Literary award

A literary award is an award presented in recognition of a particularly lauded literary piece or body of work. It is normally presented to an author.


Most literary awards come with a corresponding award ceremony. Many awards are structured with one organization (usually a non-profit organization) as the presenter and public face of the award, and another organization as the financial sponsor or backer, who pays the prize remuneration and the cost of the ceremony and public relations, typically a corporate sponsor who may sometimes attach their name to the award (such as the Orange Prize).

Types of awards

There are awards for several forms of writing such as poetry and novels. Many awards are also dedicated to a certain genre of fiction or non-fiction writing (such as science fiction or politics). There are also awards dedicated to works in individual languages, e.g. the Miguel de Cervantes Prize (Spanish), and the Camões Prize (Portuguese), and the Man Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Hugo Awards (English).

Some of the most notable literary prizes include the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Franz Kafka Prize and the Jerusalem Prize.

There are also spoof awards, such as The Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award, the Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year, and the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction and Lyttle Lytton Contests, which are both given to deliberately bad sentences.

There are also literary awards that are targeted specifically to encourage the writing of African-Americans and authors of African descent. Two national awards that do this are Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which was established in 2007 by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, which is given by the National Community of Black Writers.


Australian author Richard Flanagan wrote a critique of literary awards, saying "National prizes are often a barometer of bourgeois bad taste."[1] He says juries can be influenced by vendettas, paybacks and payoffs, "most judges are fair-minded people. But hate, conceit and jealousy are no less human attributes than wisdom, judgment and knowledge." Book prizes will sometimes compete with one another, and these goals don't always coincide with anointing the best winner. Sometimes juries can't decide between two contentious books so they will compromise with a third inoffensive bland book. He says there are now so many awards and prizes it has diluted the prestige of being a prize-winning book. Flanagan clarifies he is not against literary awards, but believes they should not be taken too seriously as a form of support for literary culture.

See also


  1. ^ Richard Flanagan (June 16, 2012). "A loss for words". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved June 16, 2012.

External links

Athenaeum of Philadelphia

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, located at 219 S. 6th Street between St. James Place and Locust Street in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a special collections library and museum founded in 1814 to collect materials "connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge" for public benefit. The Athenaeum's collections include architecture and interior design history, particularly for the period 1800 to 1945. The institution focuses on the history of American architecture and building technology, and houses architectural archives of 180,000 drawings, over 350,000 photographs, and manuscript holdings of about 1,000 American architects. Since 1950 the Athenaeum has sponsored the annual Athenaeum Literary Award for works of fiction and non-fiction.

Bangla Academy Literary Award

The Bangla Academy Literary Award (Bengali: বাংলা একাডেমি সাহিত্য পুরস্কার; Bangla Academy Shahitya Puroshkar), is given by the Bangla Academy of Bangladesh in recognition of creative genius in advancement and overall contribution in the field of Bengali language and literature.It was introduced in 1960 and recognized six categories: poetry, novels, short stories, essays, juvenile literature and translation. Beginning in 1985, two more awards were introduced to recognize overall contributions to Bengali language and literature.

At present, the Bangla Academy award is given in three fields:

Poetry, novel, and short story

Research, essay, and science

Translation, drama, and juvenile literature

Blue Metropolis Violet Prize

The Blue Metropolis Violet Prize is a Canadian literary award, presented to an established LGBTQ writer to honour their body of work. Created by the Blue Metropolis literary festival in Montreal, Quebec as part of its LGBTQ-themed Violet Metropolis series, the award was created in 2018 and will alternate between English language and French language writers.The award was created as a complement, rather than competition, to the Dayne Ogilvie Prize, which honours emerging Canadian LGBTQ writers. The award's corporate sponsor is Air Canada.

Carnegie Medal (literary award)

The Carnegie Medal is a British literary award that annually recognises one outstanding new English-language book for children or young adults. It is conferred upon the author by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). CILIP calls it "the UK's oldest and most prestigious book award for children's writing" and claims that authors call it "the one they want to win".The Medal is named after the Scottish-born American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), who founded more than 2,800 libraries in the English-speaking world, including at least one in more than half of British library authorities. It was established in 1936 by the British Library Association, to celebrate the centenary of Carnegie's birth and inaugurated in 1937 with the award to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post (1936) and the identification of two 'commended' books. The first Medal was dated 1936, but since 2007 the Medal has been dated by its year of presentation, which is now one or two years after publication.In 1955, the Kate Greenaway Medal was established as a companion to the Carnegie Medal. The Kate Greenaway Medal recognises "distinguished illustration in a book for children". Both awards were established and administered by the Library Association, until it was succeeded by CILIP in 2002.Nominated books must be written in English and first published in the UK during the preceding school year (September to August). Until 1969, the award was limited to books by British authors first published in England. The first non-British medalist was Australian author Ivan Southall for Josh (1972). The original rules also prohibited winning authors from future consideration. The first author to win a second Carnegie Medal was Peter Dickinson in 1981, who won consecutively for Tulku and City of Gold. There were six repeat winners to 1992 and Patrick Ness became the seventh by winning in 2011 and 2012.The winner is awarded a gold medal and £500 worth of books donated to the winner's chosen library. In addition, since 2016 the winner has received a £5,000 cash prize from the Colin Mears bequest.

