Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Dylan to Accept Nobel

Thursday, March 30th, 2017


It’s not a headline one might expect to see on the Nobel site, but yesterday a post appeared titled, “Good news about Dylan.”

In a few days Bob Dylan will visit Stockholm and give two concerts. The Swedish Academy is very much looking forward to the weekend and will show up at one of the performances. Please note that no Nobel Lecture will be held. The Academy has reason to believe that a taped version will be sent at a later point. (Taped Nobel lectures are presented now and then, the latest of which was that of Nobel Laureate Alice Munro in 2013.) At this point no further details are known.

The good news is that the Swedish Academy and Bob Dylan have decided to meet this weekend. The Academy will then hand over Dylan’s Nobel diploma and the Nobel medal, and congratulate him on the Nobel Prize in Literature. The setting will be small and intimate, and no media will be present; only Bob Dylan and members of the Academy will attend, all according to Dylan’s wishes.

Why has Dylan remained silent so long? NPR Music Editor Andrew Flanagan theorizes, on somewhat thin evidence, that the singer has been “revisiting his own development.”

UPDATE: Several news sources, including Vanity Fair  report that the “small private gathering” took place on Saturday, April 1.

RITA Award Finalists

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The Romance Writers of America announced on Tuesday the finalists for the RITA Awards for romance fiction.

9780062100344_217efThere are 13 categories include over 80 nominees (a good opportunity for displays, see The Romance Dish for useful descriptions of all 13 classifications).

Among the finalists are popular authors such as Sabrina York, Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, J R Ward and Loretta Chase, whose Dukes Prefer Blondes (HC/Avon; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), part of her Dressmakers series, appears in the Historical Romance: Long category.

Attesting to the growing reach of self-published novels, 11 of the nominees come from the authors’ own imprints, including AAB Always a Bridesmaid by Lizzie Shane (Create Space; OverDrive Sample), in the Contemporary Romance: Long category.

RWA’s the Golden Heart award nominees for unpublished manuscripts were also released.

All the winners will be announced on July 27.

Baileys Women’s Prize, Longlist

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Announced Wednesday, International Women’s Day, as it has been since its founding in 1996, is the longlist of 16 titles for the Womens Prize for Fiction sponsored by Bailey’s.

As The Guardian points out, it is a list of established authors rather than new voices, “including three previous winners, four second novels and only three debuts, compared with 11 last year.” The full list is online.

9780393609882_090a4Shortlisted for the Man Booker Award, Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Norton; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) swept Canada’s literary awards, taking the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, an award worth $100,000 dollars, as well as the highly prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction.

The NYT calls it “a beautiful, sorrowful work. The book impresses in many senses: It stamps the memory with an afterimage; it successfully explores larger ideas about politics and art (the mind is never still while reading it); it has the satisfying, epic sweep of a 19th-century Russian novel, spanning three generations and lapping up against the shores of two continents.”

9780374281083_1d6c9C.E. Morgan won the Kirkus Prize for The Sport of Kings (Macmillan/FSG;Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), a title that was also a Carnegie Medal longlist selection.

9780307379740_83832Mary Gaitskill’s The Mare (PRH/Pantheon; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) racked up holds in libraries and was widely reviewed.

On Fresh Air, Maureen Corrigan said, “Mary Gaitskill writes tough … You have to write tough — and brilliantly — to pull off a novel like The Mare … a raw, beautiful story about love and mutual delusion, in which the fierce erotics of mother love and romantic love and even horse fever are swirled together.”

The New York Times Magazine featured Gaitskill in a lengthy profile, as did The New Yorker.

Other well-known authors on the list are Annie Proulx for Barkskins (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample), Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed, (PRH/Hogarth; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), as well as past winners, Eimear McBride, for The Lesser Bohemians, (PRH/Hogarth; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), and Rose Remain, The Gustav Sonata, (Norton; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample)

Two titles have yet to be published in the US, one of the three debuts on the list, Midwinter by Fiona Melrose and The Dark Circle by Linda Grant, who has won the prize before.  Several others will arrive later this year:

9781612196268_043ce9780451494603_3233bFirst Love, Gwendoline Riley (Melville House) comes out on March 28

Stay with Me, Ayobami Adebayo (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT) arrives on August 22; a debut

The Power, Naomi Alderman (Hachette/Little, Brown) publishes on October 10.

