Saturday, October 17, 2009


From Philip Kerr:

Dear Norman
I thought your readers might appreciate some clarification regarding the RBA prize.

First of all, European prizes are a foreign country: they do things differently there. Which is not to say it's better or worse than we do them here. It's just different.

The RBA International Crime Writing Prize is annual and is open to all unpublished crime novels. The must be submitted in manuscript. As far as I can gather there were one hundred and sixty of these manuscripts that were submitted for this year's RBA award. The prize is a little trophy and a cheque for 125,000 euros; and a publishing contract for the winning book from the prize sponsors. I don't know if there was a short list or not, I'm afraid.
But there was a panel of judges[critics and booksellers] and only one of them [I think] was employed by the RBA. It's possible I haven't got this entirely right. My Spanish isn't great, but it's not as bad as my Catalan, as you can judge for yourself by viewing the prize ceremony and my acceptance speech on the You Tube link here.

In April of this year I won a prize given by the French magazine Le Point. Mostly it was glory[not to be underestimated] but there were also a few bottles of rather nice wine, too , not to mention some useful publicity for my book. Until then I'd never wion any sort of crime writing prize [unless you count the Deutsche Krimi prize, but I really have no idea how that works or what it is] so I hope you'll forgive me if I say that I was very proud to have won the RBA. I still feel that way.

It's been my one moment in the sun during a twenty year writing career.

While I was in Spain I felt I was flying the flag for British crime writing and I was, perhaps, a little disappointed that the last issue of the CWA magazine Red Herrings mentioned nothing about my winning the prize. Perhaps they don't read the Guardian.
Hope this helps.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this with us; that's really interesting information.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

The award ceremony looks rather fun.

8:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home