It's called the Quill Awards, and it comes to us courtesy
of those shy, sensitive, bookish folks at NBC Universal
and Reed Business International. Fully 14 NBC affiliates
have signed on to broadcast this literary steeplechase
sometime in the fall. There will be prizes in all the
usual categories (best book of the year, mystery, etc.),
and some not so usual (best graphic novel, "book-to-film
project"). A so-far shadowy cabal of librarians and
booksellers will handle the nominating chores,
whereupon civilian book lovers across the country
will be encouraged to vote for their favorites, a la the
People's Choice Awards or baseball's All-Star Game.
Excellent. That ought to stir things up a bit. Bring on the shadowy cabal.
I especially loved this part of the article:
And speaking of publishers, guess who's partnering with
NBC Universal and RBI on these tiresomely named,
disingenuously high-minded-sounding Quill Awards?
Not surprisingly, the advisory committee to the awards
is positively lousy with some of the most powerful names
in publishing. Someone unfamiliar with the book
industry's altruistic dedication to quality might take one
look at the Quills and see, not simple self-congratulation,
but revenge on the National Book Awards for their
notoriously uncommercial fiction shortlist last year. In
other words, the publishers could well be saying, "Pick
five books nobody's ever heard of, will you? What if we
just start our own awards and bury you?" If they're not
careful, the Quills may wind up the publishing-award
equivalent of a company union.
Well, it's certain to be a wild ride. I can't wait. And aren't you just dying to know who's going to critique what J. K. Rowling and Stephen King are wearing when they step onto the red carpet?