Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

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Mira
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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by Mira » October 20th, 2010, 3:50 pm

Actually, I'm going to take this abit further. I don't think wealthy people should be wealthy. I'm serious. I think there should be a cap. Maybe $250,000. Once you have $250,000, you're got your share. That's all you get. Thanks for playing. Save the rest for the other people in the world who don't have $250,000 yet.

Thank you.

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by bcomet » October 20th, 2010, 4:28 pm

I think a purse is a purse. It's a prize. It ups the game, says it's valuable.

Often, when someone does not need a monetary prize, they enjoy the recognition and may independently or even privately donate their prize earnings to their favorite cause. But it shouldn't be a requirement that they do.

Think Noble Prize. The presidency (when a rich man has taken office, he may donate his money), etc.

We each give in our own way. It shouldn't be required.

There is a difference, (usually outlined in the guidelines and rules of a contest) between a prize (with or without a purse) and a need based grant.

~~

By the way, either way, there are not enough grants to make a dent in the real problem of writers being poverty struck.

Personally, what I wish for was that education towards a productive place in society (job with real pay) was free for anyone who wanted it who could pass the classes. If for every class you passed, you got an opportunity to take another free of costs, the motivation to progress and excel would be very high.
There could also be a good "give-back" clause added to that in service later too so that it balanced out.

There are just too many potentially productive people in our society that can't afford the education they need to become actually productive people. The cost of an education or graduate school is HUGE and intimidating, with so little in work guarantees that one risks being in debt for the rest of their lives to take a student loan. Writers shouldn't just be poor folks with holes in their pockets and a truckload full of talent. We should be steered towards teaching, psychology, social work, and jobs that utilize our skills so we can live AND afford to write.

I'm all for studying one's art too, but how about with a practical-twin study, since the outlook for art and the writerly life are so glum, financially in our present society.

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by scoundrel » October 23rd, 2010, 3:10 pm

Also: Rick Moody never won a Pulitzer Prize. Or a National Book Award.

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by J. T. SHEA » October 23rd, 2010, 7:30 pm

Mira, you're a COMMIE! But I won't hold it against you.

BTW, I think scholarships should only be given to STUPID people. Giving them to clever people just adds to their existing advantage and promotes inequality.

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by Mira » October 24th, 2010, 5:30 pm

J.T. - you have a point about the intelligent/stupid people. let's make the world alittle more fair.

Speaking of which, I am not a Commie. As if.

I am original, and am currently creating my own economic system. I thinking of replacing money with a point system. That should solve alot of problems right there.

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by maybegenius » October 24th, 2010, 11:17 pm

Oh yeah, agreed that there aren't NEARLY enough grants for those who work in the arts. But at least in this country, the arts tend to go on the back burner and be relegated to "fun time" or "hobbies."

Eeeeeeh I'm not with you on the $250,000 thing, Mira. Haha. Depending on where you live or your particular needs, $250K isn't really that much money. If I were to, say, get in a car accident and need serious hospitalization and surgery? Good-bye to a big ol' chunk of those savings.

I dunno. I'm not wealthy, but I don't think money is evil, either. I don't think being rich automatically means someone is a maniacal money-hoarder who spits on the poor. Don't get me wrong, those people certainly do exist, but... yeah.
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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by dantownsend » October 26th, 2010, 9:58 am

I've been following this for a couple of days, and now I feel obligated to post.

Isn't there a distinction to be made between wealthy and famous? I was relieved to see Franzen didn't get nominated, though his is the only novel published in the last year that I'll tell my kids to read. Franzen's probably a bad example because, at this point, he's wealthy and famous, but it seems as if the conversation is saying that a person whose wealth doesn't come from writing fiction should be judged for the "quality" of his work, whatever that means. I reluctantly agree with that.

Aren't scholarships supposed to promote inequality, thereby creating competition? Everyone seemed to like competition a few posts ago. Whaaa happened?

Don't the NBAs do a good job getting us to read writers we normally wouldn't seek out? Writers who are doing something interesting with genres and subject? They didn't 'get it wrong' because the books don't become classics. They get it right when those people who write classics are influenced by an NBA winner they pick up at the Barnes & Noble 20% off table while shopping for cookbooks.

