New Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction Award Announced

The Ursula K. Le Guin Literary Trust has announced a new fiction award that will be given for the first time in 2022. Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction is an annual $25,000 cash prize given to a writer for a book of imaginative fiction.

This award will recognize writers Ursula spoke about in her 2014 National Book Awards speech: “realists of a larger reality, who can imagine real grounds for hope and see alternatives to how we live now.” The award will be presented nearly a year from now on Le Guin’s birthday, October 21, 2022.

Lu Guin was a decorated author of novels, short stories, poetry and more. She earned six Nebula Awards, seven Hugo Awards, and was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2014. Her son and literary executor, Theo Downes-Le Guin, tells The Oregonian that the idea for the prize came out of considerations for how he could continue his mother’s work in supporting other artists.

“I am not a writer and I’m not Ursula,” Downes-Le Guin said, so “the tools at my disposal are different from hers. But I did see an opportunity to do something else that she considered very important, which was to try to create space and visibility for writers who might have a hard time getting both of those things.”

The rules to be eligible for the 2022 Prize, the book must:

  • Be a book-length work of imaginative fiction written by a single author.
  • Be published in the U.S. in English or have a translation in English.
  • Be published in 2022.

Prize winners are only limited to receive the prize once.

The nomination period for the upcoming 2022 prize will begin on February 1, 2022. The jurors for the competition have already been announced. Adrienne Maree Brown, Becky Chambers, Molly Gloss, David Mitchell, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

[author photo by Eileen Gunn]

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