Book Blog – Likely Stories, from Booklist Online » Blog Archive » Nobody Wins the Sobol
Booklist Online

Booklist Online: More than 130,000 book reviews for librarians, book groups, and book lovers - from the trusted experts at the American Library Association

| | | | | | | | | | |
Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

« »

Tuesday, January 9, 2007 9:05 am
Nobody Wins the Sobol
Posted by: Keir Graff

From the Associated Press, via the International Herald Tribune:

Controversial new Sobol Award canceled due to lack of interest

NEW YORK: The Sobol Award, a controversial new literary contest that offered agentless writers a $100,000 (€76,888) first prize and a contract with Simon & Schuster for the top three winners, has been canceled.

The Sobol Award was a for-profit scheme launched by technology entrepreneur Gur Shomron, with the stated goal “to discover talented, unknown fiction writers and help them get the recognition they deserve.”

With an entry fee of $85 and a business plan anticipating as many as 50,000 manuscripts–of which three were to have been published by Simon & Schuster–clearly, the goal was to help as many struggling writers as possible. (While discovering up to $4,250,000 talented, unknown U.S. dollars.)

In the end, only about 1,000 manuscripts were submitted. The entrants have been promised a full refund.

Here’s my favorite part:

Shomron told the AP that he had invested more than $1 million (€770,000) in the prize and that a full-time staff of four would be laid off.

“I’m losing a lot of money,” he said. “But what I’m really sorry about is all the writers who were participating and wanted to be successful.”

Yes, if things had gone according to plan, then he could have gone to bed happy–on a mattress of crisp greenbacks–knowing that he’d helped .006% of the participating writers find success. Huzzah!

Leave a Reply

© 2014 Booklist Online. Powered by WordPress.
Quoted material should be attributed to:
Keir Graff, Likely Stories (Booklist Online).

American Library Association