‘Bad Sex in Fiction’ award canceled because 2020 has ruined everything

Fictional bad sex is just too much for folks to handle in the hellish coronavirus pandemic-stricken year of 2020.

That’s according to the organizers of Britain’s Bad Sex in Fiction award who have canceled this year’s prize after “weeks of deliberation.”

The judges of the annual prize given out by the British magazine, Literary Review, “felt that the public had been subjected to too many bad things this year to justify exposing it to bad sex as well,” the magazine said.

The cancelation of the 2020 awards should not be taken as a license to write bad sex scenes, the judges warned.

“With lockdown regulations giving rise to all manner of novel sexual practices, the judges anticipate a rash of entries next year. Authors are reminded that cybersex and other forms of home entertainment fall within the purview of this award,” a spokesperson for the judges said in a statement.

The cover of the December/January issue of Literary Review.
The cover of the December/January issue of Literary Review.
Courtesy of Literary Review

“Scenes set in fields, parks or back yards, or indoors with the windows open and fewer than six people present will not be exempt from scrutiny either,” the spokesperson added.

Since 1993, the Bad Sex in Fiction Award has honored the year’s “most outstandingly awful scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel,” according to the Literary Review.

“Drawing attention to the poorly written, redundant, or downright cringe worthy passages of sexual description in modern fiction, the prize is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature,” the magazine says.

The Bad Sex in Fiction award was established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, who was at that time editor of the Literary Review.

Winners of the award over the years have included Tom Wolfe and sing-songwriter Morrissey.


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