Lauren Myracle and the National Book Award

Ruh-roh: There’s trouble in Literatureland. Last week, Lauren Myracle’s Shine was announced as a finalist for the National Book Award for young people’s literature. Later that day, however, the National Book Foundation ‘fessed up to an embarrassing gaffe: they’d actually meant to name the similar-sounding book Chime, by Franny Billingsley. At one point, the organization said they would keep both Shine and Chime on the list, making for six finalists instead of the customary five. But on Friday, Myracle said she was asked to withdraw herself from the competition in order to “preserve the integrity” of the National Book Award.Myracle friends and fans are tweeting their frustration/ire/confusion today with the hashtag #isupportshine.

Tell us in the comments, was the National Book Foundation’s decision fair? Should Shine have remained in the running?

8 thoughts on “Lauren Myracle and the National Book Award

  1. Ahh, I think once they said they would accept 6 books instead of 5, they should have just included Shine instead of recanting. But now it’s like a double gaffe!

  2. It was the National Book Foundation’s mistake, so they should have either kept all 6 or said “we made an embarrassing mistake, Shine is not a finalist” and kept it at 5. Instead, it seems like they tried to have it both ways, and then they put the status of the “integrity” of the award on Myracle’s shoulders, which just looks plain spineless on the part of the National Book Foundation.

  3. NBA compounded its own fumble. Should have fallen on the ball and left the list at six as soon as they discovered the error–which they did at first. Then they fumbled again and pressured Myracle to withdraw. Would like to know what went on behind the scene and what the judges thought about the decision of the board.

  4. I think this whole thing reflects poorly on the association, and they just made it worse for themselves by changing their mind after the fact. I think they should have taken all six books. If Shine wasn’t meant to be in the finalists, it likely wouldn’t win over all anyway, so no harm done. Everyone’s happy.

  5. It would have been fine for them to appologize and take Shine off until they said that they would do otherwise and keep it at six. After they did that, it was entirely rude of them to go back and make it seem like Myracle’s fault. I can imagine her irritation!

  6. Gutless, gutless, gutless. Can’t believe how bad the NBF looks here. They made a mistake & they had two honorable courses of action: (1) Leave Shine in WITHOUT identifying it as the cuckoo’s egg, (2) Say they made a mistake and retract Shine’s position on the shortlist.

    To dump all this on LM is the only thing that could actually make them look worse than the initial mistake. Unbelievable. Do the NBF staffers not have real jobs? Who gets away with this kind of stunt in the real world? They made the mistake, and one way or another they should be taking responsibility for it, not try to unload the weight on LM.

    My guess: one person at the NBF hates Shine and has a stronger personality than the other people involved in this snafu.

  7. idiots. you make a mistake, you make good. they should have kept it at six.

    the sad thing is now we know that “shine” hasn’t got a chance because they asked for it to be withdrawn and never intended for it to be a finalist. and if they now try to “fix” this lasted gaff by giving “shine” the award it will forever be thought of as having won it out of pity rather than on the merits, whether it deserved the award or not.

    what i want to know is exactly HOW this happened. was it like a bad case of the game telephone where someone misheard the title? was it a typo? was only one person responsible for double-checking the list before making the announcement? a lotta questions here. lotta questions…

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