Alternative Nobel Lit Prize Planned in Sweden This Year

In response to the Swedish Academy's decision not to award a Nobel Prize in Literature this year in the wake of a scandal, more than 100 Swedish writers, actors, journalists and other cultural figures have formed the New Academy, which will hand out its own award this autumn, following the same timeline as the Nobel, the Guardian reported. The winner will be announced in October and presented December 10 at a formal celebration. The New Academy will be dissolved December 11.

"We have founded the New Academy to remind people that literature and culture at large should promote democracy, transparency, empathy and respect, without privilege, bias arrogance or sexism," organizers of the new prize said in a statement. "In a time when human values are increasingly being called into question, literature becomes an even more important counterforce to stop the culture of silence and oppression. The New Academy regards this as so important, that the world's greatest literature prize should still be awarded in 2018. This is the sole purpose of why we have founded the New Academy."

Calling the effort "a protest," the New Academy wrote: "We want to show people that serious cultural work does not have to occur in a context of coercive language, irregularities or abuse. The New Academy, whose members are extremely driven and knowledgeable individuals, will work according to the time plan of the traditional Swedish Academy."

The New Academy is inviting all of Sweden's librarians to nominate authors, the Guardian reported, adding that "contenders can be from anywhere in the world, and must have written at least two books, one of which was published in the last 10 years. They are looking for a writer who has told the story of 'humans in the world.' "

Once nominations have been received, the New Academy will launch a public vote, with the top four authors put before a jury led by editor Ann Pålsson and including Gothenburg University professor Lisbeth Larsson and librarian Gunilla Sandin.

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