Friday, February 05, 2010

The Bookseller's Diagram Group Prize for Odd Titles Announces a "Very Longlist"

With social media like Twitter driving ever more submissions, Horace Bent of the UK's Bookseller magazine has announced that this year, for the first time ever, the annual Diagram Group Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year is starting off with a Very Longlist of 49 titles. Those 49 were culled from the ninety submissions received by Bent, many of which were sadly too old (such as 1907's The Sacrosanct Foreskin of Christ in the Cult and Theology of the Papish Church of Berlin) or self-published (like The Historic Adventures of the Purple Waffle Iron on His Horse Made of Asparagus).

But the final list -- which is available at the Bookseller's website in its entirety -- still features such gems as Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots, Cute Yummy Time, The Great Dog Bottom Swap, Venus Does Adonis While Apollo Shags a Tree, and my current favorite, Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich.

A panel of distinguished judges, led by Bent, will whittle this long list down to a shortlist, to be announced on February 19th, and then the final choice will be thrown open to a public vote. The final winner will be announced on March 26th -- and I dearly hope it won't be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which has gotten enough publicity already.


Anonymous said...

What I keep noticing is how many non-fiction books now have a colon in their titles -- like Big Important Science: Straight From the Mule's Mouth and the Average Monkey.

Andrew Wheeler said...

mjlayman: Yup, nonfiction hews very closely to the Intriguing Short Title: Explanatory Longer Subtitle model. I've been responsible for quite a few book titles along those lines recently, and it's not as easy as it looks, particularly if you're trying to signal that a book is serious rather than generalist.

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