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The James Tait Black Memorial Prize was founded in 1919 by Mrs Janet Coats Black in memory of her late husband James Tait Black of the publishers A & C Black Ltd. There are two prizes; one for the best work of fiction and one for the best work of biography, published in the English language in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The awards are made on the recommendation of the Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh with the assistance of an advisory committee and the staff and graduate students of the University's department of English literature.

The value of each prize was £3,000 for many years but was not well known outside academia. It was recently decided to take the award "from the ivory towers to the marketplace" and when Edinburgh became Unesco's first World City of Literature it was decided to increase the profile of the award and from 2005 onwards the prize money was increased to £10,000 with the assistance of the Scottish Arts Council.

The Winners of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize

The Fiction Award

The Biography Award

References

http://www.englit.ed.ac.uk/jtbinf.htm
http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,1792232,00.html
http://facstaff.unca.edu/moseley/black.html

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