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Britain's best loved literary magazine, now in its 30th year
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Britain's Most Dreaded Literary Prize...

The 20th annual award for the most embarrassing passage of sexual description in a novel will take place on Tuesday 4 December 2012.

The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to the crude, badly written, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it. The prize is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature.

In a year in which the country's obsession with mummy porn, red rooms of pain and Christian Grey has reached fever pitch, Literary Review is proud to continue its gentle chastisement of the worst excesses of the literary novel.

This year's shortlist includes:

  • The Yips by Nicola Barker
  • The Adventuress by Nicholas Coleridge
  • Infrared by Nancy Huston
  • Rare Earth by Paul Mason
  • Noughties by Ben Masters
  • The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills
  • The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine
  • Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe

Last year the prize was won by David Guterson for Ed King, published by Bloomsbury.

For a confessional account on Bad Sex judging by Literary Review's senior editor Jonathan Beckman, read his piece in the Financial Times. You will also be able to read a more detailed report on this year's shortlist in Literary Review's December / January double issue. For snippets from the shortlist, follow Literary Review's twitter account, @lit_review. The tweets are tagged as #LRBadSex2012.

How do you find bad sex? The hunt continues here:




Royal Literary Fund


TLC