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Awarded forLiterary award
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Kitschies are British literary prizes presented annually for "the year's most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic" published in the United Kingdom.[1]

Awards and criteria[edit]

The Kitschies are administered by a non-profit association with the stated mission of "encouraging and elevating the tone of the discussion of genre literature in its many forms".[2] The founders, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin, said that they sought to bring attention to works with a fantastic or speculative element that are progressive in terms of content and composition.[1]

The award is a juried prize that selects those books which "best elevate the tone of genre literature". Qualifying books must contain "an element of the fantastic or speculative" and have been published in the UK.[3] Winners receive a sum of prize money and a textile tentacle trophy.[1]

The Kitschies are governed by an advisory board of members. They were initially established in 2009 by the website The Kraken Rum was the sponsor between 2010 and 2013. For 2014 and 2015, Fallen London (a creation of UK game developer Failbetter Games) was the sponsor. The award did not run in 2016.[4] From 2017 the sponsor is Blackwell's Bookshop.[5]

As of 2015, the Kitschies are awarded in five categories:

  • Red Tentacle for the best novel (£1,000, since 2009)
  • Golden Tentacle for the best debut novel (£500, since 2010)
  • Inky Tentacle for the best cover art (£500, since 2011)
  • Invisible Tentacle for the best natively digital fiction (since 2014)
  • Glentacle, awarded at the judges' discretion (since 2010, called "Black Tentacle" until 2020)


The judging panels changes annually[6] and the unpaid directors have changed due to workload or illness.[7] The number of submissions has increased from 70 in 2009[8] to a record of 234 in 2013.

For each year, the judges, directors, and the number of submissions for each year are as follows:

Year Literary Art Natively digital fiction Award Directors Submissions
2009 Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin NA NA Jared Shurin and Anne C. Perry 70[9]
2010 Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin NA NA Jared Shurin and Anne C. Perry 50[10]
2011 Perry, Shurin, Lauren Beukes and Rebecca Levene Hayley Campbell, Craig Kennedy, Catherine Hemelryk and Darren Banks NA Jared Shurin 150[11]
2012 Shurin, Levene and Patrick Ness Lauren O'Farrell, Gary Northfield and Ed Warren NA Jared Shurin 211[12]
2013 Nick Harkaway, Kate Griffin, Will Hill, Anab Jain and Annabelle Wright Hazel Thompson, Sarah Anne Langton, Emma Vieceli and Craig Kennedy NA Glen Mehn 234[13]
2014 Kate Griffin, Adam Roberts, Kim Curran, Frances Hardinge and Glen Mehn Ed Warren, Dapo Adeola, Jim Kay and Siân Prime Laura Grace, James Wallis, Phil van Kemenade and Clare Reddington Glen Mehn 198[14]
2015[15] Sarah Lotz, James Smythe, Nazia Khatun, Nikesh Shukla and Glen Mehn Sarah McIntyre, Regan Warner, Dapo Adeola and Lauren O'Farrell John Wallis, Emily Short, and Rebecca Levene Glen Mehn 176[16]
2016 No award No award NA No award NA
2017[17] Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Leila Abu El Hawa, Joshua Idehen, Alasdair Stuart, and Ewa Scibor-Rylska Dapo Adeola, Sharan Dhaliwal, Jet Purdie, and Stuart Taylor NA Glen Mehn and Leila Abu El Hawa 142[18]
2018[19] Adam Roberts, Sharan Dhaliwal, Daniel Carpenter, Lucy Smee, and Matt Webb Dapo Adeola, Lily Ash Sakula and Maeve Rutten NA Glen Mehn & Leila Abu el Hawa 178[20]
2019[21] Claire North, Kirsty Logan, Tasha Suri, Michaela (Boo) Grey and Alasdair Stuart Kim Curran, James Spackman, Kaiya Shang and Sharan Matharu NA Leila Abu el Hawa and Anne Perry 196[22]
2020[23] M R Carey, Clare Rees, Mahvesh Murad, Kaiya Shang, and Daphne Lao Tong. Paul Wiseall, Fleur Clarke, Claire Richardson and Jeffrey Alan Love. NA Leila Abu el Hawa and Anne Perry 177[24]


All award information, unless otherwise referenced, is from the Kitschies Award's blog and tumblr, or from the sponsor Blackwell's website.

