Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pulitzer Prize or Not

So the Pulitzer committee has decided not to give an award for Fiction this year.

First off, this is not unprecedented - here's the list.

From Christian Science Monitor
We are always sorry when people are disappointed,” says Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. “I always like to think that giving an award is like sprinkling fairy dust on the recipients.”

Come on Sig, it's more than fairy dust.  It's reputation.  It's cash.

“We don’t take the consequences for the industry into account, just the quality of the work,” says Gissler.

Fair enough, I can appreciate that you want to judge a book on merit alone.  Fine.  You can still have a winner. 

The no winner event can happen across all categories when a nominated work fails to get the majority of panel of voters.  This to me is pretty dumb and the solution is pretty simple.

-In case no work gets majority vote, the work with most votes gets the award
-If there is a tie, multiple awards should be given out.

I don't think this compromises the integrity or value of the award.  When you go through all the work to read, nominate, discuss, and debate something, to have nothing to show for it seems pretty pointless.  Even if the work is of lesser quality than historical winners, if that's the best there is for the year, it should be recognized. 

What's your thoughts?

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