The prize was created in 1996 by a group of U.K. reviewers, librarians and others in the book world, to address the fact that a disproportionate number of men won literary prizes.

The short list of six titles is expected in April. The winner will be announced on June 7th.

Attached is our spreadsheet of the titles, for use in ordering and creating displays, Bailey’s Longlist, 2017.

Poet Goes From Unemployed to Prize Winner Overnight

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

An unemployed Australian poet who lives in a camper just learned that she has won a Windham Campbell Prize. One of the world’s most lucrative literary prizes, it awards poet Ali Cobby Eckermann the equivalent of $165,000 (via NPR).

The news came out of the blue. Eckermann tells The Guardian Australia that “It’s going to change my life completely.”

Of Yankunytjatjara/Kokatha heritage, Eckermann suffered under Australia’s assimilation policies that created what is known as “the Stolen Generations.” She was forcibly taken from her mother when she was a just a baby, just as her own mother had been.

Eckermann says the money will provide stability for her family. “My son and my grandsons are moving back to South Australia in the next few months, and it will just allow us some stability to grow up together under the one roof … I haven’t really had that option before in my life. Just the thought of maybe being able to purchase a home or rent a home, and for us to be together and have that stability is something pretty new to me.”

Ruby MoonlightJust one of her books has been published in the US, the verse novel Ruby Moonlight, (Flood Editions, 2015, avail. to backorder). Her first book of poetry was Little Bit Long Time, published by Australian Poetry as part of their New Poets series in 2009. Other works include the collection Inside My Mother and her memoir Too Afraid to Cry.

In the constellation of literary prizes, the Windham Campbell operates far under the radar. Nominees do not know they are being considered, nominators and judges are kept confidential, and there is no publicly announced shortlist. Winners only know they were in the running once they win.

The award is administered by Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and was founded by the author Donald Windham and honors his lifelong partner Sandy M. Campbell. It is designed to “to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.”

The other winners this year are:

André Alexis (Canada/Trinidad and Tobago) for Fiction

Erna Brodber (Jamaica) for Fiction

Marina Carr (Ireland) for Drama

Ike Holter (US) for Drama

Carolyn Forché (US) for Poetry

Maya Jasanoff (US) for Nonfiction

Ashleigh Young (New Zealand) for Nonfiction

Back Stage at ALA’s 2017 YMAs

Monday, February 27th, 2017


We’re pleased to welcome back Lisa Von Drasek as EarlyWord‘s Kids Correspondent, now that she has completed her responsibilities on the Caldecott committee. Below, she gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the YMA announcement day at Midwinter.


Nora, EarlyWord: Welcome back, Lisa! We’d love to know everything you can tell us about the Caldecott committee discussions.

Lisa: Nice try, Nora, but the work of the committee is confidential. I can’t tell you the titles we discussed, how we came to our short list, or anything about the specific votes.

Nora, EarlyWord: Got it. Let’s try something else. You were in the room when the winners were announced. What was it like as people began to realize John Lewis was about to make history by winning an unprecedented four awards for March, Book 3 (IDW/Top Shelf)?


And the Oscar Doesn’t Go To

Monday, February 27th, 2017

The Academy Awards ceremony often confounds expectations, no more dramatically than it did last night when, just as the La La Land producers were celebrating their win for Best Picture, it was announced that the winner was actually Moonlight.

9780735216686_c42dbExpectations that books would take center stage were also confounded. In spite of multiple nominations for films adapted from published material, only Fences, based on the August Wilson play, won a major award, for Viola Davis as Best Supporting Actress.

Even the category of adapted screenplay did not net a win for books. In fact the winner isn’t even  based on a published work, but on an unpublished play that was written as a drama school project, Moonlight.

9780525433675_58d39Despite five nominations, including Best Director, Arrival, based on a story by Ted Chiang, won just one Oscar, for Sound Editing and the books that showed the largest sales boosts from the nominations, Hidden FiguresLion, and A Man Called Ove, went home empty-handed.

9780425276198_292f1Those books are still doing well, however. The memoir that is the basis for LionA Long Way Home, continues to rise on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of pre-Oscars attention, including People magazine’s “The True Story Behind Lion: How Lost Child Saroo Brierley Found His Birth Mother More Than 20 Years Later.”

