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All shall have prizes

22 February 2016

Nick Clee asks in this week's Bookbrunch if you need to transcend a prize to win it, inspired by the Costa win by Frances Hardinge's children's book. In this age of proliferating book prizes it's a reasonable question to ask, but does anyone really think that literary prizes should be thrown open to those who are writing, for instance, category romance or horror fiction?

In spite of a lot of arguing about the winners of prizes such as the Booker, the National Book Award or the Costas, doesn't everyone really think that literary fiction is what should be what is being judged?

And isn't it reasonable perhaps that this should be so - that literary fiction, where what is being judged is literary merit, needs this reward, since selling well (unless it does win a major prize) is not going to be one of the options?

Whereas category fiction and a lot of other popular fiction are where the obvious financial rewards are.