Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Awards Season

There's a great post over at the blog, "At the Scene of the Crime" about the current award nominees.  I know I've been pretty unimpressed by most of the short story nominees because they are all about two magazines and a handful of annual crime anthologies.  I was most disappointed in the Edgar's list as the bulk of the nominees was from their own anthology which seemed a bit self-promoting to me, especially since the anthology call was only open to their own members.

While the awards recognition is a nice ego boost for authors, the same names year after year becomes a bit annoying.  The novel awards are often bestowed on the current flavor of the year or the steadfast book a year bestseller.  And the short story awards are usually bestowed on a novel writer.

This isn't sour grapes on my part as I don't put my own stories in the awards hat, even for the Derringer Awards where each member of the SMFS is allowed to nominate two stories, which are inevitably their own.  I just wish that more award groups would take a better look at all the wonderful short stories that are published each year.  The past several years there have been some great anthologies epublished that were never even looked at, not to mention the great number of online stories that are never even considered because, OMG, the writer didn't get paid.  The award nominations for short stories is not an even playing field and probably never will be, which is a very sad thought.



Katherine Tomlinson said...

Two of the best crime stories I read last year, Charlie Fish's "Death by Scrabble" and Art Taylor's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" should have been on a list somewhere. Both clever and intelligent, which are the not the same thing, they were both stylish masterpieces and fresh and funny too. The book awards establishment is a lot like the movie awards status quo. What director didn't get nominated even though his movie was entertaining and smart and will probably win movie of the year?

sandra seamans said...

You're right, Catherine! It's sad that so many stories are overlooked because of the online pedigree. Sometimes I think awards are more about how good we look instead of how great is the work.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Do you know how many times Louise Penny has won the Anthony Award? I hear the women at Bouchercon gossiping about nice it is she wins it every year thanks to their voting en masse. I like her writing well enough but no way does every one of her books stand above the others.
Letting fans at Bouchercon pick this award. (and the same with many others) just means the same people always win because the same people vote each time.

sandra seamans said...

It becomes more or less a popularity contest than an award for the best work when it plays out that way, Patti.