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Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Prize Appel Didn't Win

An anonymous reader (also a finalist for the Meyerson Fiction Prize) submitted this link with notation: "Appel didn't win. But neither did I. Does that make us even?" See here for the true prize winner--and finalist list.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Winners...But Not You

For all of you waiting with bated breath, here's the results of the latest Narrative Magazine contest (I know; it stings):


First Place ($3,000) Gina Ochsner On Principle
Second Place ($1,750) Heather Brittain Bergstrom Celilo Falls
Third Place ($1,000) Holly Wilson Night Glow

Ten Finalists ($125 each)
Alethea Black Mistake
Abby Frucht But You’re Not
Lisa Fugard The Ghost of Anton Viljoen
Ed Gray Freedom Cross
Barb Johnson Turn It Up
Twister Marquiss Spectator Sports
David Torrey Peters The Dressing Room
Marc Petersen Shopping in the Middle of the Night
Debra Spark 46
Terese Svoboda Recon

But oh so luckily, there's another contest, another way for these people to take your money:

Also announcing:
The 2008 Fall Fiction Contest, with a
First Prize of $3,000, a Second Prize of $1,500, a Third Prize of $750,
and ten finalists receiving $100 each.
Open to all writers, from August 28 to November 30, 2008.
All entries will be considered for publication.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Richard Laermer--In Your Face On Dead Publishing

Media guy Richard Laermer (author of 2011: Trendspotting for the Next Decade) pulls no punches at Huffington in his interesting article: Why Book Publishing is Dead (Part One).  Totally worth the read.  Here's a list of questions he attempts to answer:

1) Who's in charge?  How can a 22-year-old editor bid on a book?  What does a post-graduate $32,000-a-year fresh-out know what will hit with the public?
2) How do you expect people to pay 25 dollars for a book?
3) The editing is done exactly how far in advance?
4) Marketing is something that happens when?
5) You give nothing away?
6) Bookstore chains are difficult corporations?
7) Why is everyone so afraid to make waves?
8) You won't publish me even if I'm the next Tolstoy unless I have a platform of my own?
9) What about the number of works?
10) The agents are working for exactly whom?
11) What's with all the corporate titles people are given?
12) Small publishers? Nah, don't think so.
13) Shouldn't everything be made available online?

Unfortch, the questions are better than the answers.

You Lose In Kentucky In Perpetuity

An anonymous writer sent this email contest announcement in with the following explanation:

"I submitted my work to be considered for the Gabehart Prize once several years ago, and needless to say did not win.  Now every year like clockwork, I get the contest winner announcement, without ever having submitted again.  I guess I'm just on the general loser email list.  So in essence we just skip over my submission and go right to the rejection notice.  It's really much more efficient this way."

Here's the email, fyi:

Congratulations to our three Gabehart Prize winners, Kelly Bancroft, Lisa Buchanan, and Gail Chandler, who will have an opportunity to read their winning entries during this year's Kentucky Women Writers Conference.

There was some drama surrounding the fiction category. Our judges were deadlocked over two stories, and we delayed announcing a winner for several days. Thinking finally that we would award two fiction prizes, we checked the authors' identities and discovered that both stories, "By Appointment" and "On the Eve of Departure," were submitted by the same author, Lisa Buchanan of San Francisco.

Our winners in poetry and creative nonfiction are:

E. Gail Chandler, Shelbyville, Kentucky, for "One Room School" (poetry)

Kelly Bancroft, Youngstown, Ohio, for "Singer Sewing Machine No. 66" (creative nonfiction)

The Betty Gabehart Prize honors our former director who led the conference during its seminal decade in the 1980s. Three prizes are awarded, and each winner receives $100, two 2-day passes, and the opportunity to read her winning manuscript at the conference.

Registration is still open for conference daytime sessions, taking place on September 12 and 13. You may register online here [] or by calling (859) 257-2874

All best wishes,

Julie Wrinn, Director

Vaughan Fielder, Program Coordinator

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dear Writer Rejected

Writer, Rejected, I adore you. I need to borrow some of your disillusionment for a minute, is that okay?

So, against all reason and logic, at the last possible second, I submitted a piece to Narrative Magazine for their first person narrative contest. I paid $20 like a chump. I'm pretty young, 24, and I've never even submitted anything to be published, though I've written all my life. I don't know why I did it; part of me felt that what I had written was what they were looking for, and part of me just wanted my first rejection so I could just get it over with already.

I feel silly even asking you this, but I need you to burst my naive bubble here. There are 3 working days left for them to send me my goddamn rejection before announcing the winners, and they haven't, and it's giving me agita. More than agita, I'm slightly paralyzed with anxiety. I am of a nature that is cursed with this eternal, twisted optimism and I want it to die. It's not even that I fear the disappointment, that will hardly make a dent, but the waiting, WR, the waiting is killing me.

