Tag: Literaryprizes

Staunch Book Prize

This New Award Honors Thrillers That Don’t Rely on Violence Against Women

There’s honestly no way to sugar coat this: violence against women in fiction is at “a ridiculous high.” So much so that there’s a new literary prize being given out for the best thriller “in which no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.” 


Founded by author and screenwriter Bridget Lawless, the Staunch book prize will start accepting entries next month, with the winner announced on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Lawless is funding the £2,000 prize herself because she’s passionate about women and ending violence against them, even/especially in the literary world. The author said she was moved to launch the prize after seeing the number of films featuring rape as a plot device at last year’s British Academy Film (BAFTA) awards. Despite having a vote in the awards, she abstained. To The Guardian, Lawless said:


I thought, I can do one small thing. I thought I’d start with books. They are a source for so much material, and if I can have a tiny bit of influence there, it will help. There are so many books in which women are raped or murdered for an investigator or hero to show off his skills … This is about writers coming up with stories that don’t need to rely on sexual violence. Is there no other story?


Lawless further clarified her purpose on the prize’s website, writing


It’s way past time for something more original. As violence against women in fiction reaches a ridiculous high, the Staunch book prize invites thriller writers to keep us on the edge of our seats without resorting to the same old cliches – particularly female characters who are sexually assaulted (however ‘necessary to the plot’), or done away with (however ingeniously).


The Staunch book prize will disqualify work that does not meet its standard of no women in the story being “beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered,” and is open to stories across the thriller genre, including crime, psychological, comedy, and mystery. 


Featured Image Via Staunch Book Prize. 


Man Booker International Prize and Independent Foreign Fiction Prize To Merge

We report on a lot of different literary prizes here at The Reading Room, but we’re about to have one less to tell you about. 

Amid tough competition from other literary prizes, two awards – the Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize – have decided to merge and create one combined award.

Both of the merging prizes are based in the United Kingdom, and are focused on translations of international works originally written in languages other than English.

The new prize will be called the Man Booker International Award, and it will feature a larger purse than either of the previous awards: a total of £50,000 per year. That’s larger than the existing £30,000 per year (£60,000 for the winner selected every two years) Man Booker International Prize purse and the £10,000 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize purse. £50,000 is about $77,000 US. The prize money will be split equally between the author and the translator of the winning work, as was already the case with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. In addition, the shortlisted authors and translators will earn £1,000 each.

The merger will be complete in time for the first combined prize to be awarded in 2016.

Image courtesy of Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images