Monday, April 23, 2012

Pulitzer Passes up Fiction.

Last week's Pulitzer Prize winners made history in more ways than one. As discussed by Professor Elizabeth Losh of UCSD, two of the awards for journalism went to unconventional media forms who mimicked traditional models in many respects. These recipients were ground breaking in their own right, however safe enough to settle well with the journalism community.
While the awards welcomed non-traditional journalism into the arena, another category was unexpectedly shunned.


"No award" was given in the fiction genre this year despite three promising finalists. In a recent segment of NPR's On the Media past Pulitzer judge Laura Miller discusses the implications of this decision and the effects it could have on the fiction genre. Miller notes that often winning a Pulitzer for fiction is a motivation to fiction writers every where, serving as a beacon of hope in an elitist industry.

What does this mean for the already shaken fiction writing industry, struggling for attention among an over stimulated audience with a multitude of literary options? Is fiction not getting the recognition it deserves?

Historically, winning the Pulitzer Prize has great impact of the future success of the author giving them credibility, accolades and notoriety.

Does this in turn have an opposite effect on those who are not chosen?

This decisions certainly raises some interesting discussion about the state of literature, specifically fiction, and perhaps a lack of originality or dynamic thought among contributing authors.

It seems that not presenting an award for fiction says more about the current fiction climate than rewarding mediocrity.

1 comment:

  1. You are right that the big news story was the lack of an award for fiction, which often drives print sales in a number of significant ways, and encourages others to go into careers defined by traditional modes of authorship. As in the case of any class blog entry, you might want to see if you can tie your analysis back to the topic of digital journalism. What does it mean for a culture that is increasingly concerned with nonfiction and with digital texts?