The Staunch Book Prize will be awarded to a thriller novel in which no woman gets beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.
Have you noticed how much violence there is against women in fiction these days? In books and on screen, it's everywhere. Often it's very graphic and explicit, detailing a woman's pain, suffering and fear, focusing on the abuse and injury of female characters to make a 'good story'. Isn't it time for something different? Well, I thought so, so I've launched the Staunch Book Prize - and I'm inviting thriller-writers to keep us on the edge of our seats without resorting to the same old clichés! Please watch the video above to see why the judges and I are backing this so wholeheartedly. And watch the video below to see what we mean by clichés!
We're focusing on thriller novels because they’re a huge and important genre in their own right – but they’re frequently also source material for film and television. We want to show not only readers, but producers, directors and actors that there are amazing, complex thrillers being created today by writers with truly fresh ideas, great imagination and brilliant plotting skill.
We've been amazed how quickly news of the prize has travelled around the world. Our press, radio and TV coverage has been incredible - it's because this is something so different. It's a call to writers to stretch their imaginations and change the narrative. Already we're receiving a fantastic response from readers across the globe who want to see great new thrillers without such clichéd, repetitive, violence and the endless depiction of women as victims.
Lots of people have given their time and energy to this project, and a huge thanks to them! We've done it all with no arts funding, no sponsors, and no vested interest to tell us what to do.
We're Crowdfunding now for funds to cover our running costs, all the big and small outgoings that will help keep the show on the road and take us all the way to the prize ceremony on 25th November 2018, and beyond - because for the short-listed and winning authors, that's just the start, and we'll be there to help them to the next stage. If we exceed our target of £10,000, we'll be able to do so much more, including awarding more prizes and supporting research into the effects of fictional violence whether in books, films or television dramas.
Check out our website - you'll find lots more info, news articles, submission guidelines and some fun teaser films on www.staunchbookprize.com.
Please donate if you can - and share this Crowdfunder with everyone you know.