Costa Book Awards

The Costa Book Awards are a set of annual literary awards recognizing English-language books by writers based in Britain and Ireland. They were inaugurated for 1971 publications and known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006 when Costa Coffee, a subsidiary of Whitbread, took over sponsorship. The companion Costa Short Story Award was established in 2012.The awards are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience. As such, they are a more populist literary prize than the Booker Prize.

In 1989, controversy erupted when the judges first awarded the Best Novel prize to Alexander Stuart's The War Zone, then withdrew the prize prior to the ceremony amid acrimony among the judges, ultimately awarding it to Lindsay Clarke's The Chymical Wedding.

Deutscher Science Fiction Preis

Deutscher Science Fiction Preis is a German literary award. Together with the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis, it is one of the most prestigious awards for German science fiction literature. The award was established in 1985 by the Science Fiction Club Deutschland, a German Science Fiction society. Each year, the award is given to the best German science fiction short story and the best German novel from the previous year.

Governor General's Awards

The Governor General's Awards are a collection of annual awards presented by the Governor General of Canada, recognizing distinction in numerous academic, artistic, and social fields. The first was conceived and inaugurated in 1937 by the Lord Tweedsmuir, a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction; he created the Governor General's Literary Award with two award categories. Successive governors general have followed suit, establishing an award for whichever endeavour they personally found important. Only Adrienne Clarkson created three Governor General's Awards: the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts, the Governor General's Northern Medal, and the Governor General's Medal in Architecture (though this was effectively a continuation of the Massey Medal, first established in 1950).


Jas Hennessy & Co., or more simply Hennessy, is a brandy distiller with its headquarters located in Cognac, France. Jas Hennessy & Co. sells about 50 million bottles a year worldwide, or more than 40 percent of the world's cognac, making it the largest cognac producer. It is owned by Moët Hennessy, which is in turn owned by LVMH (66%) and Diageo (34%).

International Dublin Literary Award

The International Dublin Literary Award (Irish: Duais Liteartha Idirnáisiúnta Bhaile Átha Chliath) is an international literary award presented each year for a novel written in English or translated into English. It aims to promote excellence in world literature and is solely sponsored by Dublin City Council, Ireland. At €100,000, the award is one of the richest literary prizes in the world. If the winning book is a translation (as it has been nine times), the prize is divided between the writer and the translator, with the writer receiving €75,000 and the translator €25,000. The first award was made in 1996 to David Malouf for his English language novel Remembering Babylon.Nominations are submitted by public libraries worldwide – over 400 library systems in 177 countries worldwide are invited to nominate books each year – from which the shortlist and the eventual winner are selected by an international panel of judges (which changes each year). The most recent winner is Mike McCormack who won for his novel Solar Bones.

Lambda Literary Award

Lambda Literary Awards, also known as the "Lammys", are awarded yearly by the U.S.-based Lambda Literary Foundation to published works which celebrate or explore LGBT themes. Categories include Humor, Romance and Biography. To qualify, a book must have been published in the United States in the year current to the award. The Lambda Literary Foundation states that its mission is "to celebrate LGBT literature and provide resources for writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, and librarians – the whole literary community." The awards were instituted in 1988.

The program has grown from 14 awards in early years to 22 awards today. Early categories such as HIV/AIDS literature were dropped as the prominence of the AIDS crisis within the gay community waned, and categories for bisexual and transgender literature were added as the community became more inclusive. In both the bisexual and transgender categories, one or two awards may be presented annually; if the number of submissions in a given year warrants, then separate awards for fiction and non-fiction are presented, while a smaller number of submissions results in a single award.

In addition to the primary literary awards, the Lambda Literary Foundation also presents a number of special awards. The Pioneer Award is presented as a lifetime achievement award to a distinguished figure in the history of LGBT literature; the Bridge Builder Award is presented to a person, regardless of sexuality, who has been a prominent ally and advocate of the LGBT community; and the Trustee Award is presented to a writer who has made a considerable contribution to a wider awareness and understanding of the lives of LGBT people.

Beginning in 2011, the Lambda Literary Awards also took over the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize, formerly presented by the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. The award, endowed by academic and writer James Duggins, is presented annually to two LGBT writers, one male and one female, to honor their bodies of work. In 2013, the foundation instituted the Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award to honor young LGBT writers who have published at least one book; in 2016, the award was renamed to the Judith Markowitz Award, endowed by writer and philanthropist Judith Markowitz, while the Betty Berzon Award was taken over, and continues to be presented, by Publishing Triangle.

