Friday, November 06, 2009

Final Reminder for Bookshops

A quick reminder (as I was just asked) that today is the day that the bookshop Graveyard Book party reports have to be in to Harper Collins. By 9 pm PST. are the rules and info for those who lost them.

Hi Mr. Gaiman,

I was disappointed today to read you won't be part of the judging for The Graveyard Book contests. My not-wealthy, middle-of-nowhere bookstore just sent in its entry, and something we're concerned about is the fairness of judging.

For example, independent bookstores like Powell's (I'm sure you know) easily have enough money and are in a convenient enough location to ask you to come at one time or another. Against stores like that, who were able to put more money into their parties, we stand little chance.

I don't think that it's a lost cause for us; we were very creative. I'm just nervous to know you won't be judging. Can you tell me whether you think the judges will take things like size and location of bookstores into account? It would make me sleep a little easier until the results are announced.

Tusen takk,

Well, per the rules, the judging is based on:

(i) Overall creativity of the Party, as demonstrated by the invitations, signage, decorations, activities, entertainment, and refreshments.
(ii) Customer attendance and response (i.e., enthusiasm, costumes, participation).
(iii) Ability to capture and represent the spirit of The Graveyard Book.

...specifically to reward creativity, and not the ability to outspend other shops. (That was also why the party had to actually be at the bookshop, and not at another location.)

I asked my editor, Elise Howard, and she said,

Gosh, yes. Here's what we think is happening. We are looking at all the entries. On Monday, we'll send you the best 11, from which you will choose the Grand Prize Winner. The rest will get the first-prize package. So the short answer is that you ARE helping to choose.

The longer answer is that we will be very fair and will consider creativity, which includes work done with available resources, along with pure execution. (Don't you think? We haven't done anything yet; still waiting for more entries to come in.)

...which means that

a) I was wrong and will be the ultimate judge, from the shortlist. (Damn.)


b) everyone's on a level playing field.

Does that help reassure you?

PS -- Widgett's Graveyard Book Dessert competition winners have been announced over at

This one had NOTHING to do with me at all. But lor' the winning desserts look tasty...