The BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize 2008
As the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction approaches its 10th anniversary, the first winner, Antony Beevor, explains its value
Some need the money to pay off their debts or fund their research. Despite the publicity given to a tiny number of large advances, the truth is that only a very small minority of writers can live off what they earn.
For young writers especially, a prize is their greatest hope of attracting attention for their work. More books than ever are published each year - close to 200,000 titles in Britain at the latest count. So the chances of being reviewed in the main newspapers and periodicals are stacked against them.
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