I received a terrific email from a distant cousin, who I seem to remember from meetings at my grandparents old apartment, and I am quite pleased to re-post her link.
She is a new reader of this blog who started reading when I posted regarding Les Miserables. She might be our first (and only) international reader which should garner her a prize other than just a mention, but at this point does not.
All that being said, the link she sent was to The Guardian's book blogs and is titled Why is self-publishing still scorned by literary awards? The title provides enough description for me to discuss, but one of the key passages is this one:
Most literary awards are closed to self-published books. Entry criteria for the Booker prize state that "self-published books are not eligible where the author is the publisher or where a company has been specifically set up to publish that book", while the Bailey's women's prize for fiction stipulates that books must come from a "bone fide imprint".
I've noticed this too. Although I don't enter many contests anymore, having been a judge in a novel writing contest I discovered quite quickly how objective, arbitrary and distinctly unfair they are. That being said, I don't see, other than for suppressing sheer numbers of entries, why they wouldn't accept self-published books.
But, and this is the pigeon hole within which I fall, there are also award programs for ONLY self-published books.
Despite it all, thanks to our international reader for sending along a link and an interesting article that is well worth the jump and the thirty seconds it takes to read.