With every passing day approaching the 31st (when they announce), my delusions of grandeur get slightly fatter, and I spend more and more time indulging them when I should be doing other things, like work, or scooping the cat litter, or listening when other people speak. It's distracting. I keep on imagining myself lounging in a park, eating soft cheeses and wearing beautiful dresses, all purchased with my glorious prize money, or explaining on the college applications I'll soon be sending out that while yes, I certainly did flunk out at 19, would they actually dare to deny admission to a little blooming visionary like myself, who gets the first thing she's ever written published in a big journal on the first shot? I'd be all, "Baby please. Your institution is dying to nurture my genius. Now get me a latte."

You see? It's poisonous. Please tell me it's near impossible, that it's unlikely they even read my submission. Please tell me they are just so enraptured by whatever elegant, established career writer they're set to champion next that they haven't had time to get to tell the little people they can eat cake. In your experience, in the context of a writing contest, is it at all significant to have a longer response time? I know I only have a few more days, but I need somebody to ground me a little so I can carry on with the next order of business. How do you handle this waiting game yourself?

With love,

Dear Lilah: 

All of the last three winners of the Narrative Magazine contest were majorly famous for the written word in some significant way. That means the chances are slim for chumps like you and me. But here's what's true: you are an 'effing literary wonder. Flunking out at 19 and getting your ass back in school a few years later and, hello, WRITING stories that you are sending out to contests. You are in the game, my friend. You are a writer, and you are young, and you have years ahead to better your craft and show everyone who has ever rejected you how superb you are. 

It's unlikely you're going to win that contest this time, so you'd better take a Pepcid AC for that agita. But know that you are unstoppably on the right path. So keep it up, sister. We are rooting for you. Since you are a virgin submitter, I'll tell you this: the waiting gets easier after you get a few hundred rejections under your belt. You learn to morph your dream this way and that to keep it alive. You'd be surprised how quickly coulats and cheddar begin to look good.  For you, I'd say push it up a few years, and know that there's much hard work ahead. You can buy that dress and eat soft cheese when you're in your 30's.

p.s. It's hard to listen when other people speak.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't Squeeze My Apple, Buster (Cider Press Review)

Kate (a faithful LROD non-mouse) sent this insane rejection story link to poet Stacey Lynn Brown's blog, Ten Fingers Typing. It's a complex rejection about a publication and literary prize being revoked. It involves Cider Press Review, and even has a follow-up story.  But allow me to summarize.
The story in short from Stacey's side:
1) 19 rejection
2) acceptance on 20 -- wins cider press review contest ($1000) and gets her poetry book published
3) press is a mess
4) typos and arguments about even the basics and hack up winning manuscript
5) editor butchers blurbs
6) poet says no
7) punishment: no author photo
8) how about reducing the ad?
9) publisher revokes prize and demands money back: "not fulfilling contractual obligations"
10) poet gets lawyer for $1200.00 (bye-bye prize money) and wins prize money and book rights (you go, grrl!)
11) signs no gag order (obviously)
12) winning poet and her winning book are erased from press's website, and runner-up is instated as new winner...which apparently this happened last year too (oy!)

The public response from Robert Wynne of Cider Press Review:
1) poet was too demanding, unreasonable, "even abusive" (my, my, my!).
2) we are good editors
3) poet is now bitter and out to get us
4) some people like us
5) yeah, we're pretty great, in fact
6) onward!

Monday, August 25, 2008

You Look Good in Those Genes

Jacob M. Appel (with whom this blog and the world is obsessed) strikes again; this time in the Chicago Tribune, just to show he is superior to you.  This time it's an interesting article about DNA and politics.  If nothing else, we are loyal to following the dude's career.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why Don't You Get A Life?

An Open Letter from an Anonymous Blogger:

Dear Rejected Writer:  This is a really good blog. The pictures are laugh-out-loud funny and always incredibly fitting. It's clear whatever you write must have the same kind of details. So-- I'm having trouble understanding: why spend any time on this blog? Given that it's not really 'book deal' material, like a regular (but probably less visited) 'writer's blog' would be, where you posted your writing, etc-- what does the blog do for you personally? You seem talented,and from your descriptions of continuing to support various literary magazines by sending them your stuff, also really hard working. Why not only work on your own writing? Why do this blog at all? Anyway- just a thought. Take care.

My Response:

Dear Anon:  One word for you: therapy.

(Now, if you'll excuse me, the producers who optioned the screenplay I wrote based on one of my published short stories are breathing down my neck for a revision; three of the people who pay me gobs of money to write their technical gobbledeguck want copy by Monday; an editor is waiting to see the new radically revised version of my novel; and an old friend is in from out of town.  So, gotta' go.)

p.s. Cheaper than $150.00/hour sessions, no?
p.p.s. This post took under 5 minute to create (fyi).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kevin Larimer's Play on Words

Kevin Larimer, editor of Poets & Writers, wrote me a little note about yesterday's post and comments.  He says:

Dear Writer, Rejected,

I noticed your mention of the Literary MagNet piece and the comments that followed -- great to see some good discussion about the issues. I noticed, too, that there's some discussion about that last sentence of mine. I wonder if the play on words would be more clear if the italics that are in the original text were included in your quote. Just a thought.

