The folks at Bookninja.com have pointed out that the Writers’ Union of Canada’s press release announcing the winners of this year’s Danuta Gleed Literary Award is strikingly similar to last year’s press release: same template, same wording. Only the names are changed.
This would hardly be stop-the-presses stuff, except that the jurors’ comments about the winners and runners-up are also identical to those of last year. This year’s jury citation for winner Jacqueline Baker (A Hard Witching, HarperCollins Canada) says her “brilliant stories stretched the boundaries of language and form, without losing their focus on character and situation.” That’s funny, last year’s jury citation for winner Lee Henderson (The Broken Record Technique, Penguin Canada) says his “brilliant stories stretched the boundaries of language and form without losing their focus on character and situation.” The (alleged) jurors’ comments for the two runners up are also identical.
We’d like to believe that it’s simply a technical glitch, and that the genuine 2004 jury citations were simply mislaid somewhere. But outgoing Union chair Penney Kome doesn’t exactly reassure us in an e-mail message to Bookninja: she simply accuses them of “unutterable pettiness” and says, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with updating and re-using a standard news release.”
Bookninja comparison of 2003 and 2004 Danuta Gleed press releases
TWUC chair Penney Kome’s e-mail to Bookninja [see message 170]