Roundtable: All the Awards (Part 2 of 3)

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Andy Duncan

John’s and Paul’s comments, taken together, make me pose a related question to the group:

In a field so award-conscious, what happens to writers – new, veteran and in-between – who, for whatever reasons, never get the award recognition?  Sure, getting recognized occasionally is a fine thing, we’d pretty much all agree on that, but what if that spotlight never sweeps your way?  We all can think of richly deserving people who’ve never received this award or that award, or any award; how are those people affected by this lack?

In other words, is NOT receiving awards, in the long term, a bigger deal than receiving them?

Bob Hope got comic mileage for years at the Oscars from NOT receiving an Oscar – “Welcome to the Academy Awards, or as it’s known at my house, Passover” – but there was some real resentment there, I suspect.  That’s one reason the cracks were funny: You could sense that they sprang from genuine emotion.

Leigh Brackett used to refer to her Hollywood screenwriting income as “fairy gold”: great when you stumble upon it, but so unpredictable as to be downright capricious, certainly nothing to count on or to base one’s career on.  Are awards fairy gold, or are they more baleful in their influence, on the individual and on the field?  Are they more like will o’ the wisps, that lead us stumbling into the mire?

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