Allow me to bring the present series on 'The Most Prestigious Literary Awards of the World' to a conclusion in this issue with a discussion on 2 more prominent literary awards: the Whitbread and Hugo awards. When we meet again in the new year, as per the wishes of some club members we shall start a discussion on some prominent novelists of this (2000-2010) decade.

The Whitbread Book Award

The Whitbread Awards were a popular British literary award since 1971. In 2005 Costa Coffee, a subsidiary of Whitbread, took over sponsorship of the award. It was then renamed The Costa Book Awards. The award is given to books based on two criteria: literary merit and reading pleasure. In this sense they are a more populist literary award than the Bookers. A sum of £5,000 is given to one book in each of the following categories:
  • Best novel
  • Best first novel
  • Children's book
  • Poetry
  • Biography
Further, one book is then selected from these category winners and awarded the Costa Book of the year, along with a sum of £30,000.

The Hugo Award

Hugo Award
 The Hugo Award has been awarded for the best science fiction or fantasy work of the previous year since 1953. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, who was the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories. The members of World Science Fiction Convention or Worldcon get the privilege of nominating and choosing the Hugo Award winner by means of vote. The award consists of a rocket shaped trophy(see picture). There is no cash prize for the award.

Book Review Circle gossip

In 1989 Alexander Stuart's The War Zone was awarded the Whitbread for the Best Novel. But due to the controversial nature of the book( it dealt with incest and sexual violence in an English family) the award was withdrawn and later given to Lindsay Clarke's The Chymical Wedding. The War Zone was later made into a movie by Tim Roth and won various awards and much critical acclaim.

Book Review Circle suggested read:

Alexander Stuart's The War Zone- Find out what the fuss is all about! Book Review Circle Quiz: See if you know answers to the following
  1. Is a writer of any nationality eligible for the Costa Book Award?
  2. Is a writer of any nationality eligible for the Hugo?
  3. Name another science fiction award that is considered by many to be as prestigious as the Hugo.


  1. The category winners do not have to be British or Irish but must have been resident in the UK or Ireland for at least six months in each of the previous three years.
  2. Yes. Any work is eligible, regardless of its place or language of publication. Works first published in languages other than English are also eligible in their first year of publication in English translation.
  3. The Nebula Awards given by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Do write in to me at with your comments, updates and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ok. I will leave you to munch on that.

Happy reading till we meet again.