Did you hear about the 2008 Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction? It’s a funny story. From the Guardian (“Hay festival: Will Self wins comic fiction prize,” by Richard Lea):
A prize winner may come to seem almost inevitable after the announcement, the newly-crowned work suddenly towering above its former rivals on the shortlist like a literary colossus.
The award of the 2008 Wodehouse prize for comic fiction to Will Self took the process to its logical conclusion, with the victory for his latest novel, The Butt, literally inevitable since the day the shortlist was announced last month.
Keen-eyed readers of the programme for this year’s Hay festival – published on the same day as a Wodehouse shortlist that included Self, Alan Bennett and Garrison Keillor – will have noticed Self described as the “winner of the 2008 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction”.
The programme “gave away a little more than we had meant to,” admitted the festival’s press officer, Hannah Lort-Phillips.