Eight Writers Encouraged to Keep Writing with $165,000 Award

By March 15, 2019 Literary Awards, News

An award such as the Windham-Campbell Prize is a highly sought after accolade and one of the richest literary prizes in the world.  Eight English language authors are selected every year to “call attention to literary achievement” and let writers “focus on their work independent of financial concerns”.

Basically every writer’s dream- to get paid to keep writing what you want to write.

The Windham-Campbell prizes were established in 2013, thanks to the writer Donald Windham leaving his estate to Yale University. Windham struggled financially during his first attempts at being a professional author, and along with his partner Sandy Campbell, had long wanted to create a literary award to support fellow writers. Authors are anonymously nominated and judged, and winners are notified by the prize director Michael Kelleher with no previous warning.

Donald Windham left his estate to his fellow writers in the form of a literary prize

One winner, Danielle McLaughlin- author of Dinosaurs on Other Planets, was on a day out with her family to mark a significant birthday when she discovered she’d won one of this year’s Windham-Campbell prizes, and it seems the prize came at a good time.

“It was like a miracle,” McLaughlin said, “arriving at a time when I was experiencing a bit of a wobble, psychologically, in my writing life. In a sense, it was like an answer to a question I had started asking myself.”

Joining McLaughlin for this year’s honourable prizes are essayist Rebecca Solnit, historian and journalist Raghu Karnad, poet Kwame Dawes, novelist David Chariandy, poet Ishion Hutchinson, and playwrights Patricia Cornelius, and Young Jean Lee.

McLaughlin, who first entered the professional literary world in 2015 with a collection of short fiction, was chosen by judges for her stories that they say “capture the beauty and brutality of human relationships, imbuing them with near-magical qualities rooted in the details of everyday life in a manner both wry and resonant”.

Commenting on the uneasy world of a writing career, McLaughlin said:

“A lot of the writing life involves working on projects that not only don’t earn any money but are loss making. So this kind of support is immensely important.”

The lucky winner is now planning to “treat myself to a year of writing, writing, writing”.

Kwame Dawes, author of City of Bones, explained how he feels about the award:

“It is good to be seen,” he said. “My general reaction is gratitude, and joy because I could walk down the hall to the dining room and say to my wife Lorna, ‘Guess what?’ And we could laugh. And she could ask, ‘SO is there any money?’ And we could laugh more. And then tell the children, and they could laugh and say, ‘Nice one, pops.’ Which is delightful.”

David Chariandy, who wrote Brother said:

“This prize is life-changing, since it affords me the chance to focus in a genuinely sustained way on my writing. I’m currently working on a triptych of a novel – a series of complicated but intimate affairs between people of African and South Asian descent, beginning in Trinidad during the uneasy post-emancipation/indenture period, and proceeding to Europe of the 50s and then North America of today”.

Rebecca Solnit, who inspired the term ‘mansplaining’ with her essay Men Explain Things to Me was in Bogotá when she heard the news:

“After the sheer amazement settled, I felt so grateful to have this encouragement and support to do what I’ve wanted to do all my life: just write books”.

Jamaican poet Hutchinson, author of House of Lords and Commons was pleasantly surprised by the award:

“It provides a buffer between the demands of day-to-day work and the imaginative work I am involved in. The Caribbean is still an unexplored and very rich terrain, and I feel bound up in a kind of excavation of what it means in multiple ways, to be a Jamaican, in light of history and our contemporary moment”.

His work was chosen for “conjuring Jamaica and the world within” in verse that “surprises and stuns with formal innovation, musical clarity, and historical depth”.

Winners of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019 Announced

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Last month we brought you the shortlist for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019, and what a worthy list it was. The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is an annual award given to a work of children’s literature published in the previous year. The award was first given back in 2005, and the purpose of the award is to “uncover hidden talent in children’s writing”, and is therefore only open to authors who have published no more than three books.

This week, the winners were announced and the overall winner is a gripping tale about a refugee boy and the judges are calling it a future classic.

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Amazon’s Kindle Storyteller Award Returns for Third Year

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Last week Amazon announced that the Kindle Storyteller Award, designed to recognise outstanding work by independent authors will be back for its third year in 2019. The award, that comes with a £20,000 cash prize is open to all authors of books published via Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk from 1st May 2019 to 31st August 2019.

The prize will be awarded to the work that receives praise not just from the judging panel and industry experts but also from readers too. The shortlist, to come later this year, will be compiled on the basis of a number of factors including sales, reader reviews and pages read in Kindle Unlimited.
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Eight Writers Encouraged to Keep Writing with $165,000 Award

By | Literary Awards, News | No Comments
An award such as the Windham-Campbell Prize is a highly sought after accolade and one of the richest literary prizes in the world.  Eight English language authors are selected every year to “call attention to literary achievement” and let writers “focus on their work independent of financial concerns”.

Basically every writer’s dream- to get paid to keep writing what you want to write.

The Windham-Campbell prizes were established in 2013, thanks to the writer Donald Windham leaving his estate to Yale University. Windham struggled financially during his first attempts at being a professional author, and along with his partner Sandy Campbell, had long wanted to create a literary award to support fellow writers. Authors are anonymously nominated and judged, and winners are notified by the prize director Michael Kelleher with no previous warning.

Read More

The Longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 is here

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Founded in 1996, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is a literary award, for women, by women and since its inception it’s become one of the most prestigious literary awards given out each year.

Earlier this month the 2019 longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced and we have that featured below. Coming up on April 29th will be the shortlist and we’ll bring you that as it happens, then the winner will be announced on June 5th.

Here’s that longlist and what a great list of books we have this year.

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British Book Awards Reveals Shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year

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We all love an independent bookshop and thankfully the UK is still full of these little treasures in almost every town. The British Book Awards, or Nibbies, has revealed the regional shortlists for the 2019 Independent Bookshop of the Year, an award that is sponsored by Gardners Books.

The Bookseller reports that in all, forty-eight bookshops are competing, from nine regions of the UK and are all hoping to win in their local area before going forward to compete for the overall, nationwide prize.

Here are the shortlisted books for each region. We have some of the bookshops listed in our bookshop section so the ones featured are linked:
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