Literary Prize Culture - What Makes a Winner?

Ref: C2346661

Literary prize culture nowadays plays a key role in what gets read and counted as ‘literature’. However, claims about literary quality cannot easily be extricated from the agendas of corporate sponsors, a writer’s prior reputation, the politics of exclusion and inclusion, and time-bound understandings about what makes a book ‘good’. With these considerations in mind, this talk will examine the 2006 winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, alongside some of the other shortlisted novels of that year: Tiffany Carrie’s Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living; Nicole Krauss’ History of Love; Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black; Ali Smith's The Accidental; and Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch. Date and time: Monday March 14, 10-12 Format: 60 minute talk, including short 5 minute break 10 minute break 50 minute discussion

Course aim

The course will examine literary prize culture, focusing specifically on the shortlisted novels for the 2006 Women's Prize for Fiction. It will explore the different forces at play in the making of a winner.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the various social, political and aesthetic agendas at work in the making of literary prize winners
  • Identify the significance and implications of the criteria given to the judges for the Women's Prize for Fiction
  • Discuss Zadie Smith's On Beauty in the context of literary prize culture
  • Place the Women's Prize for Fiction in the context of debates and developments within feminism

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

It will be useful to have read Zadie Smith's On Beauty, and any of the other shortlisted books in 2006: Tiffany Carrie’s Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living; Nicole Krauss’ History of Love; Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black; Ali Smith’s The Accidental; Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Literary Prize Culture - What Makes a Winner?

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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