31 Award-Winning Names: Beyond Oscar & Emmy


By Linda Rosenkrantz

Of course we all want our kids to be winners. So how about giving him or her a leg up by starting life with an achievement-award name? If you want to look at it aspirationally, a great variety of bases are covered here—from science to sports to literature to film to cartooning and even to blogging. (We’ve skipped the almost-too-obvious Oscar, Tony and Emmy.) Some very usable award names, and you might find one that relates to your own field of interest.

Agatha Award—a mystery fiction award named for Agatha Christie and given to crime writers in her “traditional” genre—in other words no explicit sex or excessive gore. .

Angus Book Award is for UK authors of teenage fiction, presented by the Angus Council of Scotland.

Booker Prize—more formally the Man Booker Prize— a highly sought-after British literary prize awarded annually for the best original novel written in English, as of this year from anywhere in the world. Would make a cool choice for a writer or book lover.

Calder Cup—Awarded annually since 1917 to the champions of the American Hockey League, named for Frank Calder, its first President. And a name that shares an art world reference.

César AwardsThese are the Oscars of France,  awarded each Feburary. They were named for the sculptor who created the physical award, César Baldaccini.

Clio Award—a prestigious advertising and design award named for the Greek muse of history.

Darwin Medal, named for Charles D., awarded for work of distinction in the field of Biology.

Davis Cup–to the winner of an annual tennis tournament, named for Dwight F. Davis, a tennis player and politician who founded the competition.

Dora Awards—a more localized accolade given for the best in Toronto theater, named for Dora Mavor Moore, who was instrumental in establishing Canadian professional theater.

Edgar Awards, named for no less a figure than Edgar Allan Poe, are the most prestigious awards in the mystery genre.

Effie Awards– stands for effectiveness in marketing communications

Ella Award—an ELLA acronym, a singing award named for Ella Fitzgerald

Frost Medal—honoring poet Robert Frost, this is awarded by the Poetry Society of America for “distinguished lifetime service to American poetry.”

GriffinThe Griffin Poetry Prize is Canada’s most generous poetry award.

Harvey Award—for outstanding achievement in comics, named for iconic Mad and Playboy cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman.

HeddaThe Hedda Award is a Norwegian theater prize named, appropriately, for the protagonist of Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler

Hugo Award–given to the best science fiction or fantasy works of the year, named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the trailblazing science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories.

Iris Awards—named for the Greek mythological Iris, the messenger of the gods who traveled with the speed of light to connect all humanity with the heavens—a fitting award for the parenting blogging community.

Juno Awards–Canadian music awards named for the Canadian Academy of Recording Artists’ first chairman, Pierre Juneau.

Laureus—The Laureus World Sports Awards honor the remarkable achievements of teams and individuals who symbolize the very best in sport, promoting social change and celebrating sporting excellence.

Lola—the nickname of the German Film Award, referencing two memorable movies—the Marlene Dietrich character in The Blue Angeland the eponymous Rainer Werner Fassbinder film.

LuluPresented at Comic-Con, Lulu trophies are given as recognition of the work of women comics creators. Named for the Little Lulu strip character created by a woman in 1935.

Luna Awards—another local prize—the Oscar equivalent of the Philippines.

Nikathe main annual national film award in Russia, named for Nike, the goddess of victory.

OlivierBritain’s most sought-after theater awards were inaugurated in 1976, but it was not until 1984 that Laurence Olivier agreed to lend them his name.

Reuben Award–given by the National Cartoonist Society to the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, named for the group’s first president, famed cartoonist Rube Goldberg.

Ryder Cup—a golf trophy contested by men’s professional teams representing the US and Europe. Namesake Samuel Ryder was an English entrepreneur and golf promoter.

Stanley Cup—the National Hockey League championship trophy, named for Frederick Stanley, a titled 19th century British politician and horseman.

Stevie Awards have been called “the business world’s own Oscar Awards,” and were launched after the Enron scandal to “restore public confidence and investor trust.”

TheaThe Thea Awards recognize excellence in the creation of compelling educational, historical and entertainment projects.

Wolf Prize– an international award granted in Israel to living scientists and artists. The Wolf Foundation was founded by Dr. Ricardo Wolf, a German-born inventor.

Would any of these be particularly appropriate for you?

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz