National Book Foundation: Oops Our Bad, Now Kindly Withdraw

Turns out I’m not the only one eating my words these days, thanks to the folks running the National Book Awards. Did you hear about this? YA author, Lauren Myracle, got THE phone call. She was notified that her book, Shine, had been nominated for the National Book Award.

Then they called her back five days later and were all, “Oops, no it’s not! But we’ll keep your book on the shortlist anyway. Our bad.”

Here’s a snippet from the NY Times:

Lauren Myracle, an author of young-adult literature, was named to the shortlist last Wednesday for her book, “Shine,” a novel about the experience of a gay teenager who is the victim of a hate crime. Shortly afterward the National Book Foundation corrected itself, saying that Ms. Myracle’s book was not meant to be a finalist but that it would stay on the five-book shortlist anyway.

You’d think that’d be the end of this odd little story, but it’s not. The National Book Foundation then asked her on Friday to withdraw Shine to “preserve the integrity of the award and the judges’ work.”

Heh. Wonder how that’s working out for the people at the NBF. Way to put the onus on the author there, NBF. Classy!

They were mum to reporters about the whys and hows of the original mistake of including the book on the list, and they’re equally tight-lipped about why they asked her to withdraw, reversing their original decision to let the nomination stand.

As far as I can tell, Myracle has been nothing if not magnanimous throughout the ordeal. As reported in the article, she even got the National Book Foundation to make a $5,000 donation to the Matthew Shepherd Foundation.

That’s why yesterday I bought her book for Kindle.

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