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10 Most Coveted Literary Prizes in the World

There are thousands of literature awards held throughout the world every year, with millions of hopefuls entering their works of literary fiction in the hopes of winning first prize. However, the following ten literary prizes are some of the best...

10 Most Coveted Literary Prizes in the World

1. Specsavers National Book Awards

The Specsavers National Book Awards includes many categories, such as the Book of the Year, Outstanding Achievement, UK Author of the Year, Children's Book of the Year and Thriller & Crime Novel of the Year.

Specsavers National Book Awards

2. Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature is only awarded to the best authors from all around the world. The current laureate is American songwriter Bob Dylan and past laureates have included playwright Harold Pinter, novelist Gao Xingjian, poet Seamus Heaney and novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Nobel Prize

3. Booker Prize

The Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded to writers of full-length novels. 2018's winner was Anna Burns and past winners have included Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies, Margaret Atwood for The Blind Assassin, Kazuo Ishiguro for The Remains of the Day and William Golding for Rites of Passage.

Booker Prize

4. Pulitzer Prize

This US award is given to those in newspaper or online journalism, literature, or music. There are 21 categories including the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing, the Pulitzer Prize for Music and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Pulitzer Prize

5. Costa Book Awards

This award is given to authors in Great Britain and Ireland and there are five winners annually in the following categories - best novel, best first novel, children's book, poetry and biography. One of the winners is awarded the Costa Book of the Year title.

Costa Book Awards

6. Neustadt International Prize for Literature

This American award occurs every two years and is considered one of the most prestigious awards in literature. It's awarded to an author for their entire body of work and 2018's winner was Edwidge Danticat. Previous winners have been novelist Nuruddin Farah, poet Joao Cabral de Melo Neto and playwright Max Rudolf Frisch.

Neustadt International Prize for Literature

7. Hugo Award

These awards are given to writers of science fiction or fantasy and categories include Best Novel, Best Graphic Story and Best Fan Writer. Some past winners have been Philip K. Dick, Clifford D. Simak and Neil Gaiman.

Hugo Awards

8. Guardian First Book Award

The Guardian First Book Award was given to new writers of fiction and non-fiction. Although the award was discontinued in 2016, it still recongised plenty of incredible debuts for over 15 years before then. The 2015 (and last) winner was Andrew McMillan, and past winners have included Siddhartha Mukherjee, Alexandra Harris and Armand Marie Leroi.

Guardian First Book Award

9. National Book Award

The National Book Award is one of the most prestigious US literature prizes, with four categories available - fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people's literature, as well as two lifetime awards.

National Book Award

10. Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction

The Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction is specifically for female authors of full-length novels. The current winner is Kamila Shamsie for Home Fire and past winners have included Madeline Miller, Zadie Smith, Ann Patchett and Carol Shields.

Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction

Have you read any award-winning books recently and, if so, what did you think of them? To find more amazing reads, take a look at our range of fantastic literary fiction.