Book awards

Book awards

Information about book awards from the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards to the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Literary prizes celebrate creative achievement and artistic excellence. Since 1901, when the first Nobel Prize for Literature went to Sully Prudhomme over Leo Tolstoy, they have been often accompanied by the whiff of scandal. Despite this - or perhaps because of it - the number of prizes continues to increase, as do the rewards reaped by the winners.

This section is divided into three parts, which list the winners of the major awards - International award winners, NZ fiction award winners, and NZ children's book award winners.

There is a more thorough list of book awards below, which give links to find out more information.


New Zealand

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

New Zealand’s highest literary honour has gone through a variety of name changes in the last decade. From 1968 through to 1993 it was the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Award. In 1994 it became the Montana Book Awards until 1996 when it merged with the New Zealand Book Awards to become the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. In 2010, the name changed once more to New Zealand Post Book Awards. As of 2015 the name changed yet again to Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
See a list of winners of the fiction award on our website
View the Ockham NZ Book Awards website


International Fiction Awards

The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize)

This award honouring and celebrating women’s writing published in the UK was established as a response to the low numbers of female writers featuring in the traditional award lists.
See our list of Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction winners
View the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction website


Betty Trask Prize

Betty Trask left a bequest to the Society of Authors in 1983 to fund a prize for first novels written by authors under the age of 35 in a romantic or traditional, but not experimental, style. The prize money must be used for foreign travel.
See our list of Betty Trask Prize winners


Costa Book Awards – Novel (previously Whitbread Book Awards)

The Costa Book Awards are given for literary merit but also for conveying the enjoyment of reading to a wide audience. More populist than the Man Booker Prize, they are nonetheless among the most prestigious UK book awards.
See our list of the Costa Book Awards winners
View the Costa Book Awards website


International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

This is the world’s richest prize for a single work of fiction. It is also unique in that the nominations are forwarded by participating libraries throughout the world.
See our list of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winners
View the IMPAC Dublin Award website


Man Booker Prize

Perhaps the most prestigious literary award, the Man Booker is awarded to the best full-length novel written in English by a citizen of the UK, the Commonwealth, Eire, Pakistan or South Africa.
See our list of the Man Booker Prize winners
View the Man Booker Prize website


Nobel Prize for Literature

Awarded to the person who "shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”, according to the terms of Nobel’s will.
See our list of Nobel Prize for Literature winners
View the Nobel Prize website


Pulitzer Prize (Fiction)

The Pulitzer Prize is given annually to fiction written by an American author and preferably dealing with American life.
See our list of Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) winners
View the Pulitzer Prize website

Non-fiction awards

James Tait Black Memorial Prize (UK - fiction, drama, biography)
Pulitzer Prize (US - non-fiction, drama, poetry, journalism, music composition)
National Book Critics Circle Award (US - fiction, nonfiction, criticism, poetry) 
National Book Award (US - fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people's literature)



Overseas children’s literature awards

Hans Christian Andersen Awards

Every other year IBBY presents the Hans Christian Andersen Awards to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature.The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books.
Visit the Hans Christian Andersen Awards website.


The CILIP Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Medal  

The Carnegie Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book for children and young people. The Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people. 
Visit the rhe CILIP Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Medal website


Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is presented every year to authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters. The award may be presented to a single laureate or to several, regardless of language or nationality.
Visit the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award website.


Genre Fiction Awards

Genre awards can give you suggestions for just about any type of reading that interests you. Here are some of our favourites:

Hugo Awards

The Hugo Award was named in honor of Hugo Gernsback, "The Father of Magazine Science and is given annually by the World Science Fiction Society.

Nebula Awards

The Nebula Awards administered, voted and presented by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SWFA) to acknowledge excellence in science fiction writing.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Commonly referred to as the Vogels, the Sir Julius Vogel Awards are awarded each year at the New Zealand National Science Fiction Convention to recognise achievement in New Zealand science fiction, fantasy, horror, and science fiction fandom.

World Fantasy Awards

The World Fantasy Awards are considered among the most prestigious in the speculative fiction genre, and can be awarded to any work falling within the realm of fantasy.

Bram Stoker Awards

The Bram Stoker Awards are presented annually by the Horror Writers Association, for outstanding work in twelve different categories of the genre.

Edgar Allen Poe Awards

Every April, the Mystery Writers of America bestows the coveted Edgar Allan Poe Awards for achievement in the mystery field. 

The CWA Daggers Awards

The British Crime Writers Association annually presents several awards recognizing the best crime fiction and criticism published in the previous year. The best known of these awards are the Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger.

The RITA Award

The purpose of the RITA award is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognising outstanding published romance novels and novellas.


Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry

In honour of the late Kathleen Grattan, journalist and former editor of the New Zealand Woman's Weekly, this award is for an original collection of poems or a long poem by a New Zealand or Pacific resident or citizen.

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