New Le Guin Prize for Fiction

The Ursula K. Le Guin Literary Trust has announced the Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction, a new award to launch in 2022. The annual $25,000 cash prize will be given to “a single book-length work of imaginative fiction.”

This award is intended to recognize those writers Ursula spoke of in her 2014 National Book Awards speech—realists of a larger reality, who can imagine real grounds for hope and see alternatives to how we live now.

The first prize will be awarded October 21, 2022, Le Guin’s birthday.

In order to be eligible, works must be published in the US in English, or in English translation; translated works will share the prize equally between the author and translator. An author may win the prize only once.

Nominations will open February 2, 2022, and nominations are welcome from “readers, authors, booksellers, publishers, librarians and anyone else.” The trust will select a shortlist from the nominees, with a jury choosing the winner. The 2022 jury is adrienne maree brown, Becky Chambers, Molly Gloss, David Mitchell, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

Le Guin’s son and literary executor, Theo Downes-Le Guin, says,

Many will appreciate an irony in that Ursula herself was suspicious of literary awards and prizes. At the same time, she recognized their genuine value in honoring a writer and increasing visibility of good, undervalued writing. She also knew that a bit of money, at the right moment and in the right spirit, can be a turning point in a writer’s ability to continue writing. I hope the Prize will provide meaningful help and recognition to writers who might otherwise not receive it.

For more, see the prize website.

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