There is certainly no shortage of awards in the literary world. From the general to the specific; from the highly desired to the barely recognised; from popular vote awards to those judged by experts — there are lots of awards to go around.
It seems like every time I venture out into cyberspace, someone is winning an award for something. Not that this is a bad thing. There are so many excellent books being published each year, that even with the plethora of available awards, they are still only scratching the surface of all those deserving of recognition.
On a personal level, I find myself not thinking about awards all that much. Yes, it’s very nice when you win one… but not winning one does not make your book any less worth reading. And often it is a matter of personal opinion. Literature, like any art form, is very subjective. What one person adores as brilliant, another may despise as worthless. I often look at awards lists and think to myself that, if it were up to me, I would have made some very different choices.
On a professional level, I am interested in awards, as they can help to promote a book. My publisher (Ford Street Publishing) was very happy when my teen novel, Gamers’ Quest, won a Chronos Award earlier this year. It meant that I could have an award sticker on the book cover, as they tend to attract attention… even if the average teenager has no idea what a Chronos Award is.
Being a children’s author, I tend to keep an eye on the awards specifically targeting books for kids and teens, such as the YABBA awards, the Inkys and the CBCA awards. But I’m also a writer of, and major fan of, science fiction. So I am rather interested in seeing the outcome of two upcoming sets of awards — the Ditmars and the Hugos.
The Hugos are awards for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy, presented annually at the World Science Fiction Convention, and voted on by the members of that convention. This year’s convention, just in case you haven’t already heard, is being held in Melbourne. It’s the 68th World Science Fiction Convention and it is only the 4th time it has made it to our shores. More info about this year’s convention, called Aussiecon 4, is available from their website. And here’s the list of this year’s Hugo Award nominees. A VERY impressive list of talent!
The Ditmars are the Australian SF Awards, created to recognise excellence in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror by Australians. Each year they are presented at the National Science Fiction Convention. There’s an amazing array of local talent on this year’s ballot… go on, take a look. I’d be surprised if you didn’t recognise at least some of the names that appear on it. This year, I’m rather excited by this set of awards because H Gibbens, computer animator extraordinaire, is on the ballot for the book trailer he created for Gamers’ Quest. He did an amazing job with the trailer, so I am extremely pleased to see him getting some recognition for it. I’ve posted the trailer on this blog before, but what the hell… here it is again.
So what do people think of awards? Do they make a difference to your reading choices? Do you seek out award winning books?
And tune in next time when I’ll be writing about talking about writing.
Catch ya later, George