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New international award announced

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LONDON (AP) — The organizers of Britain's most prestigious literary award announced a new international fiction prize Wednesday.

The Man Booker International Prize will be open to authors of all nationalities whose work has been either written or translated widely into English.

The $110,000 prize will be awarded for a body of work every two years, with the first winner to be announced in the middle of 2005.

"This new prize will reward high international achievement," John Carey, chairman of the judges and a professor of English at Oxford University, said.

"But unlike other global prizes, it will target fiction in English, or translated into English, and so will celebrate English-language fiction as a major cultural force in the modern world. The prize is unlikely to be given for a single novel. What the judges will have in mind is a body of work."

The existing annual $90,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded for a single work and is open only to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies.

Carey said a shortlist of 15 contenders for the new prize will be announced early next year. Carey will be joined by two other judges, yet to be named.