To A.J.M. SMITH
November 22, 1970
I’m beginning to think the whole idea of annual literary awards is a mistake. They are so much a matter of luck (a bad book will win one year when there’s no competition, and a good one will lose the next year when there is); they tend to foster resentment and the formation of coteries; judges do favour bad authors who are young and poor over good ones who are old and rich (I’ve seen this successfully urged on a few panels I’ve been on: ‘this kid’s almost broke, you know…’). Anyway, anyone who wins a literary award these days has pretty well to go into hiding for a few weeks until the fury has died down. All awards seem to be apples of discord.
From The Heart Accepts It All: The Selected Letters of John Glassco, edited by Brian Busby.