The 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction: Public Events

Shortlist and Winner Events Announced

As anticipation builds toward the announcement of the winner of the 2021 Booker Prize on 3 November, audiences are being given the opportunity to meet the six shortlisted authors and ask them questions. This will be through hybrid public events in both Coventry and London, with participation possible both in-person and digitally.

The winner will be announced as the climax of an awards ceremony held in partnership with the BBC at Broadcasting House’s Radio Theatre. It will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, BBC iPlayer, BBC News Channel and BBC World from 7.15pm. The winner of the 2021 Booker Prize receives £50,000 and international recognition.

Following the 3 November announcement the public will have the chance to see the winner interviewed in two online events: Guardian Live will host the first interview just days after the announcement, with a second opportunity for readers to hear the winner speak later in November as part of Hay Festival Winter Weekend.

Publication date:

The full press release can be downloaded here.

The 2021 shortlist is:

Author (Nationality) - Title (imprint)

Anuk Arudpragasam (Sri Lankan) - A Passage North (Granta Books, Granta Publications)

Damon Galgut (South African) - The Promise (Chatto & Windus, Vintage, PRH)

Patricia Lockwood (American) - No One is Talking About This (Bloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Nadifa Mohamed (British/Somali) -The Fortune Men (Viking, Penguin General, PRH)

Richard Powers (American) - Bewilderment (Heinemann Hutchinson, PRH)

Maggie Shipstead (American) - Great Circle (Doubleday, Transworld Publishers, PRH)


Coventry University

Date: Friday 29 October
Location: Square One Entertainment Venue, Coventry University
Time: 7pm – 8.30pm
Ticket price: FREE

As part of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 celebrations, join the 2021 Booker Prize shortlisted authors, alongside former Booker Prize judge and author, Lemn Sissay, for an evening of readings and conversation about their shortlisted books. Libraries across the UK are also invited to sign up to host and stream the event to their users via The Reading Agency here.
This event will include an audience Q&A.


Southbank Centre, London

In person
Date: Sunday 30 October
Location: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
Time: 7:30 - 9pm
Ticket price: £15 - £35

Date: Available from Sunday 30 October until Sunday 7 November
Time: On demand
Ticket price: £7.50

As the finale of the London Literature Festival, this event brings together this year’s Booker Prize shortlisted authors just days before the winner announcement on 3 November. Join the authors in an evening of readings and conversation around their shortlisted books, chaired by author Kit de Waal.

This event will include an audience Q&A. The in-person event is Speech-to-Text transcribed and British Sign Language interpreted (BSL), and will be followed by a book signing.


Guardian Live, online

Date: Tuesday 9 November
Time: 8 – 9pm
Ticket price: £7

In the first public event following the announcement, join this year’s winner in conversation with The Guardian’s Lisa Allardice, as they open up on the experience of winning the prize and read an extract from their winning novel. 


Hay Festival Winter Weekend, online

Date: Available from Monday 15 November until 29 November
Time: On demand
Ticket price: FREE

Part of five free “Winter Warmer” online events released ahead of Hay Festival Winter Weekend, join the 2021 Booker Prize winner in conversation about their award-winning book and their experience of winning the prize.