After upping the prize money for last year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize to $100,000, the good people at the Giller have decided they should have more judges as well. Starting this year there will be five Giller jurors. Some explanation for the rationale behind the decision can be found here.
It’s the first time in the Giller’s 22-year history that it has appointed a five-member jury, but executive director Elana Rabinovitch says it was something they had considered for “many years.”
“There are a number of reasons why we decided to increase the jury pool but I guess the primary one is that it, I think, will breathe a lot of energy into the deliberations,” she said.
In fact, the main impetus for creating a bigger jury was her trip to London over the summer to meet with various publishers and agents, as well as Ion Trewin, who runs the Man Booker Prize, said Rabinovitch.
The Booker has five jury members and Rabinovitch felt by doing the same with the Giller “it was a way of confounding pundits and publishers and the public in terms of not being able to pin selections, any books, on any one person.”
“I think that it will make for a much more diverse list and a lot of surprises,” she said.
Rabinovitch said they also want to make the prize “not so inside baseball,” noting she thinks “it’s important to include voices outside of that really insular community of CanLit.”
Hm. We shall see.