Quill Awards Announced

Late last year, a few people pointed out that the Man Booker prize is considered a major event in Britain, the awards carried on TV, and the nominees showered with lots of attention from booksellers and readers, while, in comparison, the Pulitzer and the National Book Awards here in the States generally go by unnoticed by the general public, and with almost no sales boost for the nominated authors.

The solution to this dilemma, American publishers figured, would be to bring some glamour to the awards. But since, after all, these are American publishers we’re talking about, the idea quickly turned into this: The Quill Awards. (Quill is the distant, shunned cousin of Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy.) But instead of the writers’ work being judged by their peers or by a distingued panel of judges (like the Bookers, say) the Quills will be judged by the American public. Sort of like a People’s Choice Awards for books.

The NY Times‘ Edward Wyatt explains:

Nominations for the award in each category will be made beginning in May by a panel of booksellers, librarians and others. The consumers will be able to vote in the fall for the winners in the categories of best book of the year; rookie of the year, to a first-time author; children’s book; graphic novel; literary fiction; suspense, mystery or thriller; science fiction, fantasy or horror; romance; biography or memoir; religion or spirituality; science; health and self improvement; sports; business; and history, current events and politics.

A special committee will help determine winners in several other categories: the book club award, best book-to-film project, best design and a lifetime achievement award.

You can be sure that they’ll find a way to nominate J.K. Rowling, so don’t even bother tuning in.