Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Babble in Babel

Tower of Babel.
Pieter Breughel. 1563.
The original does not have the Pisa tilt displayed here - that was caused by me and my scanner.

No sooner had Martha Ivery been assisted into the kitchen to cook her own goose, than the Sobol Award got the stuffing kicked out of it.

Quite apart from the $85 reading - excuse me, entry - fees for the Sobol contest, some heavy critics pointed out that the winnahs were obliged to sign with an agency with no track record of sales and that the process that some claimed was new and unique resembled the usual slush pile.
You may have read all about it on Miss Snark, Writer Beware !, Agent Kristin, and many other industry voices.
Like any other topic, it attracted both the protractors and the detractors, some sensible, some silly.
The plot thickened like a good sauce when it was announced that Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.,will publish the three foxy winnahs of the contest to grease the ...er...skids.
Top kicks would not only winwinwin $100,000, $25,000 and $10,000 but receive a publisher's advance as well.
The other seven finalists will garner smaller, $1,000 golden eggs.
Seems the fine print has undergone some revision, however, since the first announcements, either as a calculated release, or because the sponsors are reacting to criticism and making it up as they go along.
Air is too rarified up there for me, besides I'm not eligible.
I did find funny as hell the claim by one poster that agents were critical of the contest because the publication of three novels would adversely affect their bottom line.
On a more mundane but similar style, I noticed an anonymous spammer on several agent's boards inviting writers to join a new and unique exercise to create a novel on-line.
When requested to produce a little fine print by Writer Beware! the anonymous "editor" announced that contributors would give up all rights, demanded his/her credentials be taken on faith, and then sulked that questioners were too materialistic and mercenary.
Now that's a green goose, for sure.


anna said...

Laughing! Bernita as terrible as this subject is you always make me laugh. This industry is so damned miserable. Like getting old it ain't for sissies

Ric said...

Apparently, due to Miss SNark and Writers Beware, the Sobol Award isn't going to come off. They only have 1000 entries, have extended the contest (once, so far), and won't be taking in enough to pay the prizes.

Bloggers are a nasty bunch - best not to try scamming them.

Bernita said...

Think it's the illusions we weave around it that don't always confrom with business reality, Anna.
Glad I make you laugh though.

Don't think the fat lady has sung yet, Ric. The deadline is in March. Time for more eager entries.

MissWrite said...

Materialistic and mercinary--that's too funny coming from those mouths. I hadn't read any of the comment trails on those many posts. Now I'm sorry I didn't just for the laughs. Green goose for sure, and that's putting it oh so politely.

Bernita said...

It's the "Our Novel" blog site, Tami.
I didn't bother with a link.
Especially funny when the "editor" demands from the contributors all sole and exclusive rights to sell, etc.

Savannah Jordan said...

This is exactly why I haven't entered any contests! Other than that one a couple of years ago... I just keep my head down and keep writing.

Bernita said...

You wouldn't be eligible for this one, Savannah.
Only un-pubbed and un-agented need apply.

raine said...

Okay, I'm going back to my birch branches from Birnam Wood...

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Yanno...I can't believe how easily some people can be taken in by that crap! *blush* Did I say that?

I don't even pay any attention to that junk anymore. I figure if it isn't someone that I specifically set out to query...there's something suspect.

That's the good thing about being part of the blogging community, you learn by good responsible posters like yourself, Miss Snark, Writers Beware and multiple others, who is good and who are the people you run away from screaming!

And another thing I thought of...there is no way you can be part of this community...and NOT know! So that show you how important our "world" really is!

LOL...and you thought we were just hanging out...LOL!

Bernita said...

We'll sneak up on 'em, Raine...

I'm not saying the Sobol thingy is a scam, exactly, Bonnie.
But the business of how good and kind they are to the unwashed is a bit over the top.
Yes, it's wonderful how the word can be passed around.

MissWrite said...

I'm not saying the Sobol thingy is a scam, exactly...

Oh no, our Bernita just got PC on us. LOL Come on, one shade of a scam is the same as any other.

Bernita said...

Don't thing there's anything PC about my comment.
It's simply a contest.
They probably intend to fulfill the terms they lay out - unlike scammers who request money and do not make any attempt to place an MS before publishers.

Tawcan said...

Stumbled onto this site, just thought I'd say hi. :)

Bernita said...

Hi, Tawcan!
Up to your usual monkey business?