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National Book Awards receive new sponsor

19th September 2012

The National Book Awards will be sponsored by Specsavers for the next two years, it has been confirmed, after Galaxy ended its five-year association with the prize.

It is the third major literary award to undergo a change of sponsorship this year, after Orange announced it was ending its 16-year association with the Women's Prize for Fiction and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction received a new, anonymous backer.

Specsavers currently sponsors the Crime Thriller Awards and is aiming to expand its presence in the literary world by backing the National Book Awards, which are presented each year to authors who have made a major impact on the UK book market.

Informally known as the 'Nibbies', they are highly regarded among the publishing world, with the shortlists in each category compiled by representatives from 50 National Book Awards Academy members, including Foyles.

Richard Holmes, marketing director at Specsavers, commented: 'We're delighted to support this unique celebration of popular literature and we hope that, through our network of stores, we can encourage even more people to pick up a book and enjoy a good read.'

The awards are televised on Channel 4 and the new deal was welcomed by Amanda Ross, who has staged and produced the ceremony since 2004 and worked with the high street optician on the TV Book Club and Crime Thriller Awards for the last four years.

'Since our first collaboration we've had a dialogue about the National Book Awards so I am delighted that Specsavers are now on board as our headline sponsor,' she added.

Alastair Giles, who helped to broker the new sponsorship deal, added that it will 'preserve the opportunity to celebrate and highlight books that, though overlooked by some literary prize judges, are nonetheless loved by millions of readers'.

The shortlists for the 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards will be unveiled on November 12th, with the winners announced on December 4th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London.

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