We was robbed • 6 March 2008 • The SnowBlog
We was robbed
Well, we were, actually. Boy A from Serpent's Tail won the Spread the Word competition. And - guess what - it had been made into a film by Channel 4, had won prizes and was already selling well, in debut fiction terms. Ergo, people had heard of it, ergo they voted for it. From the press release:
"Originally published in 2004, by small independent publisher Serpents Tail, Boy A initially enjoyed modest sales. Sales were boosted when an adaptation of the book was aired on Channel 4 in October 2007. ...[Jonathan Trigell's] first novel, Boy A, won the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for best work in the Commonwealth by an author under 35, and the Waverton Good Read Award, also for best first novel of 2004."
I'm disappointed and actually a bit cross. The whole point of this competition was to uncover hidden gems. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
Rob's comment: I think the stated purpose of the award was to find a book 'which inspires debate and discussion among readers' and I suspect a book about a juvenile killer would do exactly that. Even so, there's a valuable warning to be had here, as you can see: don't stand between Em and a prize for one of our authors. You could get hurt.