Writers and Literary Awards

In a letter to the editor of The New York Times, novelist Richard Greener says:

…writing is not a competitive or comparative endeavor; nor is a writer best identified by a group association, be it gender, race, age or any other such human membership.

Writing is an isolated, personal activity, the creative act of an individual not to be misattributed to or mistaken for any grouping of other people regardless of what they may share with the writer. They do not share the work.

Literary prizes may have value to those who market and sell books, but I am confident that within the heart and soul of most writers such prizes are not seen as any true measure of literary worth. One author does not compete with another. Thus, an award based on such a standard adds nothing to the merit of one’s work.

As writers, we would all do better to just write, say what we have to say and leave the judgment to the reader.

Culled from New York Times.

What do you think; should writers concern themselves only with the business of writing? Are writing prizes and awards any measure of literary merit?