There are many prestigious awards worldwide, but few are as highly esteemed as literary awards. These awards recognize the best writing of the year, and the writers who receive them are often viewed as some of the greatest minds of their generation. Here we give you the most prestigious literary awards in the world.
During the holiday season, reading can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity. Not only does it give you something to do during moments of downtime, but it also helps stimulate your mind and expand your knowledge. Why not choose books recognized with prestigious book awards instead of just any book?
10 most prestigious Literature Awards in the world
These awards recognize excellence in writing, so reading books honoured as some of the greatest works in literature will give you a unique reading experience. You’ll be partaking in a literary journey through the eyes of some of history’s most talented authors.
Here are the most prestigous literary awards in the world:
The Nobel Prize in Literature is one of the most prestigious awards to recognize excellence in literary works. Established by Alfred Nobel in 1895, it is awarded annually to an author who has produced the “most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency” in literature.
The award is presented to a writer who has demonstrated mastery in either epic, novel-writing, lyric poetry or drama. The selection of the winning author is made by the Swedish Academy, a panel of eighteen members appointed by the Swedish government. Since its inception, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been presented to authors ranging from Alfred Nobel to William Butler Yeats, Ernest Hemingway, and Toni Morrison. It has been an honour for the world’s most celebrated authors and a source of inspiration for generations of writers.
Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature 2022 – Annie Ernaux:
The Pulitzer Prize in Literature, established in 1917, is an annual award presented by Columbia University to recognize outstanding achievements in American literature. Pulitzer Prize recipients are selected by a jury of prominent authors, critics and editors who base their decision on literary merits. Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded to many of America’s most celebrated authors, including Ernest Hemingway, Harper Lee and Toni Morrison.
Pulitzer Prize-winning works often feature powerful and timeless stories that capture readers’ hearts. Pulitzer literature prizes are a symbol of excellence in writing and a testament to literature’s power to move and inspire.
A selection of Pulitzer price winners 2022:
The Neustadt International Prize For Literature is biennially awarded to a living author who has published works of exceptional literary merit. The Neustadt Prize is often regarded as a similar level to the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Established in 1969 by the Neustadt family of Oklahoma, it is administered by the World Literature Today magazine, and published at the University of Oklahoma. It is solely funded by the Neustadt family. The Neustadt International Prize for Literature recipient is chosen through a two-stage process.
First, a select group of authors are nominated by Neustadt International Prize’s sponsors and literary professionals from around the world. Then, an international jury of prominent authors, critics and academics evaluate these nominees and select the Neustadt laureate. The Neustadt Prize includes a monetary award of $50,000 and a citation that describes the laureate’s outstanding accomplishments.
Neustadt Prize laureates are recognized for their exceptional achievements in the world of literature and have become part of a prestigious community with some of the most influential authors in the world, such as Gabriel García Márquez, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka.
Winner of Neustadt International Prize For Literature 2022 – Boubakar Boris Diop:
The National Book Award in Literature is a prestigious literary prize that has been awarded annually since 1950 by the National Book Foundation. It is given to recognize the best fiction and non-fiction books written by American authors during the preceding year.
Winners of the National Book Award often become some of the most celebrated authors of the time, and the award frequently serves as a predictor of future literary success. The selection process for the National Book Award is highly rigorous and involves a panel of five judges from each category—fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. Each judge reads and evaluates hundreds of books, selecting only the most deserving works for recognition.
To win the National Book Award is an honour that many authors strive for and is a sign of their outstanding achievements in literature.
National Book Award winners 2022:
The Booker Prize is a literary award given annually to the best book written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. The award was established by booker plc in 1968 and is one of the most important prizes in world of literature. The book must be originally written in English, but translations are eligible for the prize. The award is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English, and living anywhere in the world.
The book has to be published between October and September of the preceding year. Each book is judged by a panel of five judges, including writers, academics, and book industry professionals, who select a shortlist of six books and then announce the booker winner in October.
