University’s Big Booker Read marks new partnership with acclaimed literary award

Loughborough celebrated its new partnership with the Booker Prize Foundation by hosting a Big Booker Read event on campus on Wednesday (30 October), featuring the author of The Gathering, Anne Enright.

The Booker Prize Foundation’s university initiative was launched in 2009 to encourage first year students at universities across the UK to appreciate and engage with the very best contemporary literary fiction.

The scheme is jointly funded by the Booker Prize Foundation and the individual universities. Authors involved include Julian Barnes, Sebastian Barry, Jim Crace, Emma Donoghue, Mohsin Hamid, Kazuo Ishiguro, Deborah Levy, Hilary Mantel, Yann Martel, Ian McEwan, Ali Smith, and Sarah Waters.

Regardless of their chosen field of study, students at participating universities are given a winning or shortlisted Booker Prize novel to read and discuss, followed by a visit from the author who takes part in a combination of workshops, lectures and reading groups.

To mark Loughborough’s membership in the scheme first years at the University were offered a copy of The Gathering as well as the chance to meet its author.

Speaking about Loughborough’s partnership with the scheme, Dotti Irving from the Booker Prize Foundation said: “Our scheme has been working with universities all over the UK, bringing excellent fiction and brilliant writers to thousands of students, for over a decade. We are delighted to welcome Loughborough University this year and very much look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

Loughborough’s Dr Clare Hutton, a Senior Lecturer in English, is leading the University’s involvement in the Book Prize Foundation scheme. She said: “It was remarkable to hear Anne Enright read from The Gathering. She is in a moment of deep and realised creative power, in strong and assured command of her vision.  She connected brilliantly with the audience and revealed her very deep commitment to the value and power of literature and creative writing.  Staff and students are already looking forward to the next Big Booker Read.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 19/178

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

Loughborough staff, students and alumni make a real difference. They challenge convention, think creatively and find solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society today and in the future.

Meet the #LboroGameChangers at