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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Pulitzer Prize

The Pulitzer Prize was established by American (Hungarian-born) publisher Joseph Pulitzer.  Joseph was a journalist and newspaper publisher, who founded the "St. Louis Dispatch."  Pulitzer left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911, a portion of which was used to found the University's school of journalism in 1912.  The prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories.  In twenty of these, each winner receives a certificate and a $10,000 dollar cash award.  The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal, which usually goes to a newspaper.  Awards are given for achievements in newspaper, on-line journalism, literature, and musical composition.

The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically evaluate all applicable works in the media, but only those that have been entered with a $50 entry fee (one per desired entry category).  Entries must fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance on the grounds of having general literary or compositional properties.  Works can also only be entered into a maximum of two prize categories, regardless of their properties.
Each year, 102 judges are selected to "serve on 20 separate juries" for the 21 award categories (one jury for both photography awards).  Most of the juries consist of five members, except for those of "public service, investigative reporting, beat reporting, feature writing and commentary categories", which have seven members.  For each award category, a jury makes three nominations.  The board selects the winner by majority vote from the nominations or bypass the nominations and select a different entry with a 75% majority vote.  The board can also vote no award.  The board gets no compensation for its work.  The jurors in letters, music, and drama get a $2000 honorarium for the year, while each chair gets $2500.
On this Date in History, October 25, 1962, John Steinbeck was awarded the Noble Prize in literature.  He was best known for the Pulitzer Prize –winning novels "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men."
As a writer one can only dream of reaching such heights of Greatness!!


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