International Booker Prize and Valentino Form New Cultural Partnership

  • Maison Valentino to sponsor International Booker Prize 2024 ceremony
  • Its support will enable the donation of 500 sets of the International Booker Prize shortlist to libraries across the UK via The Reading Agency
  • The Booker Prize Foundation and English PEN also partner to support translators from the Global Majority


#InternationalBooker2024 #ValentinoTheNarratives

The Booker Prize Foundation today announces Maison Valentino as its sponsor for the International Booker Prize 2024 ceremony, a partnership designed to give the world’s best storytellers the broad cultural status they deserve.

The Booker Prizes are as synonymous with writing as the Oscars are with film and the Grammys are with music. For over half a century, the Booker Prizes have been recognised as the most respected guide to the world’s best fiction. They have identified, celebrated and transformed the careers of leading international talent. Each year the International Booker Prize introduces readers to the best novels and short story collections from around the globe that have been translated into English and published in the UK and/or Ireland.

Maison Valentino has a long and successful association with the literary world, and with this sponsorship strengthens its commitment to fostering global arts and culture. For many years, the Maison has affirmed its commitment to great writing by celebrating impactful texts and authors. It has re-envisioned the traditional means of fashion communication through campaigns that honour the authentic beauty of words, as well as launching other multidisciplinary initiatives that link fashion to literature. Valentino has worked with many authors nominated for the Booker Prizes, including Hanya Yanagihara, Leila Mottley, Elif Shafak and Mieko Kawakami.

In recognition of the two organisations’ shared ethos of championing excellence and inclusivity in art and storytelling, Maison Valentino will sponsor the International Booker Prize 2024 ceremony, which is being held on 21 May. Valentino’s contribution to the cause of translated fiction will allow the Booker Prize Foundation to raise the profile of the prize and will also enable the donation of 500 sets of the six books shortlisted for the 2024 prize to libraries across the UK. Crankstart, a charitable foundation, remains the core funder of the Booker Prizes.

‘We couldn’t be more excited to be embarking on such a meaningful collaboration with Valentino, and are hugely grateful for their support. Together, these two longstanding institutions will bring together imaginations without borders. The Valentino team’s energy and enthusiasm are inspiring, as is everything they’ve already done for, and with, great writers. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed discussing books with them – and discovering our shared love of many International Booker authors has been a particular thrill.’  Gaby Wood, Chief Executive of the Booker Prize Foundation

‘We are honoured to partner with the Booker Prize Foundation this year. This collaboration further strengthens our deep connection to the world of literature.’ Jacopo Venturini, CEO Maison Valentino

The livestream of the International Booker Prize ceremony will hosted by YouTuber Jack Edwards, known as ‘the internet’s resident librarian’, and available at Edwards also hosted the livestream of the Booker Prize 2023 ceremony in November and has worked with Valentino for several years.

Support for UK libraries

Maison Valentino’s support is enabling the Booker Prize Foundation to work with national charity,

The Reading Agency, to donate 500 sets of the six shortlisted books to libraries around the UK. As Baroness Sanderson’s recent independent review of libraries asserted, ‘public libraries sit unassumingly at the heart of our communities, a world of possibility behind their doors’, and highlighted the ‘fundamental importance of a vibrant and refreshed book stock’. Libraries are hugely valued partners for the Booker Prizes, and the Booker Prize Foundation is looking forward to working with them on this initiative to get the world’s best translated fiction into the hands of more readers.

New partnership with English PEN

This year the Booker Prize Foundation is also partnering with English PEN on a new round of its PEN Presents programme, which supports emerging translators. The International Booker Prize X PEN Presents programme will have a specific focus on translators from the Global Majority.

Since 2016, submissions to the International Booker Prize and to English PEN’s PEN Translates programme have told the same story: while the representation of authors of the Global Majority is increasing, translators from the Global Majority remain chronically underrepresented. The International Booker Prize x PEN Presents programme will launch in October 2024 and aims to enable more literature in translation, created by more people, to reach English-language readers.

It will be open to translators from the Global Majority who want to create samples of previously untranslated work from any language and region. A shortlist will be awarded grants to create samples, and a selection will receive editorial support and have their projects promoted to UK publishers. More details will be announced this summer.