So, remember when I wrote that whole post about changes?
And I mentioned that we might make the whole Mock Printz thing a bit more—what’s the word?—organized, planned, intentional this year?
Well, now we are ready to unveil that set of changes. Because we don’t just have a plan. We have a vocabulary.
Now all we need are some faithful readers to play along (that’s you, so get ready). So here’s the plan.
Actually, let’s start with the vocab. I like vocab.
Over in these here punny parts, we’re going to style the whole thing as the Pyrite Printz. (Please tell me you get it and this wasn’t only funny in my head. Sometimes these things are.)
As last year, we’ll have a contenders list; we anticipate anywhere from 30-50 titles on this list. Contenders are the books we think are worth looking at more closely. These are the books we can’t imagine the RealPrintz committee not reading, based (again, like last year) on a combination of the objective and subjective when it comes to selection criteria. Which is to say, good reviews and/or personal reading response from one or more of us or trusted friends, colleagues, and/or readers/commenters.
Unlike last year, we will also have nominations. Last year we had predictions (which were oh so wrong!), and we may still play that game of trying to guess the RealPrintz winners, but nominations will be for our own Pyrite process. Each of the three of us will nominate titles that are especially excellent when we start running longer reviews (in September). We also plan to open nominations to anyone playing along at home, with the idea that we can all be a big FakeCommittee together. We’re still working out details for how those nominations will work, but know this is coming down the line.
Between now and September 1, more or less, we’ll be posting approximately once a week (you probably picked up on this already), about books we are seeing, process, and whatever other somewhat relevant topics we land on. And along the way we will do our best to let you know what we’ll be talking about (and possibly nominating) come September to December. This way you won’t be caught in September with a list of 50 contenders of which you’ve read approximately none, unless of course you choose that path. In short, we are looking for a whole lot more audience participation, and the off season posts are in part designed to enable anyone who wants to be reading along with us. (You can also follow me on Goodreads, or follow any of us on Twitter and hope we drop reading hints, but this will be a whole lot more organized and will cover not just each of us as individual readers but also any early consensus titles.)
What we won’t be doing are reviews or discussions. Basically, comments like “I just finished Code Name Verity and it’s brilliant. Expect more in September and know that we should all be bowing down before Elizabeth Wein” are about as detailed as we’ll get until after the summer. (And yes, consider that a big fat hint that I will be nominating Code Name Verity on September 1st.)
Starting in September, we’ll post an actual contenda list and we’ll go back to the multiple great big fat posts examining the contenders in microscopic detail. And there will be spoilers and we will be ornery and pick apart excellent books and probably defend a clunker or two along the way. The initial contender list will be subject to change and all that, but hopefully a significant portion of it will be books that have already been mentioned during the slow season, although there will doubtless be some surprises in the year-end publications or additions due to October through December books racking up stars.
Between September and early December, along with the reviews, we’ll have nominations open (again, details pending but Pyrite nominations will definitely need to answer the RealCommittee nomination form questions). We’re aiming for a list of 10 or so nominations by mid to late December (we might have to vote the nominations down at some point if the initial number is much higher, much as the RealCommittee can straw poll in order to focus time and attention on the books that are real frontrunners). We’ll rediscuss the nominations after that (late December through mid-ish January), with hopefully lots of input from readers, and then…
(Drumroll, please. Like this.)
Pyrite season! The vote will be open only to those who have read all the nominations, and will as much as possible reflect the RealCommittee process. So if there is a vote that is not decisive, we will discuss again the merits and flaws of the top dogs. Votes will be weighted. Blood will be heated. And so on.
We are really excited to make this an inclusive process. If you think you might want to play along, won’t you please let us know in the comments? Even if you are usually more lurker than poster—especially if you are more of a lurker! We want to get a sense of whether we will be three or three dozen, or something in between.
And thank you. We are having a blast and we very much appreciate those of you joining us in this discussion of books and awards and the minutiae of young adult literature-with-a-capital-L. We couldn’t do this without you, and we wouldn’t want to do it without you.