Seven of the Most Popular and Most Prestigious Writing Awards in the World

Prizes, competitions, and awards have a vital role in any person’s career. These provide not only a boost in self-esteem and credibility but beneficial compensation as well. For writers, and other artists for that matter, winning any sort of recognition also creates popularity and increases connections, opening many doors for one’s career.

If you have been writing for a while, then maybe you dream of winning one of the awards below:

  1. NaNoWriMo Winners Circle

    The NaNoWriMo Winners Circle is probably one of the easiest prizes you can win on this list. NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, awards prizes to writers who join in the annual write-a-thon and finish the challenge of completing a fifty-thousand-word novel between November 1 and November 30 at 11:59 p.m. Prizes include various writing apps, publishing assistance, and novel printing services. Published authors who finished their novels during NaNoWriMo, such as Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants), Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl), and Marissa Meyer (Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress), also make it on a separate list on the NaNoWriMo website.

  1. Newbery Medal

    Established in 1921, the Newbery Medal is an annual award given by the Association for Library Service Children Division of the American Library Association. This award honors “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” Other than the medal itself, the committee also awards citations, which is called Newbery Honor Books, to works that make the shortlist. Winners of the Newbery Medal include A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1963), The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg (1997), and The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2004). The honorees include Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary (1978), Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (1998), and The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (2016).

  1. Hugo Award

    Named after Hugo Gernsback, founder of the science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, the Hugo Awards are granted annually to the best works and achievements in science fiction or fantasy. The Hugo was first awarded in 1953 at the Eleventh World Science Fiction Convention as the Science Fiction Achievement Awards and later renamed after Gernsback in 1992. Currently, there are seventeen Hugo Award categories, ranging from fiction and magazines to cover art and fan work. Hugo Awardees for Best Novel include Orson Scott Card in 1987 for Ender’s Game, J. K. Rowling in 2001 for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Neil Gaiman in 2009 for The Graveyard Book.

  1. Man Booker Prize

    This biannual award is given to any work published in the English language with special focus on fiction and translation. Initially, this prize was exclusive to works published in the Commonwealth, Zimbabwe, and Ireland. The prize was widened only in 2014 and started to focus more on fiction and translation. The prize awarded 50,000 British pounds to both the author and translator. Past awardees include Margaret Atwood for The Blind Assassin, Kazuo Ishiguro for The Remains of the Day, and Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies.

  1. Edgar Award

    The Edgar Allan Poe Awards are a set of awards presented yearly by the Mystery Writers of America. Popularly known as Edgars, the awards honor the best in mystery fiction, film, television, and theater that was produced or published the year before. The Edgars have been presented since the mid-forties. In 2017, fourteen Edgars were awarded. Previous Edgar Awards for Best Novel were given to Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall, Best Juvenile to OCDaniel by Wesley King, and the Raven Award to Dru Ann Love.

  1. Pulitzer Prize

    The Pulitzer Prize is an annual award that honors achievements in journalism, literature, and music composition. It was established by the will of American newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer in 1917. The prize has twenty-one categories, twenty of which are awarded US$15,000 and a certificate and one (the public service category) a gold medal. Previous winners include The New York Times, USA Today, Robert Frost, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

  1. Nobel Prize in Literature

    Established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1901, the Nobel Prize is a set of five awards bestowed to people with achievements in medicine, physics, chemistry, economics, peace, and literature. Considered one of the most prestigious awards in the world, the prize consists of a certificate with citation, a gold medal, and a cash prize. Winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature include Kazuo Ishiguro in 2017, Toni Morrison in 1993, and Jean-Paul Sartre in 1964.