Red Tentacle (best novel)[edit]

Year Author Nominated Work Result Ref
2009 China Miéville The City & the City Won [25]
Joe Abercrombie Best Served Cold Nominated [25]
Jane Austen (posth.) and Seth Grahame-Smith Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Lev Grossman The Magicians
Reif Larsen The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet
2010 Lauren Beukes Zoo City Won [26]
Scott K. Andrews Children's Crusade Nominated [26]
China Miéville Kraken
K. J. Parker The Folding Knife
Jean-Christophe Valtat Aurorarama
2011 Siobhan Dowd and Patrick Ness A Monster Calls Won [27]
Jesse Bullington The Enterprise of Death Nominated [27]
China Miéville Embassytown
Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb
Lavie Tidhar Osama
2012 Nick Harkaway Angelmaker Won [28]
Jesse Bullington The Folly of the World Nominated [28]
Frances Hardinge A Face Like Glass
Adam Roberts Jack Glass
Juli Zeh The Method
2013 Ruth Ozeki A Tale for the Time Being Won [29]
Anne Carson Red Doc Nominated [29]
Patrick Ness More Than This
Thomas Pynchon Bleeding Edge
James Smythe The Machine
2014 Andrew Smith Grasshopper Jungle Won [30]
Nina Allan The Race [30]
William Gibson The Peripheral
Nnedi Okorafor Lagoon Nominated
Will Wiles The Way Inn
2015 Margaret Atwood The Heart Goes Last Won [31]
Dave Hutchinson Europe at Midnight Nominated [31]
N. K. Jemisin The Fifth Season
Adam Roberts The Thing Itself
Hugo Wilcken The Reflection
2016 No awards held [32]
2017 Nina Allan The Rift Won [33]
Deon Meyer, translated by L. Seegers Fever Nominated [33]
Jess Richards City of Circles
William Sutcliffe We See Everything
Michelle Tea Black Wave
2018 Madeline Miller Circe Won [34]
Becky Chambers Record of a Spaceborn Few Nominated [34]
Simon Ings The Smoke
Tade Thompson Rosewater
Lavie Tidhar Unholy Land
2019 Jan Carson The Fire Starters Won [35]
Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone This Is How You Lose the Time War Nominated [35]
Vicki Jarrett Always North
Yōko Ogawa The Memory Police
Jane Rawson From the Wreck
2020 Susanna Clarke Piranesi Won [36]
Curdella Forbes A Tall History of Sugar Nominated [36]
N. K. Jemisin The City We Became
Natasha Pulley The Lost Future of Pepperharrow
Kim Stanley Robinson The Ministry for the Future
2021 No awards held
2022 Becky Chambers The Galaxy, and the Ground Within Won [37]
Zen Cho Black Water Sister Nominated [37]
Un-su Kim, translated by Sean Lin Halbert The Cabinet
Adrian Tchaikovsky Bear Head
Catriona Ward The Last House on Needless Street

Golden Tentacle (best debut novel)[edit]

