OUCH! That Stings!

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Jamie Swenson
Monday, October 17, 2011

Last week I posted the National Book Award Nominees ... shortly after I posted the list, the children's publishing world was buzzing about an awful (embarrassing) mistake made by the award committee.

It seems that they accidentally added one book to the children's list (at the expense of the actual nominee). Yowza. Something about a mistake in the phone conversation between the committee and the rest of the world. (Apparently the committee works verbally and writes nothing down in an effort to keep things HUSH HUSH). So, long story short, somehow the book SHINE made the list and the book CHIME (the rightful book) was left off. Ouch.

That's a BIG mistake all around. Can you imagine if you were the author of the accidentally nominated book?

Well, as you can imagine, SIDES were taken.

Side One said that the wronged author had every right to have her book listed and they hoped she won it all Ė just to prove the book committee wrong.

Side Two said that it was clear that Side One had no clue how these awards worked because the author in question had absolutely no chance of winning. Side Two said she should gracefully step down.

And the brouhaha went on and on.

Statements were issued. Faces were red.

Folks like me (watching from the sideline) just went huh. How awful. As if most writers/creative folks donít already harbor fears that the world will one day notice that we donít belong Ö (although, we are very used to rejection) .. this seems like proof in some sick way. LOOK - youíre on the list! HAHA we were just kidding!

Still, one would think that once youíre published and your book is listed as a possible winner of a major award and announced publicly youíd be safe Ö but now we canít even count on that. UGH.

And the poor committee! They love books! They respect the authors! They seriously do not want to make this sort of mistake.

Apologies were made.

So, as of today, the author of the incorrect book, Lauren Myracle, has gracefully removed SHINE from the list. The corrected list now features CHIME by Franny Billingsley. Whoops and belated congrats, Franny (who spoke at Hedberg a few months ago about the book CHIME).

All involved with the mistake have vowed that this type of mistake will never, ever happen again.

I do not find comfort in this.

Have you ever been a victim of this type of public humiliation through absolutely no fault of your own? I canít help but to feel sorry for everyone involved, but especially Lauren Myracle.

Last updated: 10:33 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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