Q. I recently learned that March by Geraldine Brooks won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. What are the criteria for being nominated and winning?
A. The Pulitzer Prize (pronounced PULL-it-sir NOT PEW-lit-sir) for Fiction has been awarded since 1948 for distinguished fiction in book form by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (established by Columbia University in 1971) replaced the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel which was awarded between 1918 and 1947.
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is one of six categories in Letters and Drama. There are a total of 21 Pulitzer categories. In 20 of the categories the winners receive a $10,000 cash award and a certificate. Only the winner in the Public Service category of the Journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.
There are no set criteria for the judging of the Prizes. The definitions of each category are the only guidelines. It is left up to the Nominating Juries and The Pulitzer Prize Board to determine exactly what makes a work "distinguished."
Source: The Pulitzer Prizes, http://www.pulitzer.org