Year Author Nominated Work Result Ref
2009 Not awarded [25]
2010 Maurice Broaddus King Maker Won [26]
2011 Kameron Hurley God's War Won [27]
Douglas Hulick Among Thieves Nominated [27]
Erin Morgenstern The Night Circus
Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Fred Venturini The Samaritan
2012 Karen Lord Redemption in Indigo Won [28]
Madeline Ashby vN Nominated [28]
Jenni Fagan Panopticon
Rachel Hartman Seraphina
Tom Pollock The City's Son
2013 Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice Won [29]
Anne Charnock A Calculated Life Nominated [29]
Monica Hesse Stray
Ramez Naam Nexus
Robin Sloan Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
2014 Hermione Eyre Viper Wine Won [30]
Monica Byrne The Girl in the Road Nominated [30]
Becky Chambers The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Emmi Itäranta Memory of Water
Hanya Yanagihara The People in the Trees
2015 Tade Thompson Making Wolf Won [31]
A. Igoni Barrett Blackass Nominated [31]
Kirsty Logan The Gracekeepers
Paul Meloy The Night Clock
Sara Taylor The Shore
2016 No awards held
2017 Alex “Acks” Wells Hunger Makes the Wolf Won [33]
RJ Barker Age of Assassins Nominated [33]
Carmen Marcus How Saints Die
JY Yang The Black Tides of Heaven
Liz Ziemska Mandelbrot the Magnificent
2018 Ahmed Saadawi Frankenstein in Baghdad Won [34]
Tomi Adeyemi Children Of Blood and Bone Nominated [34]
Sue Burke Semiosis
R.F. Kuang The Poppy War
Rebecca Ley Sweet Fruit, Sour Land
2019 Clare Rees Jelly Won [35]
Katie Hale My Name Is Monster Nominated [35]
Wayétu Moore She Would Be King
Alix E. Harrow The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Rory Power Wilder Girls
2020 Micaiah Johnson The Space Between Worlds Won [36]
Kawai Strong Washburn Sharks in the Time of Saviours Nominated [36]
Laura Jean McKay The Animals in That Country
Deepa Anappara Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
Jordan Ifueko Raybearer
2021 No awards held
2022 Hilary Leichter Temporary Won [37]
Caroline Hardaker Composite Creatures Nominated [37]
Calvin Kasulke Several People Are Typing
Everina Maxwell Winter's Orbit
Xiran Jay Zhao Iron Widow

Inky Tentacle (best cover art)[edit]

Year Artist(s) Nominated Work Result Ref
2009 Not awarded [25]
2010 Not awarded [26]
2011 design by Peter Mendelsund The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan Won [27]
illustration by Stephen Walter, design by Patrick Knowles Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch Nominated [27]
design by Suzanne Dean, illustration by John Spencer The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco
design by Lauren Panepinto Equations of Life by Simon Morden
illustration by Jim Kay A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd
2012 illustration by Dave Shelton A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton Won [28]
design by La Boca The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman Nominated [28]
illustration by Oliver Jeffers The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne
illustration by Tom Gauld Costume Not Included by Matthew Hughes
design by Peter Mendelsund Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
2013 art by Will Staehle The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher Won [29]
design and illustration by Sinem Erkas Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill Nominated [29]
design by Amazing15 Homeland and Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
art by Gianmarco Magnani Stray by Monica Hesse
art by Joey Hi-Fi Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human
2014 cover by Glenn O'Neill Tigerman by Nick Harkaway Won [30]
design by Steve Marking The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin Nominated [30]
cover by Ben Summers A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar
cover by Emily Carroll and Sonja Chaghatzbanian Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
cover by Rafaela Romaya and Yehring Tong The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
2015 art direction and design by Jet Purdie "The Door That Led to Where" by Sally Gardner Won [31]
design by Pablo Declan The Vorrh by Brian Catling Nominated [31]
art direction by Jet Purdie, illustration by Patrick Leger Monsters by Emerald Fennell
design and illustration by Peter Adlington The Honours by Tim Clare
design by Alex Merto Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
2016 No awards held
2017 cover by Jack Smyth and the Simon & Schuster Art Department The History of Bees by Maja Lunde Won [33]
illustrated by David Dean The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders Nominated [33]
illustrated by Rose Stafford at Print Club, design by Hannah Naughton Black Wave by Michelle Tea
jacket design and illustration by Black Sheep The Real-Town Murders by Adam Roberts
design by Richard Shailer Our Memory like Dust by Gavin Chait
2018 cover by Suzanne Dean Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami Won [34]
design by Rafaela Romaya The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch Nominated [34]
design by James Nunn The Smoke by Simon Ings
design by Anna Mill and Luke Jones Square Eyes by Anna Mill and Luke Jones
design by Mike Topping Slender Man (novel) by Anonymous
2019 cover art by Tyler Comrie The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa Won [35]
cover design by Ceara Elliot Across The Void by S. K. Vaughan Nominated [35]
cover design by Leo Nickolls The Heavens by Sandra Newman
cover design by Faber & Faber Zed by Joanna Kavenna
cover design by Greg Stadnyk This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
2020 cover design by Allison Saltzman and illustration by Dexter Maurer The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem Won [36]
cover design by Ben Summers Little Eyes by Samantha Schweblin Nominated [36]
cover design by Andrew Davis Monstrous Heart by Clair McKenna
cover design by Lucy Scholes and Illustration by Amy Judd The Harpy by Megan Hunter
cover design by Lauren Panepinto The City We Became by N. K. Jemisin
2021 No awards held
2022 art and design by Julia Lloyd The Seep by Chana Porter Won [37]
Suzanne Dean Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder Nominated [37]
Tim Green Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Jaime Jones A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine
Ashley Mackenzie Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Invisible Tentacle (best natively digital fiction)[edit]

