Each year a plethora of books and/or authors are nominated for prizes. However, is the pomp worth it, reading OurBookClub reviews below they tend to be very hit and miss, in fact there are more exceptions to the rule than not and we are not alone Richard Flanagan from the Sydney Morning Herald argues that Literary prizes only exist to give dog shows a good name (do you agree).
Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize was originally created to promote the finest fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The judging panel is selected each year and the criteria for the full-length novel is that the author must be a citizen of the Commonwealth (including the Republic of Ireland) and must be published in the year of the prize. The work must be original and in English (not translated). What do past winners think of this award - find our here.
After whittling down the booklist from 145 to one, the Award favorite, Hilary Mantel has taken out the 2012 Man Booker for her second book in her Cromwell trilogy Bring Up the Bodies. Beating Tan Twan Eng (The Garden of Evening Mists), Deborah Levy (Swimming Home), Hilary Mantel (Bring up the Bodies), Alison Moore (The Lighthouse), Will Self (Umbrella), Jeet Thayil (Narcopolis). Hilary joins the elite of authors winning the prize twice - Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee, however she is the first to win with a sequel. No pressure for the third book in the trilogy then!
The 2012 long-list can be found here.
The Pulitzer Prizes were created in 1917 by Joseph Pulitzer to honour American journalism and the arts and is separated into four prizes: journalism, letters, drama, education and travelling scholarships.
The 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music have been announced and after the controversy surrounding 2012. The top award went to Adam Johnson's The Orphan Master's Son, a labyrinthine story of a man's travails in North Korea, has won the award for fiction, restoring a high literary honor a year after no fiction prize was given. The category winners are - The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson (Fiction); Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (Drama); Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall (History); The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss (Biography); Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds (Poetry); Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King (General Non-fiction) and Partita for 8 Voices by Caroline Shaw (Music).
In 2012 the finalists nominated were: Train Dreams (Denis Johnson), Swamplandia (Karen Russell) and The Pale King (David Foster). Controversially no winner was selected because the Pulitzer board couldn't reach a majority decision and decided to cancel the award. Read the fury this caused here and a great article by Jason Steger in The Age, although this was not the first time no award has been presented, there have been nine previous times since the prizes were established.
Nobel Prize for Literature
Since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for literature in memory of the Nobel Prize founder, Alfred Nobel who devoted his life to achievement. The Nobel Prize currently carries a cash prize of 10 million Swedish Kroner per full Nobel Prize and is awarded to the person or people who, in the literary field, have produced "the most outstanding work in an ideal direction". The Laureate should be determined by "the Academy in Stockholm", which was specified by the statutes of the Nobel Foundation to mean the Swedish Academy. These statutes defined literature as "not only belles-lettres, but also other writings which, by virtue of their form and style, possess literary value". At the same time, the restriction to works presented " during the preceding year" was softened: "older works" could be considered "if their significance has not become apparent until recently". It was also stated that candidates must be nominated in writing by those entitled to do so before 1 February each year.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 was awarded to Mo Yan "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".
Women's Prize for Fiction
The Women's Prize for Fiction has been going since 1996, and was more recently known as the Orange Prize. Originally started as a revolt against macho male fiction, the Women's Prize for Fiction celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world. The Women's Prize for Fiction is awarded annually for the best full novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK. Any woman writing in English - whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter - is eligible. The prize is the UK's most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by a woman and also provides a range of educational, literacy or research initiatives to support reading and writing.
After a 17 year partnership, the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction is the last time the awards will be associated to telco Orange. After much discussion in the media, the Orange Prize for Fiction has been restored to its original title, the Women's Prize for Fiction and will be funded by a group of private benefactors led by Cherie Blair and bestselling writers Joanna Trollope and Elizabeth Buchan.
On 16 April 2013 the shortlist was announced and included NW by Zadie Smith; Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel; Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver; Where'd you go Bernadette by Maria Semple; May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.
Commonwealth Writers Prize
Outstanding literary talent is awarded a Commonwealth Writers' Prize to encourage fiction and provide greater coverage to writers outside their country of origin. The main aim of the prize is to discover and promote up-and-coming and under-recognised writers as well as developing cultural appreciation.
Miles Franklin Literary Award
The Miles Franklin Literary Award was established in 1954 and is given for literature that best represents Australian life in any of its phases. Since the first award in 1957, the award aims to encourage authors who have delivered an immense contribution to the richness of Australian cultural life.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award which celebrates Australian character and creativity and comes with a $50,000 prize has annouced it's 2012 short-list which included Blood by Tony Birch, All That I am by Anna Funder, Foal's Bread by Gilliam Mears, Cold Light by Frank Moorehouse and Past The Shallows by Favel Parrett. The winner was announced on 21 June 2012 and the award went to Anna Funder with All That I Am which has been garnering huge praise and prizes this year. To see the complete long list for the 2012 award, click here.
The Costa Book Awards
Commencing in 1971, as the Whitbread Literary Awards which subsequently changed to Whitbread Book Awards and since 2006 The Costa Book Awards has become one of the most prestigious and popular literary prizes in the UK and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. The Costa Book Awards has five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book. One of these five books is selected as the overall winner of the Book of the Year. The winner for the Costa Book Awards 2011 saw a two-way tussle between fact and fiction with Andrew Miller the eventual winner for his sixth novel, Pure.
