Saturday, 24 November 2012

December Approaches, So it Must be 'Britain's 'Most Dreaded Literary Prize'...

Time for the Literary Review's shortlist for the annual Bad Sex in Fiction award...

This is the 20th year, and the ceremony to announce the winner "for the most embarrassing passage of sexual description in a novel" will take place on Tuesday 4th December.

I do wonder if some authors don't leave these dreadful scenes in, rather than edit them to make them better, so they can improve their chance for the shortlist and get their book publicity - no actual cost in time or money needed. 

As it's really not bad publicity on the scale of everything that could be classed as bad publicity...

Others no doubt, just aren't very good at writing such scenes- though I'm sure they think they're okay at the time...

If you had the option, saying you did it deliberately is much better than admitting you write bad sex scenes... :-)

In a year that has seen the rise of 'Fifty Shades of Grey', you might expect the book to have been a sure-fire candidate. But no, and here's why.

"The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to the crude, badly written, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it. The prize is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature."

So that rules FSOG out...

There've been the usual newspaper articles mentioning names;  the shortlist includes the following: (if you've actually read any of them, and have an opinion, do please comment.)

  • The Yips by Nicola Barker
  • The Adventuress by Nicholas Coleridge
  • Infrared by Nancy Huston
  • Rare Earth by Paul Mason
  • Noughties by Ben Masters
  • The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills
  • The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine
  • Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe

  • "For snippets from the shortlist, follow Literary Review's twitter account, @lit_review. The tweets are tagged as #LRBadSex2012."

    I'll definitely be following on Twitter...



    1. Thanks for that link, Carol. I haven't read any of those books and hadn't actually heard of them, so now I'm curious which means perhaps the publicity is working (or will be if people end up looking and buying). I haven't read FSOG either :-) x

    2. Haven't read any of them and probably never will, Carol! I think that comp has most likely changed from the original idea as I'm sure you're right and many authors now write them on purpose.

    3. Thanks for commenting, Teresa, and,Rosemary.:)

      I've heard of a few of the books, but not read them.

      I doubt any writer would mind the publicity, and the chance it will up sales by being included in the shortlist.

    4. I think you're right. If we look at it cynically, which in this day and age, I think publishers probably do, there were probably ones that could have avoided being in there had a little editing been suggested...And of course, like all 'awards', it's all subjective.


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