School.

The winner of the 2019 prize is announced in November at a ceremony in London, supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The longlist is announced in September and the shortlist in October.

Baillie Gifford does not influence or control the prize.

It is governed by a board of directors, chaired by ITV chairman Peter Bazalgette and administered by Four Culture and prize director Toby Mundy.  

The longlist, shortlist and winner are selected by a judging panel of industry and literary experts.