New Literary Prize Aims To Honour Works Featuring Women

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Make way for the future Katnisses and Jane Eyres!

A new literary prize worth $50,000 US ($63,370 CAD) will honour unpublished works featuring women protagonists.

The idea behind the prize, called the Half the World Global Literati Award, is to promote women, in a field that honours mostly men for the prestigious awards.

So, what can be submitted for consideration? According to the prize's website, short stories, novels and screenplays written in English, and which feature women, are welcome.

"Women aren’t interesting, this result says. Women don’t count."

There's also no restrictions on the genre, whether it be romance, science fiction, crime, biographical memoir or erotica. The only request? That it "gives fresh insight into the lives of women."

"According to 2015 research from author Nicola Griffith, the majority of the significant literary prizes are awarded to works written from a male perspective," Caroline Bowler, who represents the award, told the CBC.

Griffith analyzed 15 years' worth of results of major literary prizes, including the Pulitzer and Man Booker Prizes. Her research showed that many of the winning books were written from a male character's perspective.

"At the top of the prestige ladder, for the Pulitzer Prize women wrote zero out of 15 prize-winning books wholly from the point of view 2 of a woman or girl. Zero," wrote Griffith. "For the prize that recognizes 'the most distinguished fiction by an American author,' not a single book-length work from a woman’s perspective or about a woman was considered worthy. Women aren’t interesting, this result says. Women don’t count."

The Half the World Global Literati Award aims to close that gender gap. But despite that mandate, Canadians of any gender can enter to win the prize, which is open for submissions until June 8.

So, if you have a novel hiding in your drawer, now's the time to brush the dust off!

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