Ahhh... fall is here, and along with it the smell of burning leaves and the faint stench of desperation as Canadian publishers once again work their butts off to make Canadians aware that there are writers other than Dan Brown out there.
With the Giller Prize* being announced tonight, and the Governor General's Awards being given out next week, CBC.ca's Rachel Giese has the definitive checklist -- How to Win a CanLit Award -- for all you aspiring award recipients out there. (Hint: if you can't be Alice Munro, it helps to be a man. And if possible, be a man writing about racial issues within a small community in the past.)
*Yes, yes. I know that technically it's the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Don't even get me started on how obnoxious it is when corporations feel they have to slap their stupid, anti-euphonious names all over everything. WE GET IT that you sponsored the prize and all, and THANK YOU for that, but do the words "subtle" or "dignified" mean anything to anybody any more? Kee-rist on a cracker.
That is my biggest advertising hate. Espcially with competitions or awards that have been around for a hundred years or however long, and they suddenly have to put the sponser name ON THE CUP.
And every commentator has to refer to is as such. It sucks, and is beyond tacky.
Here in my hometown (Perth, West Australia) a while back there was a huge flap because an electrical retailing firm named "Crazy John's" wanted to buy naming rights for one of our biggest sports stadiums. The prospect of Crazy John's Oval gave everybody the heebie-jeebies and eventually the bid fell through--and an entire city (with the exception of Crazy John's management) sighed with relief.
The rules for award-winning Australian literature are much like what you describe for CanLit, too, and God help you if you try to get a grant from the government to help you write a book yourself. They make it fairly plain that middle-aged white male science fiction writers (hello) are not quite their target demographic, dang it all.
ps: that last comment was mine. Sorry.
It helps to be Alice Munro if you want to win an Australian-Lit. award? Damn! she's everywhere.
[laughs at gardenweasle's comment] :)
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