Prizes

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EMC
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Prizes

Post by EMC » June 22nd, 2010, 6:04 am

Not sure if this is the right place to put this topic, but saw this
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 94950.html
and thought it raised some interesting questions, particularly where she speaks of the cream not necessarily rising to the top.

When you write, do you write for publication? For competition? For a career? All of the above? None?
Thought it might start an interesting topic of conversation.

For myself, I write because ultimately I would like a career from it. So I write for all of the above, because applying to competitions gives me focus and a motivation to get a short story written, and hopefully the more I write the better I'll get!

What do you think?

EMC

izanobu
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Re: Prizes

Post by izanobu » June 22nd, 2010, 7:54 am

I think she also makes the same mistake that a lot of us make sometimes, ie believing that because we hated something, it therefore must suck. I try to look at best-selling books I don't like as just books I don't like. Clearly even if I think a book is terrible but it is selling tons of copies and tons of people I know love it (The Road is a great personal example of this, for me), then that author has done something right. All the marketing in the world won't make people keep buying books by an author who can't deliver entertainment.

Writing is so subjective. What one editor loves, another might reject on the first page. Reaching the broadest audience is a good goal, but in the end I try to write books I'd like to read. I can't control other people's opinions, but I can write a book that *I* like (well, theoretically...maybe someday).

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polymath
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Re: Prizes

Post by polymath » June 22nd, 2010, 9:48 am

Speaking about looking a gift horse in the mouth, criticizing a noble though embattled literature award organization for giving an award to her in recognition of her achievements. I don't see how a best of the best reprise award is in any way a watering down of a seminal award. Ungraciously biting the hand that feeds maybe.

I see those sorts of self-serving behaviors often. Someone rises to the top, by hook or crook, by design or coincidence, and feels chosen, ordained, entitled to start grouchily arbiting taste, behavior, and appropriateness. It's an impacted personality trend, unresolved approval issues maybe. Like, from preconcieved notions of success's payoff, and finding once there it's not all it was supposed to be, all that effort to get there and it's not as satisfying as anticipated, and craving that next exquisite rush of celebrity approval furthered by any means to an end. Someone hasn't learned arriving at a terminal destination is rarely as stimulating as the journey. It's a death. It's like a plot letdown in the falling action before a resolving crisis. A calm before a storm. The climax, of course, the first flush of success. The inciting crisis, a need to express one's self to a larger audience. I don't see a resolution scenario. Perhaps a reversal is in the works that might incite a resolving crisis. Her story is still unfolding.

Worse, her three main points seem purposed to discourage competition who might overtop her exalted accomplishments: Winning awards aren't all they're cracked up to be. The publishing industry makes pea green soup pap. And she discourages writing as a career track.

I write because I can't not write.
Spread the love of written word.

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Mira
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Re: Prizes

Post by Mira » June 22nd, 2010, 11:24 am

Well, I read this alittle differently. I think it's hard to know what to think. This was not an objective piece of journalism - phrasing like "she cast aspersions" is not exactly objective. So, my initial reaction was to dislike the author intensely, and then I noticed the subjective reporting. It's easy to pick and choose quotes and create whatever impression you like as a journalist - on the other hand, maybe the article was accurate. It's really hard to tell.

I do know that the publishing industry discourages even the smallest critique of itself with an iron fist. I also think people who advocate non-traditional routes of publishing are being slapped down as well. So, I think it's hard to know if this is an accurate depiction or an over-reaction to some criticism on the part of the author of the article.

It's interesting, though. Thanks for posting it.

r louis scott
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Re: Prizes

Post by r louis scott » June 23rd, 2010, 11:13 am

I went a step further and googled her. After reading a few more interviews, I'm afraid that I am unable to form a very favorable view of her. She seems to go out of her way to be "different" or perhaps "edgy" and to me I'm afraid she comes off as entitled. There is certainly no shame, apparently, in using the fact that she won the initial prize as advertising for her book.

She seems to think that publishing isn't a business.

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Mira
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Re: Prizes

Post by Mira » June 23rd, 2010, 11:32 am

That's interesting, r.louis.

If she's trying to boost sales, I wonder if it will work. It would be really interesting to see her sales. There are enough folks who are mad at publishing that she might gather a following this way. Also, there's always the saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity. I'm guessing it might backfire, though. At least, when I see actors repeatedly ragging on their bosses and the business in public, it seems to rebound on them. That's even more true if it's a woman who is doing the complaining.

On the other hand, sometimes people are trying to affect change by being outspoken, and it's not about sales at all. So, she may not care - she may just have a point she's trying to bring home.

Or maybe she's just not thinking - and thinks that success gives her the right to be outspoken - like poly math was saying. If that's so, she'll be in for some wake-up calls. People don't respond well to that sort of arrogance.

r louis scott
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Re: Prizes

Post by r louis scott » June 23rd, 2010, 11:45 am

Mira, I found it very interesting that she has seven previously published novels. The only other one I saw mentioned in any of the articles was panned quite brutally. How many writers are going to get eight chances at a winner? She should probably be building a shrine to her good fortune. I do get a feeling that, as you mentioned, she just doesn't care, but her point seems somewhat skewed to me.

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Mira
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Re: Prizes

Post by Mira » June 24th, 2010, 12:39 pm

r louis - sounds like you're right. They do say fame and success are hard to handle. Sounds like she's shooting herself in the foot. That's a shame.

Well, that's life. Lessons, lessons. Although when you and I are super-duper rich and famous, we'll handle it better. We'll be the epitome of pure grace and poise under extreme pressure. Or at least - we'll know not to handle it the way she is!!

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