Thursday, June 02, 2011

Judges' New Zealand Post Book Awards experiences

2 Jun 2011- The Read - Booksellers NZ

One hundred and fifty one books times five: NZ Post judges finish a marathon read.

Being asked to judge the New Zealand Post Book Awards is an honour, but it is also a time consuming challenge. The 151 titles did seem an even larger undertaking for one judge who told The Read he had 300 books in his 15 boxes - but he was an ad man in an earlier life!

Fortunately author and broadcaster Paul Diamond who convened the panel, and fellow judges Charmaine Pountney, Emily Perkins, Michael Harlow and Bob Harvey were up for the reading marathon that committed them to read around six to seven books a week.

Read the five judges comments about their reading experience at The Read

The Bookman (who has been a judge of these awards on three occasions, twice as Chair, under their previous sponsors names - Montana and Goodman FielderWattie)  agrees that being a judge is an honour and a time-consuming challenge but would  add that it is a major responsibility too, much is at stake for the authors, and publishers, in terms of money, reputation and prestige.
And it should also be noted that in addition to getting a very fine collection of NZ publishing valued at thousands of dollars judges are also paid quite a reasonable sum.
I do however feel especially sorry for this panel having had their fiction and poetry short-lists confined to three titles and I intend to go on and on about this unfair, inequitable and unsatisfactory situation until someone agrees to review the matter. Let me say again - two non-fiction categories with five short-listed titles in each category, fiction and poetry short-lists confined to three titles each.Where is the fairness or logic in that? Come on organisers do something about it.


Keri H said...

"I intend to go on and on about this unfair...situation"

tautoko Graham!
I am very sure you will have a great deal of support from all poets & fiction writers-

Anonymous said...

What's the fuss? Nonfiction used to have all these categories:
Lifestyle and Contemporary Culture
Reference and Anthology
Now they've been squeezed down to 2 categories with history, biography, science and reference writers all competing for 5 berths in the non-illustrative category.
Seems that if anyone's takena hit, it's the nonfiction crowd....

Beattie's Book Blog said...

Not relevant, they are merely categories within non-fiction. You could have categories within fiction too if you wished - romance, historical, crime, thriller, literary, faction, short stories, etc etc. There were clearly too many categories for non-fiction before and that need tightening up which was done but come on three shortlisted titles for all that fiction we publish.
And put your name on your next comment or it will not be published.