Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Bookends

September 1978
by
September 1978, no. 4

Bookends

September 1978
by
September 1978, no. 4

During next month – October – we celebrate Australian Book Week, and during this week the winners of the National Book Council 1978 Australian Literature Awards will be announced. As one of the judges, I have been forced by this contest to think not only about the value of competitions in the arts, but also about what we might mean by giving any book an award for ‘best of its kind’. Certainly, the contest, like the book week, helps to bring public attention to Australian books, and brings some sort of monetary reward to the author and publisher of the winning entry. Writers in this country are so badly rewarded for their writing that this is no doubt a sufficient reason for the contest, even although the total value of the award would not pay the transfer fee for a junior and untested player in Australian Rules football, or the legal fee to challenge the new copyright laws which give all educational institutions the right to avail themselves of other people’s work without incurring any effective charge. Yet the danger remains that by choosing one book, we are limiting the attention given to all the other worthy contenders. There is some protection against this in the number of awards which are now given, but taken together they still do not allow recognition to the greater part of the excellent writing being published annually in this country.

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.