When you win the Booker …

When you win the Booker, and the champagne has been drunk, the interviews given and the books signed, how will you spend the £50,000 prize money?

There was an interesting piece in last week’s Sunday Times about how some previous winners have spent the money. In 1986 Kingsley Amis said he was looking forward to spending the money on, “booze, of course, and curtains.” Four years later AS Byatt spent her prize on building a swimming pool at her home. The 2018 winner, Anna Burns, is using her winnings on something far less frivolous but, hopefully, life changing. Her prize money will fund back surgery to stop the chronic pain which stops her writing.

If I was in receipt of that £50,000 cheque, I’d use it to ‘buy’ more writing time. This might mean a combination of reducing my hours at the day job and/or paying for help around the house. However, more time doesn’t always equal more writing productivity. It would be up to me and my self-discipline to use that extra time wisely rather than in procrastination or in madly tidying up the house before the cleaner arrived!

What about you? Would the £50,000 buy something pleasurable or sensible or both?

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  1. #1 by lynnforthauthor on February 21, 2019 - 11:26 am

    Interesting thought Sally. Yes to help round the house to buy more time …but perhaps a writing retreat somewhere nice as well

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on February 21, 2019 - 8:34 pm

      Yes, Lynn, a little splurge on a writing retreat in the sun would be nice!

  2. #3 by juliathorley on February 21, 2019 - 1:25 pm

    I’m not sure £50,000 is life-changing, but I’d certainly take a month off and consider my options. I would NOT buy curtains!

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on February 21, 2019 - 8:37 pm

      Definitely no curtains, Julia! It probably depends on what stage of life you’re at as to how life-changing £50,000. If you’re only two or three years from retirement it might bring forward the date you can switch from employee to full-time writer. But if you’re only 35 with a family and mortgage then it’s effect might be a bit less.

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