Literary awards are losing their relevance – too many emerging with too little credibility!

Awards are always attractive. Be it the award given to a topper in the class or an award for the ‘powerful fresher couple’ forcefully forcing people into relationships… in the world of literature also, awards are reputed, respected and always desired by the authors who want to tell the world about their presence and meaningful writing. However, in recent decades, a ‘bad’ trend has started. There are too many awards which are emerging out of nowhere. While it’s good that we have many awards in the literary world to encourage wonderful creativity, it becomes worst when we have these awards just to promise someone fame and respect among critics and readers at large. Does it happen? Are the awards being set-up just to create some new ‘authoritative voice’ in the literary circle?

Days and nights, there are emails that tell me about new authors winning this or that award… these awards are out of nowhere and merge with invisible forces just after their very inaugural stint. Why? An author winning one of such one-time awards and his or her image with the award is doing rounds on social media, news websites and other digital spaces – telling the world how important the author and author’s works are. Is it even ethical to do so? Why do the authorities setting up these awards do so? Well, everything makes perfect sense once we realise that these authorities are none other than PR companies… working on the behalf of such authors only.

However, we cannot deny that a few awards being set-up by credible business families, big names in business industries or some government entities are credible and their reputation cannot be challenged. Nevertheless, at the same times, can we deny that these awards are being awarded, at times, more for literary and political or ideological bias rather than the craft of fiction? Too many holes are there in the filter that is supposed to discern sensible authors. And this is, to say the least, very sour scenario for the readers who take these awards to be the benchmarks of literary genius!

Therefore, readers, when you see an author who is rather new, winning a few awards or posting pictures getting an award from authorities who are equally unknown, don’t fall for the propaganda and just move ahead. There are many other things to do, and meaningful ones, rather than cheering for these phoney awards being presented just for a year. Read the book to judge an author – don’t count the awards section. Most of the times, today, the awards section is managed by PR and propaganda machinery.

by a contributor for Literature News