On Awards and Popularity Contests


Isn’t she adorable? I would have liked to have been her friend. Most popular girl in her high school, and she doesn’t even look mean.

I wasn’t most popular. I was a theater geek. Oklahoma, Hello Dolly, Carousel, Cabaret, you know… those people. I didn’t know a single person who played sports.

I recently noticed that a bunch of writing contests are starting to get “outed”, fairly or unfairly, as popularity contests. PEARLS, Predators and Editors, EPPIES, CAPAs. Does that extend to Romantic Times picks?

Do you distinguish between contests in which people nominate themselves (EPPIES, for example) and contests in which reviewers nominate books? How about something like the CAPAs (don’t get me wrong, I’d love one), in which the luck might have it that your book wasn’t reviewed at The Romance Studio that year. Can we still call something the best e-para something then?

Are any of these contests “valid?” I’d love your opinion. Readers, do you notice the winners of such contests–and would a win or nomination influence you to buy a book?

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4 thoughts on “On Awards and Popularity Contests

  1. Jenn on the Island says:

    What about theatre sports? I loved those in highschool. I was a set design/costume geek so I didn’t play, but I loved tossing props on stage and watching people improv with them.

    As for contests, I hardly notice them.

  2. Pam Skochinski says:

    I don’t think any award (writing, acting, nobel, etc) ISN’T a popularity contest. . . that’s where marketing and name recognition come into play.

    That being said, I wouldn’t buy a book or see a movie solely because of the award.

  3. Sara Dennis says:

    I confess that I’m less and less enamored of contests the further I go. Odd to say, I know, given that I “won” a big one last year but that contest had its share of problems too.

    Not that I’d turn my nose up at an EPPIE or a CAPA, etc, but like Pam says, I’m not sure that they’re not all somewhat biased.

  4. Becka says:

    I would feel more “proud” of an award if it were chosen and decided upon by a private set of judges rather than a “reader’s choice” kind of award where I could tell everyone on my author loop to go vote for me.

    In the one scenario, it would be chosen and awarded on excellence alone (hopefully). In the other scenario, you would win by sheer volume of votes.

    Any author, good or bad, can get their friends and family to vote for them. But an award given to you by a private panel of judges seems more authentic, in my opinion.

    ~~Becka

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