Lauren Myracle Was Asked to Withdraw Shine From NBA Competition

Posted on October 21, 2011

Shine

Lauren Myracle's Shine was included in this year's list of National Book Award finalists due to what the National Book Foundation described as a "miscommunication." The Washington Post reports that an NBF staffer misheard "Chime" as "Shine" and included Lauren Myracle's Shine on the list of finalists instead of Chime by Franny Billingsley.

The National Book Foundation originally decided to fix the mistake by having six finalists in the young people's literature category this year - instead of the usual five. Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation, said this was the right thing to do "because they're all good books."

The finalist list remained this way for only a few days. Last Friday, the National Book Foundation decided to reverse its decision and asked Lauren Myracle to withdraw her book from consideration.

Lauren Myracle wrote in a statement, "I was over the moon last week after receiving the call telling me that Shine was a finalist for the award. I was later informed that Shine had been included in error, but would remain on the list based on its merits. 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."

Lauren Myracle also describes the ordeal here in an article on the Huffington Post, which begins with a Groucho Marx quote, "I've had a wonderful time, but this wasn't it."

She explains how she received an apologetic call from Harold Augenbraum telling her "there was 'push-back,' and some had reversed their opinions and wanted Shine off the list, and how did I feel about that?"

Lauren Myracle says one good thing to come out of the National Book Award debacle is that the National Book Foundation agreed to donate $5,000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. She writes, "Shine is about a hate crime and the bullying of gay teens, and the donation represents some real good to come out of all of this."

Photo: Amulet Books