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The National Book Awards, Accidental Nominations, and How Not to Handle Mistakes

The National Book Foundation announced its nominees for the National Book Awards last week — and they accidentally announced one book they didn't mean to nominate because its title sounds similar to the intended book's. Shine, by Lauren Myracle, is a good book, but not NBA good, apparently. The Foundation meant to nominate Chime, by Franny Billingsley, but "NBF staff ... originally misheard Shine for Chime when the list of nominees was read by the judges over the phone," according to Publishers Weekly. First, the NBF just added Chime to the list of nominees, but then they changed their minds. "I was ... informed that Shine had been included in error, but would remain on the list based on its merits," Myracle says in a statement from her publisher. "However, on Friday I was asked to withdraw by the National Book Foundation to preserve the integrity of the award and the judges' work, and I have agreed to do so." Shine's accidental nomination didn't exactly erode the credibility of the awards — the book, which follows a teenage girl as she attempts to solve the hate crime that left her former best friend beaten to death in their small town, was incredibly well-received by critics, and Myracle has an ardent fan base thanks to her candid and often controversial work. The National Book Foundation agreed to make a $5,000 donation to the
Matthew Shepard Foundation in Myracle's name, but they haven't yet agreed not to be such complete jerks about whatever mistakes they may make in the future. [Publishers Weekly]