The 2012 Costa Awards were announced on 2 January 2013 with female winners in each category. Awards went to:-
Costa Novel Award: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Costa First Novel Award: The Innocents by Francesca Segal
Costa Biography Award: Dotter of her Father's Eyes by Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot
Costa Poetry Award: The Overhaul by Kathleen Jamie
Costa Children's Book Ward: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
On 29 January 2013, the Overall Costa Book of the Year has been awarded to Hilary Mantal's Bring Up the Bodies. The sequel to Mantel's award-winning novel Wolf Hall and the second book of a trilogy, Bring Up the Bodies continues the life of Thomas Cromwell and explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history, the destruction of Anne Boleyn.
Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot
Other Literary Awards
There are hundreds if not thousands of literary awards globally, so we have selected a few that catch our eye every now and again and if you are interested in reading something different try some of these.
WA Premier's Literary Awards
The 2012 winners of the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards have been announced. On 17 September 2012, Premier Colin Barnett announced that Fiona Skyring's Justice: A History of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia as the winner of the 2011 Premier's Prize, collecting the Premier's Prize and the WA History prize. In this history, Skyring provides one of the most comprehensive and challenging investigations of the political and legal vicissitudes indigenous Australians have confronted in Western Australia since European settlement. This elegantly written, painstakingly researched and profoundly relevant publication is a ‘must read’ for all Western Australians as, knowingly or not, all are inextricably involved in this story.
Other winners included:-
Children's Literature: Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck by Michelle Gillespie, illustrated by Sonia Martinez
Fiction and People's Choice Award: All That I Am by Anna Funder
Non-Fiction: Her Father's Daughter by Alice Pung
Young Adult Fiction: Only Ever Always by Penni Russon
The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award
Congratulations to Paul D Carter, winner of the 2012 The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award with his manuscript, Eleven Seasons. Paul was awarded a cheque from Vogel's for $20,000. Paul D. Carter is a Melbourne-based English and Creative Writing teacher, so it is great to see those who are teaching can actually preach what they teach. His book will be available for purchase in bookstores nationally today. The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award remains the richest and most prestigious prize for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of 35 in Australia. This year is the 31st awarding of the prestigious prize. The Award has launched the careers of some of Australia's most successful authors, including Tim Winton, Kate Grenville and Andrew McGahan.
US National Book Award for Fiction
The 2012 National Book Award Finalists was announced on 10 October 2012:-
Fiction: Junot Diaz (This Is How You Lose Her), Dave Eggers (A Hologram for the King), Louise Erdrich (The Round House), Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk) and Kevin Powers (The Yellow Birds)
NonFiction: Anne Applebaum (Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956), Katherine Boo (Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity), Robert A. Caro (The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4), Domingo Martinez (The Boy Kings of Texas) and Anthony Shadid (House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East
Poetry: David Ferry (Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations), Cynthia Huntington (Heavenly Bodies), Time Seibles (Fast Animal), Alan Shapiro (Night of the Republic), Susan Wheeler (Meme)
Young People's Literature: William Alexander (Goblin Secrets), Carrie Arcos (Out of Reach), Patricia McCormick (Never Fall Down), Eliot Schrefer (Endangered), Steve Sheinkin (Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon).
The National Book Awards will be presented on 14 November 2012.
Crime Writers' Association (CWA) Awards
On 16 February 2012, Frederick Forsyth was awarded the Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for his standards of research-based authenticity in thrillers and sustained excellence. On 18 October 2012 the CWA Gold Dagger was presented to The Rage by Gene Kerrigan, the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger was presented to A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming and the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger was presented to A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash.
IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
The 2012 winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is Jon McGregor for Even the Dogs. The 2012 shortlist also included Australian author Jon Bauer being nominated for his novel Rocks in the Belly, The Matter with Morris (David Bergen), A Visit from the Goon Square (Jennifer Egan), The Memory of Love (Aminatta Forna), Matterhorn (Karl Marlants), Landed (Tim Pears), Limassol (Yishai Sarid), The Eternal Sun (Cristovao Tezza) and Lean on Pete (Willy Vlautin). The winner will be announced on 13 June 2012.
Let the Great World Spin by Colin McCann was the winner of the 2011 IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards.
Australian Prime Minister's Literary Awards
The 2012 winners have been announced for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. The awards were created to recognise literary excellence in Australian fiction, non-fiction, young adult fiction and children’s fiction. This year's winners are:-
Fiction: Foal's Bread (Gillian Mears). Gillian Mears also won the 2012 ALS Gold Medal.
Poetry: Interferon Psalms (Luke Davies)
Non-fiction: An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark (Mark McKenna)
Prize for Australian History: The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aboriginies Made Australia (Bill Gammage)
Young adult fiction: When We Were Two (Robert Newton)
Children's fiction: Goodnight, Mice! (written by Frances Watts and illustrated by Judy Watson)
2012 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAS)
Congratulations to the following authors who have won the 2012 awards:-
International Success of the Year: Midnight in Peking by Paul French
Illustrated Book of the Year: Tasting India by Christine Manfield
General Non-fiction Book of the Year: Women's Stuff by Kaz Cooke
Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0 to 8 years): One Small Island by Alison Lester, illustrated by Coral Tulloch
Literary Fiction Book of the Year: All That I Am by Anna Funder. This book was also nominated for the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist and the 2012 ALS Gold Medal Shortlist (announced 4 July 2012) and shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferies Award (announced in May 2012) and also the winner of the India Awards 2012.
General Fiction Book of the Year: Lola's Secret by Monica McInerney
Book of the Year: All That I Am by Anna Funder