After much debate, we've decided to implement an annual award through Spinetingler Magazine. Two things were paramount in my mind when considering this:

1. I didn't want us to just duplicate what others were doing. 2. I wanted the awards to invite the participation of readers and authors.

As a result, October 1, 2007 we'll open up the nominating process. I will have information about this on our site and post more (assuming that's okay with the moderators) when the time comes.

Our categories have been selected to try to make sure newer talent isn't overshadowed by the greats. In order to be nominated, the author must have had a new title out between Oct. 1, 2006 and Sept. 30, 2007, available in Canada. (Don't you worry about that - we'll worry about it. If we can't get the book here, we may not be able to consider it - depends on how long it takes us to get it in.)

The categories:


- Best book of the year by an author with 9+ titles published OR an author who has secured a six-figure advance. (Readers don't need to worry about figuring this out - we will.)

Rising Star

- Best book of the year by an author with 4-8 books published

New Voice

- Best book of the year by an author with 1-3 books published

Best Cover Art

- Lots of whining about repetitive cover art lately. We're not going to whine. We're going to applaud the good stuff there is.

Best Publisher

- If you're a reader who just loves a certain publisher, or an author who's had great experiences or a bookseller who believes there's one publisher out there that's outshining the rest, tell us who and why.

Best Editor

- Pretty much the same as the above. Even if you don't know who edited a book you can nominate it with the title, author's name and publisher's name. Plenty of people have commented on poor editing. When you see a book you think is rock solid, really impressive, we want to know. It's about time someone told editors they were doing a great job.

Best Short Story on the Web

There has been a lot to complain about in the publishing world, and much of it is valid. But we've decided to spend our time and energy focusing on celebrating the positive. We'll open nominating and see what readers tell us is worth looking at. Then we'll narrow down a shortlist of nominees in each category, and announce the winners in our January 2008 issue. (I’m hoping we’ll have a shortlist available early December.)

And the reason for three categories up top and not just two (debut vs best) is because we want to encourage publishers to grow their authors. We're moving authors with big deals into the toughest category to level out the playing field for good authors without as much publisher support, who would otherwise be overshadowed because of the amount of publicity the authors with major deals get.

I hope some of you will start thinking about it. Every person will be able to nominate up to five selections in each category. Every little bit of PR helps, right? And we could tell you our opinion... But I kind of figure we do that in our reviews already. There are a lot of people who can't attend conventions and vote for the other fan choice awards. You can nominate for this one for free, from the comfort of your own home, and have your say. We're still working out some logistics, but we'll be ready to roll October 1.

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Comment by Bernd Kochanowski on October 26, 2007 at 7:07am

I'm impressed and wish you luck, but I don´t envy you for the labor that lies ahead of you.

Couuld you give me a link to a site where you explain how the winner will be finally chosen.
Comment by Sandra Ruttan on September 1, 2007 at 9:19am
Thanks Vicki. I agree with you about those categories. I really want to put a spotlight on authors who are incredibly talented, but often overlooked in terms of the awards. It should be very interesting to see how the nominations go. I hope I end up feeling like I have tons of new authors to check out.

It may also give me some ideas for future interviews and reviews.
Comment by Vicki Delany on September 1, 2007 at 9:12am
Sounds like a great idea. I've always thought there is too much of a gap between "first novel" and "best novel" in that new authors have a chance with their first, but then they're up against the likes of Ian Rankin or Peter Robinson and don't have a chance. So I really like your categories. Best of luck with it.

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