Year Author / Developer Nominated Work Form of Media Result Ref
2014 Cardboard Computer written by Jake Elliott Kentucky Route Zero Act III video game Won [30]
Jeff Noon and others @echovirus12 Twitter fiction Nominated [30]
Inkle Studios written by Meg Jayanth and Jon Ingold, directed by Joseph Humfrey and Jon Ingold 80 Days video game
Simogo Sailor’s Dream video game
2015 Dontnod Entertainment Life Is Strange video game Won [31]
Iain Pears Arcadia interactive novel Nominated [31]
@FrogCroakley Daniel Barker’s Birthday Twitter fiction
BBC Writers Room The Last Hours of Laura K
Hidetaka Miyazaki / FromSoftware Bloodborne video game

Glentacle (Discretionary award previously called the Black Tentacle)[edit]

This award was called "Black Tentacle" until 2020, when it was renamed in memory of Kitschies co-founder Glen Mehn.[38][7]

Year Winner Citation Ref
2009 No award [25]
2010 Memory, novel by Donald Westlake.
"to recognize a novel that doesn't quite fit the award description but is so exceptional it merits the highest praise...noir, pure and simple, by a master of the genre...

while we're sorry that Memory went unpublished while Westlake was alive, we're delighted that Hard Case brought the manuscript to light"
2011 SelfMadeHero, comics publisher
"for their 2011 body of work and their contribution to elevating geek culture"
2012 Lavie Tidhar, Charles Tan, and Sarah Newton
"for the World SF Blog, a website showcasing international speculative fiction"
2013 Malorie Blackman, British writer, Children's Laureate for 2013
"for outstanding achievement in encouraging and elevating the conversation around genre literature"
2014 Sarah McIntyre, author and illustrator
"for tireless work to promote the rights of artists and to encourage others to value their work"
2015 The genre community, personified by Patrick Ness
"for its response to the humanitarian refugee crisis"

Ness began a fund that raised over £690,000 for Save the Children.

2016 No awards held
2017 No award
2019 Nazia Khatun, Claire North, and Leila Abu El Hawa
"for services to the SF/F community."
2020 Simon Key of the Big Green Bookshop in Hastings
"demonstrated extraordinary generosity and selflessness to readers, introducing and running his "Buy a Stranger a Book" initiative every Wednesday to allow readers to access books at a time that even libraries were closed."
2021 No awards held
2022 Comma Press
"for their remarkable 'book of' and +100 series of anthologies"


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External links[edit]