422. Columnist and Author Takes on the Nobel Prize Committee


CONTACT:Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Phone: 818 790 0502

E-mail: HoJoNews@aol.com

Author Awards the Noble (Not Nobel) Prize for Fifth Year

Columnist and Author Takes on the Nobel Prize Committee

Praised or maligned, the Nobel Prize for Literature is always news. It selects the best from the world and therefore misses much of value. Carolyn Howard-Johnson, “Back to Literature” columnist for MyShelf.com, closes the gap (only slightly) with her an annual “Noble Prize for Literature.”

Over the last years the Nobel committee has recognized authors for their literary expertise but there has also been a trend toward awarding the prize for, as Los Angeles Times Staff Writer Tim Rutten says, “an author’s particular relevance to the moral moment in which the world finds itself.”

Howard-Johnson’s prize therefore concentrates on books that address these same issues. For her Noble Prize (as opposed to the NOBEL prize), Howard-Johnson considers books written in English (which narrows the field of prospects considerably) because writers who write in English have been rather neglected over the years and because that is the language in which she . . . .ahem, reads well enough.

Howard-Johnson’s lists have included well-known authors who explore discrimination in their writing like Toni Morrison and Ralph Ellison but she tries to concentrate on authors who have not been posted to bestseller lists or won major awards. Some past winners are LA’s Leora G. Krygier and Randall Sylvis.

The winners for 2006 just announced in January’s issue of Myshelf are:

Bruce Bauman for And the Word Was (Other Press, 2005). Nominated by Susan Henderson.

Carolyn Davidson for Redemption (HON Books–Harlequin). Nominated by Suzie Housley.

Robert Eggleton for his e-book, Rarity from the Hollow (Fatcat Press). Nominated by Evelyn Somers.

Dr. Bob Rich for his biography, Anikó.

Helen Losse for her chapbook, Gathering the Broken Pieces #5 in the Poets on Peace series (Foothill Publishing).

Nikki Arana for The Winds of Sonoma, (Revell).

Magdalena Ball for her book of poetry, Quark Soup (Picaro Press, Warners Bay, Australia).

Marcus Harris for his small book of poetry, Songs in Search of a Voice (Urban Echoes Entertainment, LLG).

Two Rivers Review’s Poetry Chapbook Series. Published three volumes at a time, Ron Mohring’s #5 volume along with Michael McFee’s and Lynne Knight’s poetry.

Anh Vu Sawyer and Pam Proctor for Son of Saigon (Warner Books).

Eve La Salle Caram for Rena, A Late Journey (Plain View Press, Austin, TX).

Nadia Brown for her book of poetry Unscrambled Eggs (Publish America).

Hugh Rosen for Silent Battlefields (iUniverse).

Karen Degroot Carter for One Sister’s Song (Pearl Street Publishing).

Howard Johnson is no stranger to literary prizes. Her first, This Is the Place, won the Reviewers’ Choice Award after it was published in 2001 and went on to win 7 other awards. A chapter from the book was a finalist in the Masters’ Literary Award and another was selected for inclusion in The Copperfield Review. Her book of creative nonfiction, Harkening, has won three awards, her Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t was USA Book News’ Best Professional Book of 2004 and her new book of poetry, Tracings, was named “Top 10 Reads for 2004” by The Compulsive Reader and given the Military Writers’ Society of America’s Award of Excellence. She is also an instructor for UCLA Extension’s renowned Writers’ Program.

Learn more about Howard-Johnson at http://CarolynHoward-Johnson.com. Her efforts are sponsored by Editor Brenda Weeaks at MyShelf.com.

Her “Back to Literature” column may be found at http://myshelf.com/backtoliterature/column.htm, where book covers and comments on the winters are posted.

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1 thought on “422. Columnist and Author Takes on the Nobel Prize Committee

  1. Hi– Man, I might have really screwed up. Some of you know that I wrote a novel, Rarity from the Hollow, the first release in the Lacy Dawn Adventures series, which has received great reviews, and that author proceeds are donated to prevent child abuse. Well, anyway, I went to this newgroup to tell them about my novel winning a competition. The people there started an argument about whether I had the right to tell them about my novel on the newsgroup — they called my post spam. The argument lasted a long time.

    Then, apparently emotions got worked up — not mine as I was having fun and thought it was all philosophical — but members who have never read by novel posted insults about me and it on the Mobipocket site as if they were posting reviews of something that they’d read but had not.

    This could definitely hurt the project to raise funds to protect kids. I feel especially bad about my mistake on behalf of them. I had decided to quit. Yesterday, a little girl in one of the group therapy sessions I facilitate told her peers that she was strong enough to testify about the awful things that her daddy had done to her. She’s less than four feet tall and skinny.

    It made me feel so guilty about deciding to quit my project that I’m going to find some type of solution. I don’t think that arguing with people about what is or is not “spam” is a good idea, at least not from my self-promotion angle. I think that it’s best as a debate strictly among consumers and I’ve got something that I can’t help but promote and come off too strong.

    I’ve already given the people who called me a liar the info to contact the agency to which author proceeds are donated for verification. I even gave them info on how to verify my own employment at my mental health center. It didn’t help.

    I gave them my email address hoping that they could verify that I had not posted reviews of my own novel in order to up the rating (an accusation). They responded that some of the reviews were from the same multi-state ISP even if not from the same address and posted a lie on the Mobipocket site.

    I gave them the address for the five-year-old contest that named my novel as one of the best published in 2006. They said that it was not a contest, was inconsequential, but didn’t put down any of the other books in various genres that were listed.

    I’ll figure out something. Thanks. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Robert Eggleton
    “Rarity from the Hollow”

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