Countdown to the ceremony

Douglas Stuart won in 2020 - who will it be this year at our ceremony on November 3rd?

Douglas Stuart, 2020

The 2021 Booker Prize ceremony will be broadcast from the BBC’s Radio Theatre on Wednesday 3 November from 7:15-8pm GMT.

Ceremony highlights

  • Hosted by Samira Ahmed and broadcast live by the BBC on Wednesday 3 November
  • The six shortlisted authors brought together from all over the world to gather in person
  • 30 years on from his historic Booker win, Ben Okri reflects on how the prize changed his life
  • Last year’s winner Douglas Stuart has tea with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House in an encounter postponed by Covid
  • Filmed extracts from the shortlisted books directed by three talented BBC Arts supported New Creatives graduates and featuring rising stars
  • Special episode of BBC TWO’s Inside Culture featuring Booker Prize winners airs this Friday. 
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and Anna Burns

The 2021 Booker Prize ceremony

The 2021 winner will be announced on Wednesday 3 November from 7:15 - 8pm GMT in an award ceremony held in partnership with the BBC at Broadcasting House’s Radio Theatre. Audiences across the world can listen to it live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and watch on BBC iPlayer, the BBC News Channel and BBC World News.

The ceremony will include a one-off recorded conversation between long-term champion of the prize, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and 2020 winner Douglas Stuart about his life-changing year since winning with Shuggie Bain. The BBC’s Samira Ahmed will also interview Stuart live on the night, along with poet and novelist Ben Okri, who won the Booker in 1991 with The Famished Road. Three decades on from Okri’s win, they will discuss why books matter.

The winner of the 2021 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and can expect international recognition.

BBC Broadcasting House

The 2021 shortlist

The Promise
A Passage North
The Fortune Men
Bewilderment
Great Circle

With so many ambitious and intelligent books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of any given title, but often about the purpose of fiction itself. We are pleased to present a shortlist that delivers as wide a range of original stories as it does voices and styles.

Gaby Wood, director of the Booker Prize Foundation

‘This year, over the course of nine largely solitary months, five strangers of disparate backgrounds showed each other what they saw in stories—what dazzled them or challenged them, what touched them or left them unmoved. In the process they showed something of themselves, and came to trust each other as a result.

‘They also proved that the best literature is elastic: both because so many different things can be seen in it, and because—as one of the judges said—the best of fiction can make you feel as though your mind, or heart, are a little bit larger for having read it. 

‘In congratulating the shortlistees, it’s worth remembering how true this remains of the 2021 longlist, all of which will continue to be celebrated at thebookerprizes.com, the new home of the prizes and the half-century-old Booker Library.’

Gaby Wood

Special Prizes

Why have just one Booker Prize when you can have several? Discover the unique stories behind the Booker one-off’s, from the Golden Booker to the Best of Beryl.

Browse all the special prizes.

The Best of the Booker trophy