Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NEWS: National Book Awards snafu

There's been another development in the National Book Awards' category for Young People's Literature. The addition of a sixth book was quickly announced last Wednesday, October 12th, due to an error on the committee's part. In explanation, Harold Augebraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation, stated: "It was our mistake, and we take full responsibility...For security reasons, we do everything by phone, and we don't write things down when [the judges] transmit the titles to our staff. And someone wrote it down wrong." Apparently, someone mistook the word Chime—the intended nominee—for Shine. Augebraum claimed that for confidentiality reasons, the involved titles would not be made public and that the six finalists would stand. But...then author Lauren Myracle was asked on Friday to withdraw her novel Shine from contention.

Myracle, who is known for writing popular but often controversial books for both middle grade and young adult readers, consented. In a statement released through her publisher, Amulet Books, she stated “I was over the moon last week after receiving the call telling me that Shine was a finalist for the award. I was later informed that Shine had been included in error, but would remain on the list based on its merits. However, on Friday I was asked to withdraw by the National Book Foundation to preserve the integrity of the award and the judges’ work, and I have agreed to do so.”

So... I understand that mistakes happen. But it is incredible to me that the staff member writing down the book titles didn't take the time to confirm the author. I also think that the way this mistake was ultimately handled—claiming that the involved titles would remain confidential and then requesting a withdrawal of Myracle's book several days later—was another bungle. What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

Nymeth said...

Such a terrible situation, and so badly handled :\ Amy's post about it sums up my thoughts.

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