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, its 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.
Can you sponsor the Zooker Award?
The Zooker Award is currently open to sponsors.
All sponsors will receive recognition and extensive coverage, as well as being able to help disadvantaged authors and reward works of social value.
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.