The Alberta Readers' Choice Awards has just announced the long list of 30 titles for the 2011 version of its $10,000 prize. Theses are all submissions from Alberta publishers from releases in the past year.
So the next step is for Librarians from all over Alberta to case votes for the Top 10 titles by the end of this year. Then the Jurors take over and read the Top 10 and we select 5 finalists which will be announced May 1, 2011. Then Albertans can get in on the action and vote online in the month of May to select the winner and that will be announced on June 11 at the Alberta Book Publishing Awards Gala in Calgary.
The Jurors (including me but that is a secret until January when all of the Jurors are announced) will no doubt be sharing our thoughts and opinions on the Top 10 titles on line as we select the 5 Finalists. This is a great event with the sponsorship of the Edmonton Public Library and the Book Publishers Association of Alberta
When we get to the five finalist, I hope Albertans pick up the spirit of the competition, buy the books, read them. Please share your thoughts on each book with friends, family and others in their various networks as well as online through Twitter. I hope you also get into promoting the online voting for your favourite book too.
I love books, book stores and libraries. I tend to get lost in them as my imagination get stirred by shared ideas and new senses of how to "see" things with the help of great writers. Alberta is a dynamic cultural and creative place in both arts and innovation. Recently the funding philistines have been busy undermining our sense of self and are starting to starve the provincial government support arts and innovation in the face of "fiscal pressures." If we did not give away our natural resources by under charging for royalties and other revenues we leave on the table we would not have any such self-induced fiscal pressures. I will comment more on that public policy problem at another time as I look in more detail at the future political direction for the next Alberta in the new year.
In the mean time, check out the long list of titles and if any of them catch your eye. BTW! Alberta books make great Christmas gifts. Full disclosure, I am an Alberta book publisher under the name Sextant Publishing, an imprint of Cambridge Strategies Inc. but we made no submissions to this competition, so there is no conflict in my serving as a Juror. If you are interested in what we publish and authors who are friends that we help promote go to the Bookstore link at Cambridge Strategies Inc.