Booker Prize for fiction secures new financial backer

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2018 file photo, author Anna Burns smiles after being presented with the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2018 for "Milkman," during the prize's 50th year at the Guildhall in London. Britain's leading literary award, the Booker Prize, has found a new financial backer after is sponsor of almost two decades pulled funding. Prize trustees said that the Crankstart Foundation will take up sponsorship in June. The foundation is the charitable operation of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Michael Moritz and his wife, writer Harriet Heyman. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

LONDON — Britain's leading literary award, the Booker Prize, found a new financial backer Thursday after its sponsor of almost two decades pulled out.

Prize trustees said the Crankstart Foundation will become the sponsor in June. The charity was founded by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Michael Moritz and his wife, writer Harriet Heyman.

Crankstart has committed to funding the Booker Prize for English-language novels and the International Booker Prize for translated works for at least five years.

The prize's previous sponsor, the investment firm Man Group PLC, announced last month that it was stopping its funding after 18 years.

Founded in 1969, the 50,000-pound ($67,000) Booker Prize was originally open to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. U.S. authors became eligible in 2014, a move that remains contentious.

Anna Burns won the 2018 prize for her novel "Milkman."

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