Thursday, December 06, 2007

Good on Yer, Kev!

I think I'm in love with Kevin Rudd, Australia's new premier.

Yes, he may nibble his own ear wax and spend boozy nights in strip joints, he may (as Barry Humphries says) look like a dentist, and have the naffest bloke's name in the known universe.

But within hours of getting into office he not only ratified the Kyoto Protocol, he also announced a generous new literary prize for Australian authors. Now how's that for prioritising?

The Prime Minister's Literary Prize will reward the published fiction book of the year, and published non-fiction book of the year with the authors receiving a whopping A$100,000, (tax-free) the Australian reports. A further $100,000 is to be spent each year on promoting and administering the awards.

Only the IMPAC Dublin Literary award is worth more (£100,000).

Writers and publishers are, of course, overjoyed yesterday by the decision.

Because quite apart from the fact that authors often find it hard to make a living from their craft, an award like this sends out the message that writers are valued, and perks up public interest in books like nothing else.

Good on yer, Kev!

(Photo by Nicholas Johnfield on Flickr).


Glenda Larke said...

Isn't he great? Now all I have to do is write That Novel...

GUO SHAO-HUA said...

this is even better:

Rudd speaking Mandarin on Chinese television!

bibliobibuli said...

wow! vastly impressed

Anonymous said...

Imagine if all world leaders valued the arts like this! Ah, what a wonderful world that would be.

-- Preeta

k said...

had always rooted for Rudd for his strong connection with the people - particularly enjoyed his frequent visit to Aussie's Channel 7 morning talk show "Sunrise" with his back-then counterpart Joe Hockey (too bad the Anzac day debacle happened).

very people oriented.