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. On 18 September 2013, The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation announced that the Man Booker Prize is to expand eligibility for entry for future prizes to include novels originally written in English and published in the UK, regardless of the nationality of their author. This change came into effect for the 2014 prize.
The Key Dates for the 2015 Prize are: the longest will be announced on 29 July 2015, the shortlist will be announced on 15 September 2015 and the winner will be announced on 13 October 2015.
Eleanor Catton became the youngest ever winner of the Man Booker Prize (2013) with her second novel The Luminaries. Set against New Zealand's nineteenth-century gold rush, the novel marries a story of fallen women, murder and conspiracy with an inventive and complex structure based around astrological charts - asking questions about fate, character and destiny.
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.
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 2013 was awarded to Alice Munro for her mastery of the contemporary short story.
Baileys 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.
From 2014 the prize (which was previously called The Orange Prize) will be known as The Baileys' Women's Prize for Fiction.
After announcing the Longlist in March 2015, the shortlist was announced containing size books: Outline (Rachel Cusk), The Bees (Laline Paull), A God in Every Stone (Kamila Shamsie), How to be Both (Ali Smith), A Spool of Blue Threat (Anne Tyler) and The Paying Guests (Sarah Waters).
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.
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 2014 Costa Book Awards Winners were:-
Overall Prize: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Novel Award: How to be Both by Ali Smith
First Novel Award: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Biography Award: H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
Short Story Award: Fishskin, Hareskin by Zoe Gilbert
Poetry Award: My Family and Other Superheroes by Jonathan Edwards
Children's Book Award: Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders
Australian Prime Minister's Literary Awards
The Prime Ministerís Literary Awards have been recognising excellence in Australian literature since 2008. In that time 108 books have been shortlisted and 18 books have won. The Prime Ministerís Literary Awards shortlist and award winners across six categories: Fiction, Poetry, Non-fiction, Australian history, Young adult fiction and Childrenís fiction. The winner of each Award receives $80,000 tax free and shortlisted titles receive $5000 tax free. The Prime Minister's Literary Awards are Australia's richest literary prize. The 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Awards include the following:-
Fiction: A World of Other People (Steven Carroll) and The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Richard Flanagan) - joint winners
Poetry: Drag Down to Unlock or Place an Emergency Call by Melinda Smith
Non-fiction: Moving Among Strangers (Gabrielle Carey) and Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John (Helen Trinca) - joint winners
Prize for Australian History: Broke Nationa: Australians in the Great War (Joan Beaumont) and Australia's Secret War: How unionists sabotaged our troops in World War II (Hap G.P. Cole batch) - joint winners
Young adult fiction: The Incredible Here and Now (Felicity Castagna)
Childrenís fiction: Silver Buttons (Bob Graham)