Monday, January 08, 2007


No contest

When it was first announced back in July, the Sobol Award was greeted with general derision (here's one example among many). Recognizing unpublished writers seemed like a worthy goal. Dinging the entrants at $85 a pop sounded less worthy, especially if the funds flowing in from the projected pool of 50,000 applicants happened to outweigh the $100,000 prize granted to the winner. Even after Simon & Schuster sweetened the pot by offering to publish the top three books, some doubts remained. Now, however, the point is moot. Having received no more than a feeble trickle of entries--less than a thousand all told--the organizers have canceled the whole shebang. The entrants will get their money back, and the manuscripts will be destroyed.

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