Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Eagle Awards Rant...
As many of you here will know- the Eagle awards are up and running full tilt now for 2010. This is for titles published in 2009, and FutureQuake has been nominated for the third time in a row. You can vote here, if you like, but read the rest of the blog post first please.
Okay- firstly apologies if this gets a bit obsessive- but this has been bugging me for a couple of years now-
The Eagles, as it stands at the moment, is geared to whoever can get the most votes. It has two phases- open nominations and once the shortlist from there has been decided (presumably the five from each category with the highest nomination votes) then the top five go through for a direct vote-off!
I'm really only focusing on the 'Best British Black & White' category- as that is the only one that I have a vested interest in.
The opening section- with the open nominations is fine- as many folks, myself included, will simply vote for their own titles and hope that they can convince enough readers and friends that they are worthy. This leads to a huge number of nominations presumably, however it seems to work quite well. Indeed this years list is really strong- and I am very proud to have made it this far.
It is the second portion of this that I would change. It is again an open vote. Which is personally a mistake I feel. The current system is open to vast numbers of 'Internet' friends being balloted via Facebook- Twitter- or indeed good old fashioned email to vote for titles that they may well have never read. What is wrong with that? Well, as long as you have read all the books nominated- nothing.
I, personally, feel that once the initial nomination stage is complete, then a set of all titles nominated is provided for a panel of judges- similar to the mercury music prize- where each judge will be able to vote across the board. Automatically there is less chance of 'who has more friends' being a deciding factor- and the work itself will be in a position to shine through. I think that the lead of the eagles should choose a different panel each year- made up of members who do not have a vested interest in which titles are nominated and that all votes are collated in secret.
That would be an Eagle award worth really working towards.
I'd like to say good luck to all those nominated in whatever category you are in- as I feel the Eagles are a fantastic thing- but in need of some work.