I Told You So

By now most of you are familiar with my love affair with The Scotiabank Giller Prize (The Magic Of The Giller). Two days ago I read the following article:

“The Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s richest prize for fiction, has a new democratic element. Readers now have an opportunity to vote for their favorite title. The C$50,000 prize has always been awarded by a jury from a shortlist drawn from books submitted by their publishers, and a few years ago, the prize began releasing a longlist. Now readers will be able to nominate their own choice from a list of all of the eligible titles published during the year. The book that gets the most votes will be given a place on the longlist.” (Publishers Weekly, August 17)

That the readers finally get to vote for their favorite books and to have some kind of say in the proceedings makes me so happy and I can proudly claim I told you so! For I have always believed that when it comes to books, the reader’s opinion should matter the most (Don’t You Think It’s About Time To Change).

“Most of these awards are chosen and debated by a panel of three judges. After more than forty years, don’t you think it’s about time to change all this? And maybe readers should get to choose and vote for their best.”

And I will continue to advocate literary democracy for as long as it takes until readers have complete power to present awards to books of their own choosing! After all, a writer is successful if the readers connect with his or her story.

“I’ve said it before (Shame, Shame, Shame) and I’ll say it again, aren’t our readers our biggest judges? After all, we writers write for our readers.”


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3 Responses to I Told You So

  1. Bobo says:

    “…The book that gets the most votes will be given a place on the longlist.” …” – sounds like a good idea, however, it might not satisfy the reading masses who actually bother to vote. Tradition proves that the way to appreciate the consumers (and their favourite artists) is to set up a separate prize to reward the most popular “product”, in this case a short list of the most popular Canadian books under the “Readers’ Choice” category.
    This way, the integrity of assessment based on artistic values (etc) is not mixed up with popularity, and just as importantly, the most read authors and their readers would not be dismissed…
    The same books can still end up on both lists, but the distinction will be there.

  2. Pingback: All That Is Left | Ramblings

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