Interesting conversation!
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Mira
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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by Mira » October 26th, 2010, 4:26 pm

maybegenius wrote:Oh yeah, agreed that there aren't NEARLY enough grants for those who work in the arts. But at least in this country, the arts tend to go on the back burner and be relegated to "fun time" or "hobbies."

Eeeeeeh I'm not with you on the $250,000 thing, Mira. Haha. Depending on where you live or your particular needs, $250K isn't really that much money. If I were to, say, get in a car accident and need serious hospitalization and surgery? Good-bye to a big ol' chunk of those savings.

I dunno. I'm not wealthy, but I don't think money is evil, either. I don't think being rich automatically means someone is a maniacal money-hoarder who spits on the poor. Don't get me wrong, those people certainly do exist, but... yeah.
Yeah, you're right, maybegenius. I really shouldn't get down on the rich so much - I'm sure many of them are very nice people. I'm just sort of joking around. And what I really have a problem with isn't wealth, it's poverty.

And in terms of 250,000 limits, that goes for institutions, too. Once they have 250,000, the hospital has to stop playing as well. Yeah, I can see this system has a few kinks, but I'm working on it.

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by J. T. SHEA » October 26th, 2010, 6:07 pm

A $250,000 limit for hospitals, Mira? That wouldn't even pay for the parking for the doctors' Mercedes-Benzes.

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by Mira » October 29th, 2010, 11:58 am

J. T. SHEA wrote:A $250,000 limit for hospitals, Mira? That wouldn't even pay for the parking for the doctors' Mercedes-Benzes.
Um.........no, J.T. The parking lot guy AND the Mercedes Benz dealer can't make more than 250,000. That's it. 250,000 for everyone. I know it's a slight adjustment in thinking, but that's my system, and I'm standing by it.

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by steve » November 18th, 2010, 12:43 am

The wealthy failed.

Jaimy Gordon won the National Book Award for her novel LORD OF MISRULE.

Published by an indie McPherson & Company.

Score two for the good guys.
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by maybegenius » November 18th, 2010, 2:49 am

See? All's fair in love and literary awards. Sometimes. Heh.
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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by JULIEMAC » November 18th, 2010, 3:12 am

Incredibly annoying when those who have plenty are also blessed with incredible literary skills = but if we stop giving any awards to people on the grounds they are loaded then we are probably on shaky ground. Imagine the outcry! Also, it is rather wonderful that a person with huge assets who could choose a variety of activities to fill their time (e.g. -decorate their mansion, travel to exotic places, buy Rodeo Drive) - actually spends a large period of time doing something that takes effort and perhaps nourishes the soul. They enjoy it too. AND IT''S FREE !!

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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by Margo » November 18th, 2010, 10:32 am

steve wrote:Score two for the good guys.
Because traditional publishing and the wealthy are the bad guys??? Gee, if I were the writer who won, I'd want to think it was because I was the best writer, not because I'm poor or because I'm published by an indie publisher or as a statement about the highly subjective perception of good versus evil. On that level, it sucks to be the winner.

Wow, the anti-wealth sentiment on this thread is really interesting. Both incredibly bitter and a little scary. I fear someone will knit my name for even saying that.
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Re: Should wealthy writers win literary awards?

Post by steve » November 18th, 2010, 2:40 pm

Margo wrote:
steve wrote:Score two for the good guys.
Because traditional publishing and the wealthy are the bad guys???
Traditional publishing is what it is. They care about selling books more than books. I don't necessarily think of them as bad guys, but compared to McPherson, they are tiresome and dull.
Founded in 1974, McPherson & Company is an independent literary and arts publishing house. Here you'll find literary nonfiction and fiction (contemporary American and British fiction; translated Italian, French, and Spanish fiction), books in the arts and general culture, and a rediscovery series, Recovered Classics.
And nothing wrong with being wealthy; just don't expect to with the 2010 Steve Award if you are.
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

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