Borders Singles Out Original Voices


By Neal Comment

Borders has announced its slate of nominees for the 2005 Original Voices Awards. “Nominees were selected by Borders store employees and employees from the company’s headquarters,” explains the official press release, voting on their favorite fiction, nonfiction, children’s picture books, and YA fiction (plus, this year, music). This results in an eclectic mix where Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love rubs shoulders with Kung Fu High School by Ryan Gattis. It’s worth noting that the award is designated for “innovative and ambitious works from new and emerging talents, as well as titles that represent a new direction for established authors and artists;” that latter part helps explain how Alan Zweibel got on the kid’s list and Michael Gruber is getting recognized for his YA tale The Witch’s Boy. The winners will be announced in January, but their official recognition doesn’t come until next May’s BookExpo America.

UPDATE: A publishing insider slips us word suggesting that the nominees were drawn strictly from the broader Borders Original Voices program, which provides highlighted displays for “new and emerging talents” after their publishers have paid a hefty co-op fee; said insider also remarks, “At least with B&N’s Discover you don’t have to pay to play…”