Prizes Highlights: What You May Have Missed
By Caitlin Evans, Ellie Brady, Gabriella Sotiriou and Thomas Caldow
The Prizes team here at The Publishing Post have been run off our feet trying to keep up with all the exciting prizes and awards news flowing in and out of focus recently, which we figured means you would be too! Thus, for our sake and for yours, we’re bringing you a bumper feature with highlights and breaking news from the prizes scene in recent weeks.
Costa Book Awards Announces Closure
After fifty successful years, Costa Coffee have unexpectedly announced that the awards for 2021 are to be their last. The awards were founded in 1971 and were previously named the Whitbread Book awards before they picked up sponsorship from Costa. They quickly became one of the most popular book awards in the UK, which is why the news comes as a shock to many. Costa have not yet explained their decision to end involvement with the award, but have confirmed that they have no intention of finding another sponsor for now. How, or if, this closure will affect the literary industry remains to be seen.
Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Winners
On 16 June, the Yoto Carnegie Greenaway Awards were announced during a ceremony held at the British Library. The Yoto Carnegie Medal was awarded to Katya Balen for her middle-grade novel October, October. The novel is Balen’s second published book and follows the story of an eleven-year-old girl who has spent her childhood living wild in the woods.
The Yoto Kate Greenaway Medal was awarded to Danica Novgorodoff for her illustrated edition of Jason Reynold’s novel, Long Way Down. It is her debut illustrated children’s book and is a unique adaptation of Reynolds’ novel exploring gun violence through hundreds of watercolour images. It is also the first graphic novel to have won the Greenaway Medal since 1973.
Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner
This month, The Women’s Prize for Fiction announced the hotly anticipated winner of this year’s award. Ruth Ozeki’s fourth novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness, came out on top amongst a very strong field. Ozeki is no stranger to critical acclaim, her previous novel, A Tale for the Time Being making the 2018 Man Booker Shortlist. The judges were particularly impressed with what they described as the novel’s “sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy.”
Alongside the praise heaped onto Ozeki’s writing, she will also take home the “Bessie,” a limited-edition bronze figurine designed by sculptor Grizel Niven, as well as a £30,000 cash prize donated anonymously to the organisation.
In previous years winners such as Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet have become bestsellers, a testament to both the quality of novels that the prize honours, as well as the brand recognition of a literary prize now in its twenty-sixth year. We can only hope that a novel as striking as The Book of Form and Emptiness finds the same success.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) announced the winners of the fifty-seventh annual Nebula Awards via a live broadcast in May 2022, hosted by Connie Willis and Neil Gaiman. The Nebula Awards celebrate excellence within the science fiction and fantasy genre and has categories for novels, novella, novelettes, short stories, middle-grade/YA fiction, dramatic presentations (TV series and films) and game writing.
This year’s winners as voted by Full, Associate and Senior members of SFWA include P. Djèlí Clark’s A Master of Djinn (Tordotcom and Orbit UK) for the novel category and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki for his novelette O2 Arena (Galaxy’s Edge 11/21). And What Can We Offer You Tonight (Neon Hemlock) by Premee Mohamed was awarded the novella prize out of a very strong shortlist, minus Martha Well’s FugitiveTelemetry: Murderbot Diaries (Tordotcom), as she graciously declined her nomination.
Sarah Pinsker received the short story award for Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather (Uncanny 3-4/21) and Darcie Little Badger won the middle-grade/YA category with her novel A Snake Falls to Earth (Levine Querido). The winners of the dramatic presentation writing and game writing were WandaVision: Season 1 and Thirsty Sword Lesbians.
Lambda Literary Award Winners
The Lambda Literary Awards champion vibrant and vital LGBTQIA+ storytelling. Since 1989 the Lambda Awards have offered cash prizes and recognition for LGBTQIA+ authors and their works with twenty-four categories, awarded annually in New York City. Previous winners include LGBTQIA+ publisher Brian Lam at Canada’s Arsenal Pulp Press, and author Nancy Agabian for her work on feminism and queer identity.
2022’s winners include Mia McKenzie’s endearing novel Skye Falling (Random House) for Lesbian Fiction, where free-spirited, independent Skye reaches her forties realising she may have to make moves at a serious relationship after all. Brontez Purnell’s 100 Boyfriends (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) won for Gay Fiction, a funny, ferocious, yet delicate look at the imperfection of gay lives and the struggle among queer men to resist self-sabotage. Additional winners include Jeanne Thorton’s Summer Fun for Transgender Fiction and Aisha Sabatini Sloan’s Borealis for Bisexual Non-Fiction among many exciting others.