Literary prizes are not only cultural thermometers, reflecting the zeitgeist, but also have the power to propel unknown writers into the limelight in a way that used to derive from book reviews, now sadly diminished in authority and significance.The example he uses, Miguel Syjuco, is an expat Filipino from Manila who moved to Montreal. He spent years getting rejected by both literary agents and publishers. Then Syjuco entered his then-unpublished novel for the Man Asian literary prize. And won. It also won the Palanca Awards that same year, 2008. Now he’s on a promotional tour in the U.S.
The Asian Booker was amenable to unpublished entries in 2008. Unfortunately, it no longer is.
Do you know of prestigious awards that are open to unpublished authors? Ones that could propel a writer’s career to another level? Do you enter those contests?