Every culture has their own way of celebrating artistic achievements, and many societies honor the tradition of the written word. From the Nobel Prize to the Pulitzer, from the Hugo to the Agatha, there are many literary organizations that choose to honor the best in their field.
The most prestigious and well-known awards would have to include the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Carnegie Medal, the Newbery Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Even though many of those awards are presented to the best of general fiction published each year, there are many organizations that honor and celebrate fiction in niche genres. There are several literary awards presented each year for the science fiction and fantasy genre, and there are also several awards presented to honor the popular murder mystery genre as well. Even if these niche awards do not carry the prestige and press of the larger national awards, it speaks to the international community of book lovers that they have so many chances to celebrate their favorite books and authors.
There is always a bit of controversy when the winners of literary awards are announced. Many take pleasure in debating the merits of certain winners over other nominees, and it is always gratifying to watch great debates over literature. Many use the literary award season to discuss the book industry itself, and the awards themselves are often a marker for changing social progress. While many of the winners of the large national awards were made up almost solely of white men, the nominated authors have become increasingly diverse in both gender and race.
Winners of literary awards often enjoy increased book sales and often surge to the top of best sellers lists. Their novels become top contenders for school reading lists, and the authors become highly regarded public figures. Despite the controversy that these awards often generate, it is always compelling to watch as we encourage, honor, and celebrate the best of the written word.
I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.