Best literary Awards help us navigate in the endless sea of written words. Having some knowledge about the most prestigious book awards is an asset for any bookworm and literature enthusiast. Your reading list will always be full of pieces worth reading, and any conversation with you can be lightened up by your knowledge of the contemporary literary scene. Discover below six of the prestigious literary awards that we are looking forward to in 2021! 

Do you have any idea of how many books are printed per minute, worldwide or in the US? How many individual titles have been written throughout the history of humankind? These numbers are beyond my comprehension, but here is an example to give you an idea. In 2013, 304,912 new titles and re-editions were printed only in the US only (according to UNESCO). And these titles are just a tiny fracture of the literary pieces out there — think of all those classic books you want to read and a bunch of professional literature on your list.

Why Do We Need to Follow Prestigious Literary Awards

Keeping up-to-date with the literary awards is one possible strategy to handle this mass of printed words. In the literary world, there are several milestones like the Oscars and the Cannes Festival for the film industry — and six of them will be reviewed below.

However, there is much more to discover beyond these mainstream prestigious literary awards. You can read about the best book awards in more detail here and decide which ones sound the most fascinating based on your preferences. To avoid frustration, it is really crucial to know the profiles of these awards. 

Some awards are given for specific genres (like young adult literature), while others distinguish female authors (check the renowned Women’s Prize for Fiction) or authors from minority groups. While most of the awards are decided by a board of critics and authors, there are also awards based solely on readers’ choices. For example, in Goodreads Choice Awards, readers decide on their favorite works in several genres based on online voting.   

You’ve set your mind on following a few literary awards — either mainstream or very niche. What to do next? Of course, you can only look at the top of the iceberg and read only the winning pieces. You can dive deeper and pick a few books from shortlisted and longlisted works since there are definitely a few literary treats awaiting you! You can also participate in a Monthly Book Award reading challenge — the idea sounds fantastic!  

Here is a helpful list that includes the dates of longlists, shortlists, finalists, and winners announcements for all significant book awards — mark your calendars! If you are not interested in a contemporary literary scene, you can check, for example, the Pulitzer price winners for the 50s and replenish your reading list.

Whatever books you choose to read, BookScouter will help you find them for the lowest price, even if it is a rare edition! Below is a list of the top six most prestigious literary awards that are worth following in 2021! 

One of the Most Prestigious Book Awards: The Nobel Prize in Literature

This is the oldest literary award bestowed since 1901. The winner of 2020 is an American poet Louise Glück, who received this distinction “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”

The holder of the Nobel Prize 2021 will be announced on October 7.

The Pulitzer Prize

Established back in 1917, the Pulitzer Prize is now awarded for literary works of American authors in 21 categories, including drama, music, and breaking news photography. You can check all the winners of 2020 here. That year, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer for Fiction.

The announcement of the winners for 2021 is postponed to June 11.

The Booker Prize

From 1969 onwards, the Man Booker Prize is awarded to a novel written in English and published in the UK or Ireland. The 2020 Booker Prize was awarded to Douglas Stuart for the novel Shuggie Bain.  

So far, the calendar for the Booker of 2021 is not yet announced.

The International Booker Prize

The Man Booker International Prize — a sibling of the Booker Prize — is awarded to the best work in Fiction written in a foreign language, translated into English, and published in the UK or Ireland. This award distinguishes both the work of the author and the translator. In 2020, the winning novel was The Discomfort of Evening, written in Dutch by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and translated by Michele Hutchison.

The winner of this year will be announced on June 6, and the shortlist is already available; hurry up to check it out!  

PEN America Literary Awards

PEN Awards are endowed since 1963 for outstanding works of various genres, including poetry, essays, and fiction. The winners of 2021 have already been announced on April 8, and you can watch the ceremony online and pick a few items to read in the following months. For example, the praised Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel by Kawai Strong Washburn received the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel.

National Book Award 

From 1950 onwards, this literary prize one of the most prestigious book awards in the US. The National Book Award is given in five nominations: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature. The 2020 award in Fiction was given to Charles Yu for Interior Chinatown.

This year, we will know the finalists on October 5, and the 72nd National Book Awards Ceremony is scheduled for November 17.


These best book awards are a sure sign of literary quality and unsurpassed societal significance. Dare to explore further, dive into the archives of these awards or look beyond these prestigious literary awards to diversify your reading list. Whatever book you choose — BookScouter helps you to get the books you need for the best price!

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