The booker prize is awarded to an author for a book deemed to have the best “combination of outstanding literary merit and popular appeal”. The booker prize winner receives £50,000 plus book deals with booker plc. The booker prize has been awarded to some of the greatest authors in the world, such as Salman Rushdie, Hilary Mantel and Margaret Atwood. The booker prize is an excellent opportunity for authors to receive recognition for their work and to gain book deals and book success.
The Booker prize winner 2022 – Shehan Karunatilak for his novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida:
The International Booker Prize is an international literary prize awarded annually to a single book in any language that has been translated into English and published in the United Kingdom. It is sponsored by the Man Group and was first awarded in 2005. This prestigious international award seeks to honour works of fiction from around the world and celebrate the global scope of modern literature.
It was created to increase international recognition for authors and translators and to encourage more international exchange in the world of literature. The International Booker Prize is awarded to books of ‘exceptional literary merit’, which are selected by independent international judging panels. Winners of the International Booker Prize receive a prize of £50,000 (approximately $61,000) split between both the author and translator.
International Booker Prize winner 2022 – Tomb of Sand, written by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell:
The British Book Awards in Literature is an annual award that recognizes and celebrates the best books of the year by authors from Great Britain. It was established in 1991 and is widely recognized as one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the UK. The award winners are chosen by an independent panel of judges who look for works that demonstrate outstanding quality, creativity and originality.
The awards cover a range of genres and categories, including fiction, children’s books, non-fiction and poetry. The winners of the leading British Book Awards in Literature receive a cash prize and recognition from literary and publishing professionals. In addition to the main award, several other awards are presented, celebrating achievement in different literature areas. The British Book Awards in Literature are a great way to recognize the talent of authors from Great Britain and celebrate the best books of the year.
A selection of winners in the British Book Awards 2022:
The PEN America Literary Awards in Literature are awards that honour writers for their exceptional achievements in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biography and more.
The awards were established in 1950 by PEN America, the US branch of PEN International, a global association of writers dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and promoting literature. PEN America’s Literary Awards recognize writers in various categories, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biography/autobiography, drama, and translation.
Furthermore, PEN America’s Awards also recognize emerging writers and translations of significant works from other languages into English. PEN America’s Literary Awards celebrate the best of literature and recognize writers for their considerable impact on culture and society. PEN America is proud to continue a tradition of recognizing the finest writers, their works, and their tireless efforts to promote freedom of expression.
A selection of winners at the PEN America Literary Awards 2022:
9. Edgar Awards
The Edgar Awards, also known as The Edgar Allan Poe Awards, are an annual set of awards presented by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) to recognize outstanding work in the mystery genre. Named for Edgar Allan Poe, the Edgar Awards honour authors and professionals in both print and electronic media for their exceptional contributions to the genre, including the best novel, best short story, best juvenile mystery, and more.
The Edgar Awards are considered one of the most prestigious awards for mystery writers and fans of the genre. Winners are announced every spring, and Edgar Awards ceremonies occur annually across the United States. Edgar Award winners receive a statuette of Edgar Allan Poe, a plaque, and an invitation to the Edgar Awards Banquet. The Edgar Awards are a great honour for authors and professionals of the mystery genre and serve to recognize those who have made an exceptional contribution to mystery writing.
A selection of winners at the Edgar Awards 2022:
The National Book Critics Circle Award in Literature is an accolade given out near the end of every year to honour outstanding writing from authors across the United States. Started in 1974 by John Leonard, an American journalist and literary critic, the National Book Critics Circle Award is one of the country’s most prestigious awards for books.
It has since become a symbol of excellence and appreciation for writers who have produced outstanding works. The National Book Critics Circle award is typically given to authors who have written books of literary merit that are critically acclaimed and commercially successful. The winners are usually announced at the National Book Critics Circle Awards Ceremony, which is held in New York City. It is an event that honours the most impactful writing across all genres of literature.