You can likely name a few of the biggest awards in T.V and film, but can you do the same for books? We break down five prestigious book awards that have helped shape adult and children’s literature over the years.
The Mighty Nobel.
Perhaps considered one of the most prestigious awards is the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel Prize for literature has been awarded yearly since 1901 to any author who has contributed an “outstanding work of literature.” Previous winners have included, T.S Elliot, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, and, even Bob Dylan! The 2019 winner was Australian author and artist, Peter Handke.
Trivia fact: there have only been 15 female winners compared to their 101 male counterparts.
The National Book Award
Announced on the 20th of November, the National Book Award celebrates America’s best literature. The National Book Award recognizes a unique author for works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translated literature, and children’s literature. Guided by principals of diversifying the cultural landscape and ensuring books remain accessible to all audiences, the National Book Award is a prestigious honor for any author.
Up next is the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. This award recognizes a distinguished work of fiction by an American author usually dealing with topics surrounding American life. All works nominated for the prize have been written the preceding calendar year. The 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to Richard Powers for his novel, The Overstory.
In non-sequential order of importance comes the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. This award often competes with the Nobel in terms of its high regard. It is a biennial award (meaning it takes place every other year) and many of the winners have also been awarded Nobels. The award is given to an author in recognition for an outstanding achievement in poetry, fiction or drama. The winner to be recognized for the year 2020 is Ismail Kadare for his work, Broken April.
Don’t Forget the Kids!
The Newberry Medal is awarded annually to an author who has produced an outstanding work of children’s literature. Awarded to by the Association for Library Service to Children, the Newberry Medal was named after British book keeper, John Newberry. Newberry was most often referred to as, “the father of children’s literature.” This years Newberry Medalist is Merci Suarez for her book, Changes Gears.
And there you have it! That is the run down for five of the most important literary book awards for both adult and children’s books. Hopefully you can use this information to woo your guests the next time you host book club night. Make sure to tag us on social media @WestMarginPress to let us know if you’ve read any prize winning books!
If you’re looking for a few books to add to your reading list, head over to this section of the blog to get our picks on the season’s hottest reads.