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National Book Awards--Shine

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Mike Jung

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Humanity. I'm big on acknowledging and accepting our humanity.
#31 - October 20, 2011, 07:36 AM
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 07:55 AM by Mike Jung »

I just read the Vanity Fair interview that Myracle did about this whole debaucle, and I really feel for her. She handled it so graciously, though. It says a lot about her as a person.

In general, I love the books that the NBA nominates. I'm so disappointed at the lack of professionalism on their end. I hope this never happens again, but if it does, I certainly hope the NBA learns from its mistakes.

Tabitha
#32 - October 20, 2011, 08:28 AM

Jenn Bertman
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Media attention isn't necessarily always a good thing (see: Lohan, Lindsay; Gibson, Mel) I feel like the good that has come out of this for Lauren Myracle is largely her own doing. That's been my biggest takeaway from all this: It's not the disappointment that will direct your life's path, but how you react. I haven't read a single comment or interview where she sounded anything less than humble, gracious, supportive of the other authors, and perhaps a bit embarrassed. Watching all this unfold with hindsight, I think it's easy to think "well, duh, of course that's how you would respond. . .", but I don't think every author would have walked the same line. There are a lot of different ways people might react to being fake-nominated and I don't think they all would lead to the same outcome. I wouldn't have faulted Lauren if she'd publicly ranted and raved about this, but I also think rants/raves can quickly turn an audience unsympathetic if they find it hard to relate to. They can also be easily spun into a more scandalous media story. There is a connection between the way Lauren has reacted and the continuing support and admiration that has built for her over this.
#33 - October 20, 2011, 01:32 PM
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J-Bert good points. How Lauren reacted is a huge part of how this is playing out.
#34 - October 20, 2011, 02:24 PM
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I'm not even sure why they announced the error at all. imho, the right thing to do would have been to announce the 6th book since it was the actual award nominee, say that leaving it off the original announcement had been a clerical error, and that they decided to go with six nominees this year. Period. People might speculate, but no one would have been singled out. I can't believe what pompous idiots are capable of sometimes.
#35 - October 20, 2011, 02:57 PM

Yes, that would have been the best solution!
With her request--and their agreement--to donate to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, at least some good will come of this debacle!
#36 - October 20, 2011, 04:34 PM

I feel like the good that has come out of this for Lauren Myracle is largely her own doing. That's been my biggest takeaway from all this: It's not the disappointment that will direct your life's path, but how you react. I haven't read a single comment or interview where she sounded anything less than humble, gracious, supportive of the other authors, and perhaps a bit embarrassed. Watching all this unfold with hindsight, I think it's easy to think "well, duh, of course that's how you would respond. . .", but I don't think every author would have walked the same line. There are a lot of different ways people might react to being fake-nominated and I don't think they all would lead to the same outcome. I wouldn't have faulted Lauren if she'd publicly ranted and raved about this, but I also think rants/raves can quickly turn an audience unsympathetic if they find it hard to relate to. They can also be easily spun into a more scandalous media story. There is a connection between the way Lauren has reacted and the continuing support and admiration that has built for her over this.

Just to say, J-Bert, this is very wise. Think I'd do well to keep it in mind for any number of things in my life.
#37 - October 21, 2011, 01:21 AM
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I'm not even sure why they announced the error at all. imho, the right thing to do would have been to announce the 6th book since it was the actual award nominee, say that leaving it off the original announcement had been a clerical error, and that they decided to go with six nominees this year. Period. People might speculate, but no one would have been singled out. I can't believe what pompous idiots are capable of sometimes.

Exactly. When the full story came out, I stared open-mouthed at the computer, appalled. When the sixth nomination came in late, I didn't think anything of it. They could have left it at that and things would have been fine. But then someone spilled the beans, and it's been a big disaster. Myracle doesn't deserve this, and neither do any of the other nominees.

Tabitha
#38 - October 21, 2011, 09:16 AM

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For anyone curious to know about the actual winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, it was Thanhha Lai's Inside Out and Back Again.

I've updated the page on my site that lists the National Book Award winners, and have also posted a list of the other nominees--including the "6th nominee"--and links to a couple of articles about the whole affair.
#39 - November 22, 2011, 07:47 PM
Harold Underdown

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Quote
While we had sympathy for the author, it was obvious that there was no good solution. At Mr. Augenbraum's request she belatedly withdrew, though the incident was at the expense of the other finalists -- beautiful books overshadowed by an ugly scene.

Harold, thanks for the link. I read the articles on the Shine/Chime mistake and was particularly annoyed by the above quote, written by one of the judges. I suppose I could be reading it wrong, but it sounds to me like this judge is blaming Shine's author for the situation. No where else in other articles I've read has Lauren's decision to withdraw been described as belated, and when this judge talks about "beautiful books overshadowed by an ugly scene" is she referring to Lauren's gracious handling of the situation?

I think this judge's sympathy for the author was pretty thin. I can understand a mistake, but not trying to pass the buck by blaming the victim. Pretty shabby behavior.

Laurel


#40 - November 23, 2011, 12:28 AM

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I felt the same way-  I read this last night, and decided not to say anything because I wanted to sleep on it.  If you're going to screw up like this, take the responsiblity for it and don't blame someone else, especially the author who responded with class and dignity.  How could it have been belatedly?  Ug! 
#41 - November 23, 2011, 08:08 AM

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Yeah, I included the link to the judge's article because I wanted to thought both sides (if there were only two "sides") to be heard, but that sentence was at best poorly worded.

Lauren Myracle handled the whole thing very well.
#42 - November 23, 2011, 12:16 PM
Harold Underdown

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I am sure the judges felt that they'd worked very hard and done their job well. And they probably did, up until the reading of the five finalist titles over the phone. It seems to me like a doctor prescribing over the phone and assuming that the lay person at the other end will know the difference between two medications that sound almost identical. A doctor making that sort of assumption would be the one at fault when the wrong pill is swallowed. Not the lay person. Reading "Chime" and not clarifying this title by author was a mistake.

So why wasn't everyone involved more sympathetic, apologetic, humble, contrite, anguished . . . ? How would any of the judges have reacted if this had happened to him  or her? I shouldn't lump them all together because some, I am sure, did feel terrible, and it truly wasn't their fault. Nikki Grimes even wrote a lovely blog post mentioning many other deserving books -- before the mistake was in the open. However, it seems to me that the judge who wrote the essay is making the point that "Shine" was so inferior that no one should have misheard the name of the finalist. So adding insult to injury somehow excuses the mixup? And to make matters worse, at the presentation, there was no huge and heartfelt apology to Lauren nor acknowledgment of her very kind and graceful handling of their mistake. And piling the dung heap even higher, those in charge seemed to leave the other books for youth in the shadows. At the awards dinner, the finalist book titles were not read aloud nor their covers displayed nor authors' names read -- or did I miss something?


#43 - November 23, 2011, 06:07 PM
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 07:42 AM by Sheila »
Sheila Welch,  author/illustrator. Don't Call Me Marda, Waiting to Forget, Something in the Air, The Shadowed Unicorn, Little Prince Know-It-All

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Lauren's book make finalist in the GoodReads Reader's Choice Awards. You can head over there and vote for it to win if you love the book. People's Choice is often just as meaningful to writers as judging.

http://www.goodreads.com/award/choice/2011#56970-Best-Young-Adult-Fiction
#44 - November 29, 2011, 07:07 AM
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