Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 2 years ago

How do you win a Nobel Prize for Literature?

Such people as JRR Tolkien, C.S Lewis, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Leo Tolstoy, George Orwell, etc, have all revolutionised literature and were alive at the time of the Nobel Prize for Literature being awarded to famous writers, so therefore could have won, but they never did, instead such people that I've never even heard of, or heard of their work have instead won.

While I'm not criticizing Nobel Prize laureates, I can't help but wonder why it is that JRR Tolkien or George Orwell never earned a Nobel Prize considering how they revolutionised modern literature. Instead, such people as Bob Dylan have won the Nobel Prize, and while Bob Dylan is a genius lyricist, something I've believed well before he won the award, I can't help but question why Orwell, Lewis, Tolkien, etc haven't won.

What do the judges or voters look at when they nominate a winner for Nobel Prize for Literature?

5 Answers

  • Huh?
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    You have to write a large body of work of a very high literary quality. People like Tolkein, Christie, or Lewis were very popular but that's not enough. Tolstoy was Nobel-worthy but produced his best work long before the prize was set up.

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    When a Nobel Prize is awarded, the committee that awards it issues a statement explaining why they chose that specific person. All of those statements are available online at the Nobel Prize's website, so you could look there and see why they chose this or that person (although of course they don't explain "why NOT Orwell?").

  • 2 years ago

    You don't win for genre fiction, even when your genre fiction is popular.

  • 2 years ago

    In order to win, you have to be nominated by a member of a prestigious literature organisation, such as:

    1. Members of the Swedish Academy and of other academies, institutions and societies which are similar to it in construction and purpose;

    2. Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges;

    3. Previous Nobel Laureates in Literature;

    4. Presidents of those societies of authors that are representative of the literary production in their respective countries.

    Then your work is assessed to merit and quality.

    Previous winner Sara Danius said of the process that:

    "You get awarded not for a single work, but for a life’s work. You are expected to come up with something new in terms of content or form or both."


    “The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to someone who has done outstanding work in an idealistic direction that adds the greatest benefit to humankind.”

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  • 2 years ago

    keep writing and hoping!!

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