Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.

Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)

Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.

E-mail to: bookblogforbookworms@keywordeditorial.com for the postal address.

My writing website: http://www.keywordeditorial.com/

Monday, 25 October 2010

Too many creative awards? The Orwell Prize opens for entries

I love writing and being able to indulge what some people think of as a hobby. Getting paid for what I do is the cherry on the top of the tree, the apple in the toffee, the chocolate in the brownie or a night out with George Clooney, whatever crumbles your biscuit. That should be enough, it helps to pay the mortgage and keep the vet from the door but out there, beyond the garret lies a fortune in prize money to be had for producing 'the best' the writing world has to offer. They're a great ego booster for the winners and an even greater PR coup for any commercial organisation that chooses to sponsor them.

Unashamedly, I stood up and received two framed certificates from the British Medical Association (not at the same time) thinking my time had come and how proud my late parents would have been. I didn't sell any more books than I'd sold before and still nobody has ever heard of me, according to a family member who once met a journalist who said he didn't know me. I didn't know him either but he still managed to impress her mightily. The sister asked how much I'd won and when I said, 'a framed certificate' she mumbled something like, 'what's the point of that then?' and changed the subject. The fact that I'd won it alongside journalists Bryan Appleyard and the late John Diamond made no odds. She'd never heard of them anyway.

So why do we have to give prizes to writers, actors, singers and artists who a panel of judges decide have produced something far greater than their peers, rather like a beauty pageant where the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, as Plato would have it, while the rest of us sit and giggle on the couch in front of the tele? (No prizes for that paragraph!) Do we have awards for the World's Greatest Plumber or Electrician of the Year? No we don't, so why do we have them for writers, actors, singers and artists? Answers on a framed certificate please. And here's the latest...

The 2011 Orwell Prize

The theme for the 2011 Orwell Prize is 'poverty', marking the 75th anniversary of Orwell's journey to Wigan Pier and there's £3,000 each for the best political journalist, author and blogger. 

The Orwell Prize is Britain's most prestigious prize for political writing, Orwell's ambition being 'to make political writing into an art'. The prize came into being in 1994 thanks to the late Professor Sir Bernard Crick, so that well written political writing would be aimed at general readers, rather than academics.

Earlier this year Andrea Gillies won the 2010 Book Prize for Keeper, about living with Alzheimer's when she cared for her mother-in-law; Peter Hitchens won the Journalism Prize for his foreign reporting while working for The Mail on Sunday and soi-disant 'social worker' Winston Smith won the Blog Prize for Working with the Underclass.  A special Lifetime Achievement Award went to documentary-maker Norma Percy. Log onto http://theorwellprize.co.uk/ for more details and how to enter. Good luck!

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