Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Of Machine-Guns, Doorbells and Cancer: The 2007 Blooker Prize

The 2007 Lulu Blooker Prize, awarded for a book blook based on a blog, has been won by a former American machine gunner with My War: Killing Time in Iraq. Colby Buzzell based his memoir on the blog he began while in Mosul, in northern Iraq, in 2004, about eight months into his deployment.

According to the Guardian:
... he portrayed the texture of daily life ... from listening to Metallica on his iPod to watching his fellow "grunts" surf the web for pornography.
Within weeks his blog was receiving thousands of hits a day, and he was contacted by literary agents wanting to sign him up.

There is an irony about the timing of the prize as the US military high command is clamping down on blogs written by its personnel - ostensibly for security reasons.

The winner in the Fiction category is The Doorbells of Florence by British blogger Andrew Losowsky based in Madrid. His book of short stories was based on photographs he had posted on Flickr (which makes the genre he's writing in "fliction", it seems).

The Comics section was won by Brian Flies with a true-life account of his mother's struggle with lung cancer. The blook is called simply Mom's Cancer and is based on an Eisner Award-winning webcomic. The original blog has had to be removed from the internet now that the book has been published, but you can see some of the graphics here.

There were more blooks shortlisted, and I do hope that you will take a look and come away inspired. Blooks are certainly a very interesting route to publication. But first find the right concept for your blog.

Now before I end this post, I'd like to make mention of an excellent litblog:
... about fiction - both online and offline. It deals with the way the Internet is changing the way we read - whether it is books we’re dealing with or not. What is the future of the book? Can blooks make a lasting impact in the publishing industry?
I'd landed up at Novelr a few times after googling stuff about blooks and having been much informed by the posts. Then one day I checked to see who the blogger is. American? British? Someone in the publishing industry?

Nope. Eli James is a student in Kucing, Sarawak. And I don't even dare ask how young he is ...

(Picture of Colby Buzzell from the Guardian)


Anonymous said...

Is that an AK47 ? :D

msiagirl said...

A whole new world to look at. Thanks for pointing the way. I've sent you a bunch of emails but not sure you have them. My email has been a bit funny or worried they might be in your spam box. Hope to meet you soon Sharon!

bibliobibuli said...

got and replied to the most recent one, msiagirl ... did you get my reply?

Anonymous said...

Not as young as I would like. Peter Pan syndrome, anyone? ;P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the blooker page. I found zombie nation and followed it because coincidentally, I dreamt of zombies last night and woke up terrified... Eliza

msiagirl said...

Hi I found your email and have replied with word.doc attached! Call you next week :)

bibliobibuli said...

eli - peter pans are fine. i was just scared that you might be yet another of these precocious and talented teenagers who keep wandering into my life ...

msiagirl - thanks v. much - got the poem and will paste it now