09 February, 2006

The Blookreader Awards

If you haven't already heard about it, you may like to know that Bill Liversidge has generously started a new literary award on his blog View From The Pundy House: The Blookreader Awards. It has two highly unusual features.

First, it rewards the reader rather than the writer. If you read an online book, write a review of no more than 200 words and post it as a comment on Bill's blog, you are eligible to win book tokens worth £100, £50 or £25. I'm not sure if book tokens are international or UK-specific, but don't let that put you off; I'm sure he'd think of something if the winner happens to live somewhere where book tokens don't work.

Second, the book you review has to be published online. It can be on a website, or a downloadable e-book, or a book published on a blog (apparently this is called a blook, hence the award title). But it has to be online. Printed books don't count.

The full rules and the entries so far can be found on Bill's blog.

Can't think of an online book to review? Bill has a helpful list in one of his posts, and he's been adding others so it's worth scrolling through the recent posts. He also has a blook of his own, A Half Life of One. I mentioned some earlier. You can find a long list of free online novels at Free Online Novels.com.

Here's a suggestion that might appeal specifically to readers of historical fiction: Octavia Randolph's Ceridwen trilogy set in England at the time of Alfred the Great's war with the Danes. All three books are available on her website www.Octavia.net, together with a novella about Lady Godiva.

I've submitted an entry on The Circle of Ceridwen, Book 1 of Octavia Randolph's trilogy, as follows:

Lady Ceridwen had a strange fate
As maid to Viking chieftain's mate
She was wooed by a Dane
Bravely rescued a thane
Married him and met Alfred the Great

Come on, I'm sure you can do better than that. Why not pick an online book that appeals to you and give the competition a go? Publicise it on your own blogs. Spread the word. It's not often that you get offered a chance to win £100 to spend on books, just for the pleasure of reading something and writing a review of it. The closing date for the Blookreader Awards is 31st March 2006. Don't forget to take a look at Bill's blook A Half Life of One while you're there.


Rick said...

Lady Ceridwen ... What a great little synopsis - I wish you could have submitted this for Miss Snark's synopsis Crapometer!

Carla said...

It was the Crapometer that gave me the idea. Somebody submitted one as a haiku, and I thought how much nicer it must have been for Miss Snark to read that than several hundred words of prose. When I came across the review competition I remembered it, but I can't write haiku so a limerick had to suffice. Are you going to enter? I'm sure he'll be delighted if you do - for a competition organiser, the more entries the better.

Rick said...

It was the Crapometer that gave me the idea

Aha! I remember the haiku, but I thought this was better, because it gave me a fair idea of the story arc.

I don't think I'm going to enter the contest, though, for fear of cat vacuuming.

Carla said...

Cat vaccuming??

Rick said...

Cat vacuuming is another useful concept I picked up at Making Light, the nielsenhayden.com blog. It was in comment threads, so I don't know who coined it.

Any activity you engage in in order to avoid working on your book is vacuuming the cat. (The term works doubly well for me because of my protagonist's name!)

Carla said...

All is made clear :-) Sounds cuter than 'displacement activity'.

Alex Bordessa said...

Cat vacuuming: over on http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.composition it was used a lot at one point, especially by Mary Gentle. In fact, I thought she may have coined it - she generally has a wonderful turn of phrase.