Lannan Literary Awards

The Lannan Literary Awards are a series of awards and literary fellowships given out in various fields by the Lannan Foundation. Established in 1989, the awards are meant "to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality", according to the foundation. The foundation's awards are lucrative relative to most awards in literature: the 2006 awards for poetry, fiction and nonfiction each came with $150,000, making them among the richest literary prizes in the world.

The awards reflect the philosophy governing the Lannan Foundation, a family foundation established by J. Patrick Lannan, Sr. in 1960. It describes itself as "dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities."Awards have been made to acclaimed and varied literary figures such as David Foster Wallace, William Gaddis, Lydia Davis, William H. Gass, Steve Erickson and W.S. Merwin. The foundation has also recognized people known as much for their public intellectual activities as for their literary talents, such as Barbara Ehrenreich and Edward Said.

The foundation also gives a "Cultural Freedom Prize" for the stated purpose of recognizing "people whose extraordinary and courageous work celebrates the human right to freedom of imagination, inquiry, and expression." Prize winners include Elouise P. Cobell, Robert Fisk, Eduardo Galeano, Claudia Andujar, Mahmoud Darwish, Arundhati Roy, Helen Caldicott and Cornel West.

The foundation does not accept applications for awards or fellowships. Candidates are suggested anonymously "by a network of writers, literary scholars, publishers, and editors," with the foundation's literary committee making the final determination.The foundation also "provides financial assistance to tribes and nonprofits that serve Native American communities..." For instance, it gave more than $7 million in grants to the Blackfeet Reservation Development Fund from 1998 to 2009, to support litigation on behalf of Native Americans with interests in trust lands. This nonprofit was created by Elouise P. Cobell and her legal team to bring claims against the United States for mismanaging lands held in trust for Native Americans. The Cobell v. Salazar case was filed in 1996 and settled in 2009.

List of literary awards

This is a list of literary awards from around the world. This list is not intended to be complete, and is instead a list of those literary awards with Wikipedia articles.

Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman

The Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman distinction is conferred on persons once a year on the Independence Day (15 August) in recognition of their substantial contribution in the field of Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Pali, Prakrit, Classical Oriya, Classical Kannada, Classical Telugu and Classical Malayalam.

The award introduced in the year 2002, is given to selected young scholars in the age group of 30 to 45 years. The Presidential award carries a certificate of honour, a memento and a one time cash prize of Rs.1 lakh.

Mahasweta Devi

Mahaswetah Devi (14 January 1926 – 28 July 2016) was an Indian Bengali fiction writer and socio-political activist. Her notable literary works include Hajar Churashir Maa, Rudali, and Aranyer Adhikar. She was a self-recognised communist and worked for the rights and empowerment of the tribal people (Lodha and Shabar) of West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states of India. She was honoured with various literary awards such as the Sahitya Akademi Award (in Bengali), Jnanpith Award and Ramon Magsaysay Award along with India's civilian awards Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan.

Mathrubhumi Literary Award

Mathrubhumi Literary Award (also known as Mathrubhumi Sahitya Puraskaram) is a literary award instituted in 2001 by leading Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi. A sum of ₹2 lakh, a plaque and citation constitute the award. The award is conferred as a recognition of a writer's overall contribution to the Malayalam literature.

Miles Franklin Award

The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize awarded to "a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases". The award was set up according to the will of Miles Franklin (1879–1954), who is best known for writing the Australian classic My Brilliant Career (1901). She bequeathed her estate to fund this award. As of 2016, the award is valued A$60,000.

Odakkuzhal Award

Odakkuzhal Award is an Indian literary award given by the Indian literary award every year to writers for a particular outstanding work of him/her in Malayalam–language. The award was founded in 1969 by renowned poet G. Sankara Kurup to commemorate the Jnanpith Award he had won.

Robert A. Heinlein Award

The Robert A. Heinlein Award was established by the Heinlein Society in 2003 "for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings to inspire the human exploration of space." It is named for prolific science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein and is administered by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. It is generally given annually to one or more recipients.

The Robert A. Heinlein Award is a sterling silver medallion bearing the image of Robert A. Heinlein, as depicted by artist Arlin Robbins. The medallion is matched with a red-white-blue lanyard.

The Australian/Vogel Literary Award

The Australian/Vogel Literary Award is an Australian literary award for unpublished manuscripts by writers under the age of 35. The prize money, currently A$20,000, is the richest and most prestigious award for an unpublished manuscript in Australia. The rules of the competition include that the winner's work be published by Allen & Unwin.The award was initiated in 1979 by Niels Stevns and is a collaboration between The Australian newspaper, the publisher Allen & Unwin, and Stevns & Company Pty Ltd. Stevns, founder of the company which makes Vogel bread, named the award in honour of Swiss naturopath Alfred Vogel.


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