This Criticos Prize was established in 1996 and has now been awarded fifteen times. The Prize is worth £10,000 and is funded by the Athens-based Criticos-Fotinelli Foundation. Administration is undertaken by the London Hellenic Society.
The Prize will be awarded again to the author(s) of an original work, written in (or translated into) English, first published in 2012 and inspired by Greece or Greek exploits, culture or history at any time from the ancient past to the present day.
Although the Prize is always directed towards recognizing works of excellence, any winner must be accessible to a broad readership. Areas of interest are not restricted and, since its inception, the Prize has been awarded to books on archaeology, architecture, art, classics, history, literary criticism, social studies, as well as to works of literature.
Well over one hundred books are received each year from numerous publishers dotted around the globe and every effort is made to ensure that they form the sum of all books published in English on a Greek theme. It is customary that the winner is translated into Greek and published in Greece, completing the Anglo-Hellenic cultural exchange which the Prize was founded to foster.
The 2011 Criticos Prize was awarded to Ann Wroe for Orpheus: The Song of Life (Jonathan Cape) at a reception in the Athenaeum, Pall Mall, in the presence of H.E. the Greek Ambassador and many other dignitaries and friends of the Prize.
For the 2012 competition, we received 139 eligible publications from publishers and individuals as far afield as Los Angeles and Sydney. All the books (viewable here) are currently under consideration by the Adjudicating Committee.
The Long List will appear here in May, followed by the Short List in June.
The ultimate winner of the 2012 Prize will also be announced in June both on the website and in the Times Literary Supplement.