The Girl’s Club

 So. Chick-Lit. This is a supposedly new genre focused at the modern, career woman. Encompassing everything from fairly literary coming-of-age/ finding yourself fiction to comic romance/mysteries with female protagonists, I think sometimes the popular opinion of this genre is damaged by its broadness. Those who love chick-lit are ardent fans, and the publishing/film/tv industries are sitting up and taking notice. I have to confess, although I really enjoy books that fit into this category, I don’t often think of it as a separate genre. A mystery is a mystery. A comedy is a comedy. A novel is a novel. Gasp- a romance is a romance. I will say that it is good to see more genuine female voices and stories out there. As overplayed as it is, Bridget Jones was really a turning point. I liked THIS article’s thought that perhaps part of the perceived stigma over chick lit (aka, it’s “just” chick lit, it can’t be literature) comes from the historic difficulty of publishing as a woman and being taken seriously, the crap given to other genre authors, and the worry that after all this work to break into the publishing realm, women are “wasting” it on shoes, dating drama, and job snafus. Sad that good books are being degraded b/c of societal insecurity…anyway, the other REALLY fun thought was that the chick lit of the 1800’s are classics today (Um, hello Jane Austen & the Bronte sisters). That made me smile. Who knows what will survive from today’s crop of authors for the next generations. 🙂

Being a new Genre, there aren’t many awards that recognize it specifically, and the ones who brand themselves as awards for “chick-lit” emphasize the controversy in defining this field. So, here’s the list I could find. PLEASE, if you’re an avid reader in this category and know of others, let me know.

  1. Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy-Romance. Note that the emphasis is on Comedy. Named after a successful author who died at a young age from Cancer, the awards are fairly new (2007). They are sponsored by TESCO and are judged by a fairly well known group of folks:
The Award Committee were delighted that the following agreed to be judges of the very first award: Comedian Jo Brand, author Joanna Trollope, actress Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson), author Sophie Kinsella and Gaynor Allen, Head Book Buyer for Tesco.  For the 2008 awards the judging team grew to include actor and comedian Alan Davies. In 2010 the judges were Jo Brand, Joanna Trollope, Sophie Kinsella, actress Mowenna Banks and actress and television presenter Liza Tarbuck. In 2011 these judges will be joined by Andrew Cleaves, Managing Director National Express Coaches, the sponsors of the 2011 award, and Freya Wright Book Buyer for Waitrose.
  1. International Book Awards, Chick Lit category. The IBA’s are related to the Best Books awards, and were started by a publishing executive. From their website:
Now Mr. Keen and his JPX Media Group staff turn their attention to honoring outstanding books on a global scale through the International Book Awards. With expert judging and great media coverage, the 3rd Annual International Book Awards has become the next great promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world.

Apparently, the author enters the works in the contest, and as long as you have a book, an ISBN and $49-$69, you may enter. I didn’t see anything about how it’s judged…

  1. Goodreads Choice awards have both a chick-lit AND a favorite heroine award. 🙂
  2. The Eason Irish Popular Fiction Award- this is part of the Irish Book awards. Submissions are judged in the following process
The Irish Literary Academy is a formation of around 100 individuals connected to the book business including authors, publishers, booksellers, journalists, academics, critics, and reviewers. Each year, members are sent a ballot paper of the shortlisted titles and invited to select their winners.The winners in each category will be decided by a combination of the public andLiteraryAcademy votes. The highest-polling title in each voting group – public vote and ILA – will earn six points descending to one point for the sixth- placed title. The public and academy points are then aggregated and the title with the highest number of points overall will be the winner. In the event of a points tie, the highest score in the academy vote will decide the winner.

Fairly cool. For more info & past winners, click HERE


One Comment on “The Girl’s Club”

  1. i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.

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