New prize awards $50K US for unpublished work with woman as main protagonist

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A new literary prize worth $50,000 US ($63,370.00) will honour unpublished work featuring women as lead characters, in hopes to balance out a trend that shows most literary prizes are won by stories about men.

"According to 2015 research from author Nicola Griffith, the majority of the significant literary prizes are awarded to works written from a male perspective," said Caroline Bowler, representing the newly announced Half the World Global Literati Award.

Griffith, author of The Blue Place and Hild, analyzed 15 years' worth of results of major literary prizes, including the Pulitzer and Man Booker Prizes. She found that many of the winning books were written from a male character's perspective. For instance, results of the Pulitzer Prize from 2000 to 2015 show that eight out of 15 of the winning books were by men about men or boys, three were by women about men or boys, three were by women about both genders, one was by a man about an intersex individual and none were about women.

The new award hopes to address that gender gap.

"The Half the World Global Literati Award is specifically designed to put the spotlight on real female characters and positively impact how women are represented in contemporary writing," said Bowler in a news release.

The competition is open to writers of any nationality and gender and is accepting submissions until June 8. The work can be an unpublished short story, novel or screenplay and written in English. The entries can be written in any genre - from science fiction, romance to memoir.

The judging panel includes Anne Harrison, producer of the Oscar-nominated film The Danish Girl, scholar Dr. Lisa Tomlinson, journalist Margie Orford, Cassandra's Angel author Gina Otto, Harper's Bazaar Singapore editor-in-chief Kenneth Goh, Darkness and Warrior Chronicles series author K.F. Breene, environmental activist Michael Marckx and Half the World Holdings executive director Debra Langley.

The Half the World Global Literati Awards were created by Half the World Holdings, a global investment platform specializing in companies where women are the main consumer demographic.