The two book-based nominees for Best Animated Feature lost out to the original screenplay, Zootopia. It does, however, have several tie-ins.

Hollywood shows no signs of falling out of love with books, announcing new adaptations each week. As they say in show business, “There’s always next time.”

Late Nite Lit, Deux

Friday, February 24th, 2017

9781250083258_90d43Just two weeks after hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen on his show, Seth Meyers continued his Late Night literary salon yesterday with Paul Beatty, calling the author’s novel The Sellout (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample) “fantastic” and noting its glowing critical reception.

Beatty, the first US author ever to win the Man Booker Prize, thanks him for the praise but says he hates writing, so much sho shocked his students at Columbia when he opened his first class with that admission.

The book rose nearly 100 places on Amazon’s sales rankings today.

Nebula Nominees

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

The nominees have been announced for one of the most prestigious awards in genre fiction, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 51st Annual Nebula Awards.

The buzziest of the five nominees for Best Novel are All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Macmillan/Tor; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) and The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9780765379955_d589bAll the Birds in the Sky was selected as a best book of the year by Amazon, Kirkus, The Washington Post, and Time, where it was #5 on their list of “Top 10 Novels” of 2016.

It got rave reviews generally as well. NPR wrote “With All the Birds in the Sky, Anders has given us a fresh set of literary signposts — and a new bundle of emotional metaphors — for the 21st century, replacing the so many of the tired old ones. Oh, and she’s gently overturned genre fiction along the way.”

Anders, until recently, was the founder and co-editor of the science fiction site She won the Hugo in 2012 for the novelette Six Months, Three Days.

9780316229265_b53adThe Obelisk Gate is the second novel in the Broken Earth series. We wrote about its reception earlier and Naomi Novik reviewed it for the NYT BR, praising its “intricate and extraordinary world-­building.”

Jemisin won the Hugo for the series launch, The Fifth Season, and she won the Locus award for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. She is a notable voice in the field, sharing her opinions on the genre and writing reviews for the NYT column “Otherwordly.”







Somewhat more under the radar but still making end of the year best lists is Borderline by Mishell Baker (S&S/Saga; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample), which was an Library Journal top pick for the year. said it is “dark and creeping and smart as a whip.

The final nominees are Everfair by Nisi Shawl (Macmillan/Tor; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample) and Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (S&S/Solaris; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

The website The Verge picked both as among their 2016 recommendations.

The Washington Post says of Everfair, it is “a beautifully written and thrillingly ambitious alternate history … It’s a tribute to Shawl’s powerful writing that her intricate, politically and racially charged imaginary world seems as believable — sometimes more believable — than the one we inhabit.”

In her NYT column, Jemisin says of Ninefox Gambit, “Readers willing to invest in a steep learning curve will be rewarded with a tight-woven, complicated but not convoluted, breathtakingly original space opera. And since this is only the first book of the Machineries of Empire trilogy, it’s the start of what looks to be a wild ride.”

As The Verge notes, the list highlights a welcome diversity, “three of the five nominees for Best Novel are authors of color, and four out of the five are women.

The winners will be announced during the annual Nebula Conference, which runs from May 18th-21st in Pittsburgh. The full list of nominees is online.

Oscar Bump

Monday, February 20th, 2017

lion  hidden-figures

Expected to be the most politically charged event in its history, the Academy Awards will be broadcast on Sunday. Two of the nominees are seen as particularly timely and the books they are based on have become best sellers.

Keying in to current events to promote their film Lion, the Weinstein Company placed an ad in Thursday’s L.A. Times, featuring one of the young stars and the words, “It took an extraordinary effort to get 8-year-old actor Sunny Pawar a visa so that he could come to America for the very first time, Next year, that might not be an option” and the exhortation to “Remember where you came from.”

The basis for that movie, A Long Way Home: A Memoir by Saroo Brierley (PRH/Berkley), retitled Lion for the tie-in, showed a sudden rise on Amazon’s sales rankings after the the ad’s appearance.

Considered a precursor to Sunday’s event, political commentary also ran through last month’s Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony. Taraji P. Henson, the star of the surprise best film winner, Hidden Figures, said in her acceptance speech, “There’s a reason why it was made now and not three years ago, not five years ago, not 10 years ago. The universe needed it now.”

