In late 2016, it was announced that singer/songwriter Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. His winning of the award caused a slight stir among some bibliophiles whilst others argued his soulful lyrics were worthy of such a prize. Things were further complicated when it was revealed that Dylan had ignored the academy’s attempts to contact him.
After several weeks, Dylan finally revealed he would accept the award but stated he could not travel to Stockholm for the Nobel Prize Ceremony due to “pre-existing commitments”. U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji, gave Dylan’s speech at the banquet and Patti Smith accepted Dylan’s Nobel with a performance of his song A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.
In early April the academy met with Dylan in a private ceremony where he received the medal and diploma. You can know listen to Dylan’s lecture which praises books such as Moby Dick, The Odyssey, and All Quiet on the Western Front. The lecture was recorded and uploaded to the academy’s website.
You can listen to it for yourself below:
The hall of fame for sci-fi and fantasy has been going since 1996 and Lee will be the first comic book writer to be included. Both he and Rowling have made a significant impact on the world of pop culture this past decade, with a stream of books and movies and an ever-expanding universe for both Marvel and the Potter fandom.
The scandal continued with many members resigning in protest, leaving the Academy in crisis due to its own rules. It looked as though the entire Nobel Prize Academy might have been disbanded forever but it was ultimately saved, although 2018 will be the first year in 69 years that the awards have not been given.
Tim Waterstone, founder of the eponymous book shop chain has been recognised with a knighthood for services to bookselling and charity. Author Kazuo Ishiguro has also received a knighthood for services to literature.
500 Words 2018 has set another record for entries: this year saw over 135,000 people enter with their stories. The stories were read by a team of 5000 volunteers- librarians and teachers from around the UK- before being pared down to the Top 50 by The Reading Agency. The panel of judges, Charlie Higson, Francesca Simon, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Malorie Blackman and Honorary Judge, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, had the gruelling task then of selecting three winners from two age categories (5-9 years and 10-13 years).
The final was presented by BBC’s Chris Evans, and was an exciting and glamorous day of live music and story-telling. The six winners were announced on BBC Radio 2 by British and Irish funnymen, David Walliams and Dara O’Briain. There was also music from John Newman, Alexandra Burke and Bastille to round off the celebrations.
The 16 original books were read and discussed by the panel of judges- Sarah Sands, Katy Brand, Anita Anand, Catherine Mayer, and Imogen Stubbs- and whittled down to a final fantastic 6. After much deliberation those 6 were discussed and debated until one winner was decided upon.
Congratulations to the winner- Kamila Shamsie with Home Fire.