You might well have heard of the Man Booker Prize, one of the most famous literary awards in the world. It was created in 1968 by a wealthy private company that dealt, amongst other things, in sugar and rum. Since that time the Booker Prize has truly become a magnet for the rich and famous, not to mention an army of snobbish commentators! The Elysian heights of their contemplations are so far removed from the lives of ordinary people that the Prize might as well be reserved for residents of another planet. Of course, there are numerous other literary awards, most of which need to be submitted via a proactive publisher. But rare is the occasion where an unknown and comparatively disadvantaged author is awarded with a prize.
So we wanted to create an award which, unlike the Bookers of this world, has a clear focus on disadvantaged authors. At the same time, it should aim to recognise and award an outstanding piece of work, inspiring others to explore their creative potential. After much deliberation, we decided to call it:
THE ZOOKER AWARD!
Every book published through Arkbound, and indeed any other publisher, is eligible to enter the Zooker Award. However, it’s primary focus is on disadvantaged authors. They may be from a poor background, unemployed, disabled, or spent time in prison. They may have faced insurmountable obstacles in getting published that few others have encountered . ‘Disadvantaged’, then, can be quite broad – but generally it should encompass a state of extreme hardship, which an author may be struggling to overcome or has already done so.
The second aim of the Zooker Award is to recognise works of wider social value. A book may be entirely fictional, but it can still encourage us to dwell on social and environmental issues of present relevance. If an author inspires us to think about such issues, in a way that could lead to positive changes of mind and behaviour, then clearly they should be rewarded.
♦ ◊ ♦
UpScribe – Liam Rodgers
(Award partners receive additional media coverage as part of their involvement with the award, in return for mutually promoting it and having equal management of its development. Contact email@example.com if you wish to become an award partner.)
Currently there is just one prize, amounting to £500.
In the event that there is insufficient sponsorship or entry fees, the Award will be carried over to the next year.
Further sponsors for the Award will result in higher prize money, with the possibility of second and third placements.
To enter you must have published through Arkbound or another publishing company. Unfortunately we cannot accept entries that have been self-published or from a self-publishing company. Entries can only be made between 19th May and 10th October each year – any entries after 10th October will not be accepted. Your book must have been published within the last two years and won no other national or international awards. If this is the case, the manuscript should be sent to us in digital format to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Award is intended to be for disadvantaged authors (see above), although there are no blocks on who can enter. Consideration will be given to the second purpose of the award (rewarding works of social value), as well as the first (helping disadvantaged authors).
In most cases there is no entry fee for the Award, as long as the author is from a disadvantaged background. For other authors, whose book is considered to be one of social value, the entry fee is £4.50. This is made payable to Arkbound upon submission of a manuscript.