The basis for that movie, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly  (HarperCollins/Morrow), has been in the top five on USA Today‘s bestseller list since the beginning of the year.

See our full list of tie-ins to the nominees here.

Carnegies Get Media Coverage

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

9780385542364_945219780553447439_4bc21The widely syndicated Associated Press just released a story on the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction.

On Sunday night, at the RUSA Book and Media Awards held during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting, Colson Whitehead won the fiction prize for The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday; RH Audio/BOTOverDrive Sample) and Matthew Desmond won the nonfiction prize for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (PRH/Crown; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Both books are also included on RUSA’s Notable Books List, announced Sunday night as well.

Cataloging his other accolades, including already winning the National Book Award and being a finalist for the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the AP calls the Carnegie was “a thank-you from the country’s libraries” to Whitehead.

Both winners paid tribute to libraries in return. Whitehead told the AP that “Libraries have propped me up” and Desmond said “Libraries are not just places where people go read a book, but places where an immigrant goes to take English lessons and where folks out of a job search for community … Libraries are on the front lines.”

Congressman Lewis Wins Four ALA Youth Media Awards

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

march  radiant  drank-moon

In a phenomenal piece of timing, the day after Congressman John Lewis gave a rousing speech to marchers in Atlanta, saying in an understatement, “I know something about marching,” he won four major ALA awards for his graphic novel series on that very subject, March, Book 3 (IDW/Top Shelf). It also happens that the awards were announced in Atlanta, very close to where he gave that speech, during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. The book, the third and final in his graphic novel series, won the the Printz, the Sibert, the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction and the Coretta Scott King Author Awards.

The Caldecott Medal went to Javaka Steptoe’s book about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Radiant Child (Little, Brown), also winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and the Newbery to the epic fantasy, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Workman/Algonquin Young Readers).

Download our spreadsheet of the award-winning titles, with full ordering information, ALA Youth Media Awards, 2017.

Announcing the ALA Youth Media Awards, 2017

Monday, January 23rd, 2017


Medalists below, as they are announced.

UPDATE: Download our spreadsheet of the award-winning titles, with full ordering information, ALA Youth Media Awards, 2017

Link to the press release for the full list of Medalists and Honorees

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award: Radiant Child, Javaka Steptoe, (Little, Brown)

Coretta Scott King Author Award: March: Book 3, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, (IDW/Top Shelf)

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award: The Sun Is Also a Star, Nicole Yoon, (PRH/Delacorte)

Margaret Edwards Award: Sarah Dessen

Odyssey Award: Anna and the Swallow Man, narrated by Allan Corduner, (PRH/Listening Library)

Morris Award: The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner, (PRH/Crown Books for Young Readers)

Excellence In Non-Fiction For YouthMarch: Book 3, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, (IDW/Top Shelf)

Michael L. Printz AwardMarch: Book 3, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, (IDW/Top Shelf)

Pura Belpre (Illustrator) Award: Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, illus. by Raul Gonzalez, written by Cathy Camper (Chronicle Books)

Pura Belpré (Author) Award: Juana & Lucas, written and illustrated by Juana Medina, (Candlewick)

Arbuthnot Lecture: Naomi Shihab Nye

Batcheldor AwardCry Heart But Never Break, written by Glenn Ringtved, illus. by Charlotte Pardi, Translated from the Danish by Robert Moulthrop, (Enchanted Lion)

Sibert AwardMarch: Book 3, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, (IDW/Top Shelf)

Carnegie Medal: Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, produced by Ryan Swear

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award: Nikki Grimes

Geisel AwardWe Are Growing: A Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book, written and illustrated by Laurie Keller, (Disney/Hyperion)

Caldecott MedalRadiant Child, Javaka Steptoe, (Little, Brown)

Newbery Medal: The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill, (Workman/Algonquin Young Readers)

Finalist For The 2017 PEN Awards

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

PEN America has announced their finalists for a wide range of awards.

9780812989786_0df0aFor the first time in its history (due to a new award category), a single book is a finalist for two PEN awards, Teju Cole’s Known and Strange Things (PRH/Random House; Recorded Books/Griot Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a new prize in 2017, and also a finalist in the Essay category.

The PEN/Jean Stein Book Award recognizes a “book of extraordinary originality and lasting influence judged by an anonymous panel without submissions.”

