Staunch Book Prize

I discovered something truly wonderful the other day. There is a new book prize which I think is long overdue and one I think readers will celebrate. Staunch Book Prize is in its inaugural year and its aim is to award the prize to the author of a thriller where no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.

Based in England and founded by writer Bridget Lawless, the prize aims to reward writers who tell a thrilling story without resorting to well-worn clichés, “particularly female characters who are sexually assaulted (however ‘necessary to the plot’), or done away with (however ingeniously).”

When I heard about this I cheered because so often these women in these books are treated so poorly, and while there is argument for storytelling, more often than not the treatment of these women have nothing to do with the storyline, or these characters offer nothing more than playing victim to the often male lead allowing him to be clever and solving the case.

The Staunch Book prize is here to make space for the books that don’t include violence towards women as part of their narrative. As the website states:

While women in the real world are fighting sexual abuse and violence, being disbelieved when they report rape or assault, or being murdered because they’re women, the casual and endless depiction of women as victims or prey sits uneasily alongside their fight. While real rape survivors struggle to be heard and counted, fictional rape victims take the stage – usually as two-dimensional characters – in stories that celebrate the cunning (often, charming sexiness/astonishing brutality) of serial rapists and the dogged brilliance of detectives.

The judges include Bridget Lawless, actor, writer and comedian Doon Mackichon, and literary agent Piers Blofeld. The shortlist is to be announced 1st November and hopefully this list will be a great starting point for readers who are looking for entertaining books with thrilling plots and captivating characters, without resorting to the same old stories. The winner will be announced 26th November, a day chosen to honour the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

For further details check out the website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ally
    Oct 17, 2018 @ 21:10:47

    Oh that is a great idea! I can’t wait to see the nominees!

    Like

    Reply

  2. Sharryn
    Oct 17, 2018 @ 10:28:43

    I agree. No more stereo typical female victims with so much violence would make a much better culture for males and females to be immersed in when reading !

    Like

    Reply

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