A new £10,000 pound prize to find Britain's best ebook has been announced.
The Kidwell-e Ebook Awards is the UK's first literary prize aimed exclusively at digital books and comes at a time of massive growth in the number of people choosing to read books on electronic devices.
The prize – set up to celebrate “innovation, quality and entertainment” in the burgeoning medium of electronic publishing – is open to all British writers with separate categories for first-time and established authors.
There are also awards for the best international ebook author and best eShort story submitted by a young writer.
The winners will be decided by a panel of celebrity judges and revealed at the inaugural Kidwell-e Festival, taking place in the Welsh village of Kidwelly this summer.
Festival founder and best-selling author Julian Ruck says that the new award will “finally bring literary recognition” to the popular ebook format.
Speaking from his home in Wales, he said: “Electronic books have been around for over a decade but though there are prizes around the world specifically for ebooks, they seem to have been either overlooked or ignored by British literary awards.
“This seems unfair as digital publishing has proven incredibly popular with authors and readers alike. It has levelled the playing field, enabling talented new writers to reach their audience directly and readers to discover more fantastic books than ever before.
“It is only fitting then that there should be some form of award for the best of British ebooks and the aim of the Kidwell-e Ebook Awards is to finally bring literary recognition to the digital medium.”
The Kidwell-e Ebook Awards joins a handful of literary prizes around the globe dedicated to electronic books, including America's EPIC eBook Awards, run by the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition, and the Global Ebook Award.
And with a £10k ($16,000) cash prize for the best unpublished or self-published eBook by a British author, as well as two additional prizes of £3,000 ($4,000) and £2,000 ($3,000) to the best ebook by an established British author and international author, it offers the largest prize fund of its kind in the world.
Mr Ruck, who will be on the Awards judging panel alongside a number of “well-known” authors and VIPS yet to be announced, added: “Our motto is 'inclusive, not exclusive' and we are looking to reward the popular as opposed to the highbrow or self-consciously elite.
“The judges will be looking for writers who have exceptional ability and who best demonstrate the key qualities of innovation, quality and entertainment.
“For the unknown or first-time writer the Awards will be a complete game-changer, catapulting the winner into the mainstream and allowing them to dedicate their time to writing.”
Entry to the Kidwell-e Ebook Awards costs £25 and is open to all writers in the English language. For more information visit www.kidwellyefestival.com