The other finalists are:

9781940696201_387c8  9780812994827_8a326  9780385535595_c7da8  9780385542364_94521

9781101947135_40918  9780553447439_4bc21  9781101874936_3f9eb

Finalists for other PEN awards that have also been getting year-end best books attention include

Edgar Nominees Announced

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Today is the 208th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth, excellent timing for the announcement of the 2017 Edgar Nominees.

9781455561780_72e84The buzziest title among the five nominees for Best Novel is Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall (Hachette/Grand Central; OverDrive Sample).

It debuted at #2 on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list and racked up impressive holds queues when first released. Written by the creator of the Fargo TV series on FX, it earned multiple starred reviews in advance of publication and made a number of end-of-year best lists.

Somewhat more under the radar,9780399169496_dec56 Jane Steele, by Lyndsay Faye (PRH/G.P. Putnam’s Sons; BOT; OverDrive Sample), also a Best Novel nominee, caught the attention of library staff, as a LibraryReads choice in March and a #libfaves2016 title. One librarian summed it up well:

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye – excellent re-imagining of Jane Eyre if Jane killed off all the people who deserved it. — Jane Jorgenson@madpoptart

9781101903735_a6beaThe Best First Novel category includes Dodgers by Bill Beverly (PRH/Crown; BOT; OverDrive Sample), which made both Amazon and Booklist‘s end-of-year selections and was among the Carnegie Medal’s longlist titles. It was an Indie Next choice and a B&N Discover pick as well. The Bookreporter writes “Those who enjoy reading George Pelecanos and Cormac McCarthy, or viewing Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, will find much to love here.”

9780316267724_1a04aAnother first novel nominee that received strong critical attention this year, IQ by Joe Ide (Hachette/Mulholland Books; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), was on The New York Times best of the year list. Entertainment Weekly called it a “crackling page-turner” in their Fall Book Preview.

9781594205781_2dcf5Kate Summerscale, as the NYT notes, has found a “nifty literary specialty: resurrecting and reanimating, in detail as much forensic as it is novelistic, notorious true-life tales of the Victorian era.” Her latest, The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample) is a contender in the Best Fact Crime category. The Atlantic wrote that Summerscale “expertly probes the deep anxieties of a modernizing era. Even better, she brings rare biographical tenacity and sympathy to bear.”

9780871403131_8fe66The critically praised biography of the author of “The Lottery” is among the Best Critical/Biographical nominees. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin (Norton/Liveright; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) is on multiple year-end best lists, including those by Booklist, Kirkus, NYTBR, Publishers Weekly, and The Washington Post.

The award winners will be named on April 27 in a ceremony to be held in NYC, a city that claims him as their own, as the NYT points out today (Boston, Richmond, and Baltimore will beg to differ). The dress code? The Mystery Writers of America says “Dress to Kill – Black Tie Preferred.”

The full list of nominees is now online.

Golden Globe Winners

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Adaptations took home several prizes from last night’s Golden Globe Awards, although the big winner was the original, La La Land.

Technically, Moonlight, which won for Best Picture, is an adaptation, since it is based on an unpublished school drama project titled In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney. 

9780735216686_c42dbFulfilling expectations, Viola Davis won as best supporting actress for her work in Fences. Denzel Washington, who starred and directed, was nominated as Best Actor, but did not win. Tie-in: Fences (Movie tie-in) by August Wilson (PRH/Plume).

9781478970637_a367bAaron Taylor-Johnson won as best supporting actor for Nocturnal Animals. The tie-in uses the original title of the novel, Tony and Susan, Austin Wright (Hachette/Grand Central Publishing; OverDrive Sample).

9780399594007_44c2dIn TV, The Night Manager produced three winners. Tom Hiddleston won for best actor. Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie both won for supporting roles. Tie-in: The Night Manager (TV Tie-in Edition) by John le Carré (PRH/Ballantine Books; OverDrive Sample).

9780812988543_6d385The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story also did well. It won for best series, with Sarah Paulson, who played Marcia Clark, winning for best actress. The show is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s 1996 book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson. The tie-in edition (Random House; OverDrive Sample) came out last September.

Elle won Best Motion Picture in the Foreign Language with its star Isabelle Huppert winning for best actress, drama. The film is based on Oh… by Philippe Djian (Gallimard, 2012; not published in the US).