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The graph I pointed out a while back from Cory Doctorow turns out to be from a study Nicola Griffith is heading on the distribution of literary awards. Here’s an article Doctorow has written about it online titled “Gender and sf awards: who wins and for what,” and here is a blog post from Griffith about her intent.

Not only is the study group checking to see who wins, but also whether the main characters of the winning entries are male, female or mixed. This is producing some interesting data. According to Griffith, the more prestigious the award, the more likely the subject is to be male. For example, forty percent of Hugo awards for novels from 2000-2014 went to men writing about men/boys, and another 13% went to women writing about men/boys. The other 47% of winners was divided between men or women writing about women/girls or about mixed male/female or uncertain characters. Within this group, men took the biggest bite again, receiving 20% of the awards with novels about mixed male and female characters. This leaves men dominating in some way for 73% of the awards. The graph Doctorow posted on Twitter from the study group shows that awards for women pretty much followed their professional involvement in SF&F writing until the late nineties, when then a downward trend stuck. So far there’s no info on why.

Griffith’s study group also plans to look at other awards like the Edgars, the Campbells, the Pulitzer and the Newbery. Besides who wins for what, they’re also planning to ask publishers and booksellers about the standards and procedures for choosing, supporting and publicizing books for awards. The articles include a link to her study group for anyone interested in helping with the study.

Graphs courtesy of the Literary Prize Data study headed by Nicola Griffith.

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