Ursula K. Le Guin Prize 2022 Shortlist Released

By: Brandon Williams, August 2nd, 2022 3:08 am.

A new prestigious award – the Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction – was announced last year and its first-ever shortlist has been released.

This award for imaginative fiction novels was founded by Le Guin’s son, Theo Downes-Le Guin. Downes-Le Guin admitted that it was a challenge to create an award named after an outspoken critic of many of the other pre-existing awards. However, he was searching for a way to honour her memory, work, and ideas with future readers and writers. Conversely, Ursula was always a proponent of “giving money directly to the writers, with no strings attached.” You can read the full interview with Downes-Le Guin at Electric Literature.

2022 Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction Shortlist

The award includes a monetary prize of $25,000. It will be decided by jurors Adrienne Maree Brown, Becky Chambers, Molly Gloss, David Mitchell and Luis Alberto Urrea on October 21st (Ursula’s birthday).

Certainly, Le Guin was critical of awards during her lifetime. Despite this, she received eight Hugos, six Nebulas, and twenty-two Locus Awards. In addition, she was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her career spanned almost six decades and nearly 100 books.

Undoubtedly, Le Guin was a true advocate for writers. She turned down the Nebula Award for a short story entitled “The Diary of the Rose” in 1977. Her reasoning was that the Science Fiction Writers of America had shown political intolerance toward Stanislaw Lem, and that was the theme of the story. Later, she left the Authors Guild due to its endorsement of Google’s book digitization project and criticized Amazon due to the power it held over the entire industry.

The Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction will look to honour the American novelist for decades to come. More importantly, its goal will be to give the opportunity to new authors and give them the space to write.

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