The 2011 literary prize season begins in early January with the UK's Costa Book Awards. Among the coming year's highlights: the Man Asian Literary Prize tries out a new format, and the fourth biennial Man Booker International Prize will honor one author's overall contribution to fiction.
39th Costa Book Awards
Launched in 1971, the Costa Book Awards are given to authors based in the UK and Ireland for what are deemed the "most enjoyable books of the year." Winners are chosen in five categories (January 5), and an overall winner (January 25) is named Costa Book of the Year -- an honor that went to Christopher Reid's poetry collection A Scattering in 2010.
4th Man Asian Literary Prize
Hong Kong, China
The Man Asian Prize was established in 2007 to bring Asian authors to worldwide literary attention. The prize was previously awarded to an Asian writer for a novel that had not yet been published in English; beginning in 2011, it will go to the best Asian novel that has been written in English or translated into English in 2010, and the monetary prize will increase from USD 10,000 to 30,000.
36th National Book Critics Circle Award
New York City, USA
Founded in 1974, the National Book Critics Circle Award is open to all books published in the US in English, including translations. Last year's fiction winner was Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, and Roberto Bolaño's 2666 won in 2009. NBCC winners in autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, and nonfiction are selected by more than 600 US literary critics.
31st PEN/Faulkner Awards
Washington DC, USA
Awarded since 1981, the PEN/Faulkner Award is one of the US's most prestigious literary prizes alongside the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, honoring the best works of fiction by American citizens. The 2010 prize went to Sherman Alexie's War Dances. Each year's winner receives $15,000, while each of four finalists receives $5,000.
87th Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
New York City, USA
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded since 1917 (called the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel until 1948), honoring distinguished fiction by American authors. To be eligible, a work must be entered with a $50 entry fee. Recent winners include Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (2009) and Paul Harding's Tinkers (2010).
16th Orange Prize for Fiction
The Orange Prize for Fiction, founded in 1996 and often grouped with the Costa Book Award and the Man Booker Prize as part of the trinity of major UK book awards, is awarded to a female author of any nationality for a full-length novel written in English. American author Barbara Kingsolver won in 2010 for her novel The Lacuna. The 2011 shortlist will be announced in April.
16th International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Begin in 1996 and open to novels published in English including translations, the IMPAC Award is the most valuable literary prize (100,000) for a single work of fiction published in English. Its other unique feature: nominations come from public libraries around the world. The 2010 winner was The Twin by Dutch author Gerbrand Bakker. A 2011 shortlist will be announced April 12.
4th Man Booker International Prize
Worth £60,000, the Man Booker International Prize has been awarded every two years since 2005 to a living author whose work is written in English or available in English translation. Like the Nobel, it recognizes an author's entire body of work. Previous winners include Ismail Kadaré, Chinua Achebe, and, in 2009, Alice Munro.
43rd Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize, founded in 1968 and now one of the English-speaking world's most discussed literary prizes, selects the best novel by a citizen of the British Commonwealth, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. Howard Jacobson won in 2010 for his novel The Finkler Question. A 2011 longlist -- "The Booker Dozen" -- will be out in late July.
111th Nobel Prize in Literature
The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually since 1901 to an author from any country who has, in the words of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction." The 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature went to Spanish-Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa.
18th Scotiabank Giller Prize
Toronto, ON, Canada
The Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada's top fiction award, was founded in 1994. Awarded to the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English, it comes with a CAN$50,000 prize. The 2010 award went to Johanna Skibsrud for her debut novel The Sentimentalists.
109th Prix Goncourt
Since 1903 the Prix Goncourt has recognized excellence and imagination in French prose. A top prize for French literature, the award has gone to Marcel Proust, Simone de Beauvoir, Georges Duhamel, and Alphonse de Chateaubriant. Michel Houellebecq won in 2010 for his novel La carte et le territoire (The Map and the Territory).
36th Premio Miguel de Cervantes
Since 1976, the Premio Miguel de Cervantes has recognized the lifetime achievement of Spanish-language writers, with the winner's origin traditionally alternating between Spain and Latin America. Spanish novelist Ana Maria Matute won in 2010; previous winners include José Emilio Pacheco, Juan Marse, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Carlos Fuentes.
62nd National Book Awards
New York City, USA
The National Book Awards have recognized excellence in American writing since 1950, with awards in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people's literature. The 2010 fiction winner was Jaimy Gordon's Lord of Misrule, while rocker Patti Smith won in the non-fiction category for her memoir Just Kids.