Critics of CanLit and Canadian publishing have occasionally suggested that there is an element of balderdash to the business. A group of independent publishers has decided to literalize that critique by engaging in a game of virtual Balderdash, called Publidash, to be conducted on Twitter Friday afternoon.
The idea was a late-night brainchild of two tweeters from Coach House Books (Quillblog detects the brain of Coach House publicist Evan Munday in this scheme somewhere) and House of Anansi Press. The genesis of the online contest has been Storified for anyone interested.
According to the rubric on Anansi’s website, one author from each house will pick an obscure word to be tweeted out at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, along with five definitions (including the correct one) for each word. Twitter followers will then vote on which definition they think is accurate or funniest. Every vote will qualify as an entry for a prize pack of books by the participating authors.
In a business often castigated for taking itself too seriously, Publidash is a welcome bit of whimsy. Kudos to the participating publishers, which also include ECW Press, Invisible Publishing, and The Porcupine’s Quill. Anyone who wishes to follow along can do so by using the hashtag #publidash.