Book Awards for Fiction


(Jennifer D.) #1

Hi everyone!

I have been thinking a lot about book awards lately. The Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) recently shared their 2015 longlist and I am trying to read through the contenders before the award is given in June.

I would love to know:

  1. Do you follow book awards for fiction? What do you enjoy about book awards?
  2. If you do follow them - which ones are your favourite?
  3. Which book have you discovered, and loved, because of a book award?
  4. If you don't follow book awards - what is it about the idea that holds no interest for you?

Thanks for considering my questions; I am keen to read your responses. smile


(Jennifer D.) #2

It seems only fair that I answer my own questions! smile

  1. I do follow book awards. Even though I am fairly immersed in the book world, I always manage to discover some gems that were previously unknown to me, thanks to a longlist. I will admit that, as a book nerd, I get fairly excited when awards are being announced. There is one that is live broadcast in Canada (mentioned below, in Q2), and it's better than Oscar night for me.

  2. Well, I already noted the Women's Prize for Fiction, it's a favourite. I also really like The Giller Prize, which is a big award in Canada. As well, I enjoy following The Booker Prizes, the National Book Award, and the IMPAC Dublin Award - though their longlist is a bit ridiculous. (142 titles this year!)

  3. Quite a few, but off the top of my head, I adored The Good Lord Bird, by James McBride. It won the NBA in 2013.

  4. While I follow book awards, I get very curious about the behind-the-scenes machinations. I am fascinated by the jury process and would love to be a fly on the wall. And I sometimes get sad that so many great books fly under the radar and just don't garner the same level of attention as other books - even though the quality may be just as good, or better, than nominated works.


(Outlandish Lit) #3
  1. I didn't used to follow book awards, but I just started following one!
  2. Well, if I see a book one a Man Booker Prize, I'm generally inclined to trust it. But other than that I'm super interested in the Stella Prize (my list of the longlist here), which gives awards to books written by Australian women authors. Everything I've seen from there has been phenomenal. Mostly things I haven't heard of before!
  3. From the Stella Prize: All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld. Absolutely amazing book. I haven't read anything else from it, because some of these books are too Australian to be at my library yet. But I'm about to start Burial Rites because of it!
  4. I didn't always follow awards, because it kind of seems like a snobby popularity contest for a lot of them, in simple terms. But I find longlists to be a great way to discover books I wouldn't have otherwise known about.

(Jennifer D.) #4

Ah, yes -- I try to pay attention to the Stella Prize too. I loved Burial Rites, what a great debut novel. I read that Geraldine Brooks is Hannah Kent's writing mentor and I am pretty happy yet envious about that. smile


(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #5

And older topic, but weighing in today.
LOVE book awards or more specifically, love seeing the longlists and shortlists!
So many great book awards and it's been a wonderful way of discovering books to add to the mountainous TBR. :slight_smile:

I do love
* The Bailey's Women's Prize
* The Stella Prize (I find these books are tricky to get here in Canada sometimes though)
* The Giller Prize
* The Governor General's Literary Awards
* The Man Booker Prize
The number of CDN Non-fiction prizes has made a huge impact in my awareness of NF reading....

I think the Bailey's and the Stella prizes are ones where I've found newly discovered titles. I recently purchased World Without Us by Mireille Juchau based on the longlist from the Stella prize.


(Jennifer D.) #6

So happy to have you weigh in and bump this topic, @Penny_Kollar! :slight_smile:

I think we are getting close-ish to a Bailey's longlist. Isn't that usually in early-March? I think so. The website is only showing the date of 7th June for the announcement of the winner. They are also reducing the longlist this year, from 20 titles to 12 titles. The shortlist will remain at 6 books. (They have a new organization administering the prize, so that resulted in the reduced longlist.)

Anyway.... excited for sure!!


(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #7

So it won't be Bailey's?


(Jennifer D.) #8

Oh, no -- sorry I was unclear. It's still the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction... just the wrangling of the award process behind the scenes is being handled by a different organization. This was the announcement.

The Society of Authors are taking over the role from BookTrust, the largest reading charity in the UK, who have administered the Prize since its inception but now have a concentrated focus on children’s books and reading.


(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #9

Yesterday the longlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction was announced. What a great list of books!
Book prize long-and-shortlists = toppling TBR lists!


(Jennifer D.) #10

So good, eh?? Historical fiction is a particular favourite area of reding for me. Thanks for sharing that here, @Penny_Kollar!!! :slight_smile:


(Janine Tabor) #11

I'm of the opinion that these awards are controlled by publishers. I seldom agree with them.


(Jennifer D.) #12

So George Saunders won this year’s Booker Prize for Lincoln in the Bardo.

Have you read it?

If you haven’t – are you more interested in reading it now that it’s won this award?


(Penny / Literary Hoarders ) #13

I’ve heard so many mixed reactions to this book – I did read Suanders’ Tenth of December - a collection of short stories. I wasn’t a fan overall, so I have hesitated on picking this one up. I just don’t know if I’ll read it, or sometime soon? What about you @Jennifer_D - are you planning on reading it?


(Jennifer D.) #14

i own it… but, like you, i’ve heard so many mixed reactions that it hasn’t done much to make me eager to dive into it.