Monday, April 16, 2012

One Bull-Running Over: 2012 Pulitzer-Prize Winners Announced

Image of 1970 Pulitzer Prize medal
Pulitzer Prize Medal
All those running in fiction were trampled, no one survived.

The announcements might get a bit more press this year since, of the list of winners, the winning work of fiction is a blank space--the committee decided that none of the finalist-books in the fiction section merited the Pulitzer.  Finalists, but not fine enough, evidently for more than that.

According to the administrator of the prizes (via the L.A. Times), This isn't the first, but eleventh, time to happen in the fiction side of the Pulitzers.

No doubt this decision will raise a flurry of discussion in the fiction world--among writers, editors, publishers, and readers.  For, while we've gotten the memo that there was no prize, now it's time to decide, or consider, what the memo means in terms of what the committee is suggesting about quality.

Photograph of Picasso drawing a bull in light
Picasso and the Bull Out of Light, in Life
And, perhaps, another sort of discussion will occur from this in regards to the $50 "handling" fee that must accompany each work (and four copies of each book) submitted into the running for the Pulitzers.  A $50 fee that is hardly a scratch on the bucket for the large presses, but the weight of a brick in the bucket for small presses.

For a list of all the winners, visit the Pulitzer website.

The next running of the writers is for The National Book Award. Deadline for submission is June 15, 2012 (postmark date).  Works published between December 1, 2011 and November 30, 2012 are eligible . . . but with eligibility also must come a publisher who can afford these conditions (among others) of the prize:

All publishers submitting books for the National Book Award must agree to:
  • Contribute $1,000 toward a promotional campaign if a submitted book becomes a Finalist.
  • Image of National Book Award MedalInform authors of submitted books that, if selected as Finalists, they must be present at the National Book Awards Ceremony and at related events in New York City.
  • Cover all travel and accommodation costs for Finalists and provide them with seats at the Awards Ceremony.
  • Purchase from the National Book Foundation, when appropriate, medallions to be affixed to the covers of Finalist and Winning books. [bold, mine] The Foundation will also license the medallion image artwork for reproduction on the covers of Finalist and Winning books.
  • Inform authors that, if selected as Finalists, they must agree to participate in the Foundation's website-related publicity.