So let's give it a go with the italicized word:

"Rather than dwelling on the lousy submission or the lame rejection—or even the crummy criticism of the lame rejection of the lousy submission—how about devoting one's time to writing and publishing work that know, good? Isn't it the editor's job to read the bad writing so that his readers don't have to? And isn't it part of the writer's job to learn from—rather than reject—rejection? It's a pretty simple lesson, really: Either your writing needs more work or the offending journal doesn't."


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poets & Writers Gets Snippy About LROD

Poets & Writers' editor discusses LROD in his News and Trends column.  It's a weird article that puts editors and writers in the same boat.  Larimer reviews all of the major stories that appeared here on LROD (without credit), including Fence's "Eat Shit and Die" incident, Virginia Quarterly's questionable judgment and subsequent apology (sort of) and the Genoways v Junker Bout.  

Here's a highlight from the column:

"Rather than dwelling on the lousy submission or the lame rejection—or even the crummy criticism of the lame rejection of the lousy submission—how about devoting one's time to writing and publishing work that know, good? Isn't it the editor's job to read the bad writing so that his readers don't have to? And isn't it part of the writer's job to learn from—rather than reject—rejection? It's a pretty simple lesson, really: Either your writing needs more work or the offending journal doesn't."

I don't get the end of that last sentence, do you?

Today's Defeat is Tomorrow's Gold Medal

I've been staying up late watching the Olympics this week.  Much to my surprise, I find a compelling parallel between athletes and writers.  There's so much hard work and dedication that goes into reaching one's goal; there are so many failures and disappointments behind every story of victory.  

This fact is comforting to me: A goal can be lost due to some small strange variable: the wind, a sudden unexplained loss of balance, a pull of focus from one's own performance to a competitor, or as above with LoLo Jones, the miscalculation of a hurdle.  Nonetheless the failed olympiad is still an incredible athlete.  

It's just that, well, shit happens.  

This year's medal winners have previously fallen off the beam, tripped over a hurdle, run out of steam before the finish line.  What can you do when it goes wrong?  Pick yourself up and start training for the next round. Think of all the dudes that went home losers in 2004 and are sweeping up gold in 2008.  A good lesson, don't you think?

It's a bit more sappy than I like to get, maybe, but still good to remember that disappointment is a part of victory.  That's what LROD is about in part...the hard travelled road to victory, the stumbles along the way.  Keep that in mind, as you sweat over your plots, characters, and metaphors today.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Defense (And In Critique) of Ploughshares

There's a tempest in a teapot (not even really: just a tiny debate) about literary journals that take 8 months plus to respond to submissions.  Are they hard-working, overburdened editors or lazy schlubs with a snooty attitude?

Here are the two sides of the debate:

Anonymous (pro): I know someone who used to work at Ploughshares. The journal gets over 8-9 thousand submissions during a given reading period. A lot of the readers are volunteers who are also graduate students that have their own crap to deal with. The reason it probably took so long was because (obviously) it takes a long time to read that many stories, most averaging 20-25 pages long, especially when you have a small staff to begin with.
Personally, I think it's self-important to expect anything other than a form reply. You're just a writer, there are nine thousand more of you sending work. Seriously. Also, what does a form rejection matter versus a handwritten one anyway? A rejection is a rejection is a rejection. Deal with it. Move on.  If you want a faster response time, apply to a smaller journal, one that not every writer is submitting to with no regard for the journal aesthetic. Or don't submit at all. I've worked for two journals so far and most of the stuff that came in really shouldn't have been sent in the first place.

Elizabeth (con): Yeah, I've worked at journals, too. I work at one now. I think the attitude that I'm "just a writer" is crap. Without writers, journals would have no reason to exist. There are plenty of journals that get hundreds of submissions per month and manage their workload in a timely manner. (And as I said above, there are those equally as egregious as Ploughshares.) Glimmer Train runs on a staff of two, and manages to stick pretty close to its projected response of 60 days. Missouri Review, Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Ninth Letter, Cincinnati Review, AGNI -- all staffed by graduate students, all credible if not exceptional journals, all garnering enormous numbers of submissions, all with average response times under 90 days.

Ploughshares is an exceptional journal, otherwise I wouldn't fool with it. But it's always been slow going (I don't think the editorial turnover has much to do with it).

Which side of the question are you on?

Everybody's Talking 'Bout Rejection

Monday, August 18, 2008

A New England Rejection

The coldest rejection on earth, and not the only one.  And yet I keep trying with them.  Why?  

Subject: Your submission to Ploughshares

Dear Writer:

We regret that the manuscript you submitted does not fit our current editorial needs. Thank you very much for sending us your work.


The Editors of Ploughshares

2008-08-15 xx:xx:xx (GMT -X:XX)

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Future of Books is...Movies

Well, well,'s publishing news shows desperate publishers and book sellers trying to get a piece of the action in pictures.  When words fail (as apparently they have), turn to images. It takes less effort to decipher images, and the dumb people will be happy:
  • Barnes & Noble Studio is a new weird hybrid way to sell books and authors to the reading public: video.  For instance, you can watch Richard Russo read Huckleberry Finn in a series called (Are you ready?): Moving Paragraphs.
  • There's also the latest craze of book trailers.  For instance, this one.  (Ugh!)  I've been ignoring the book trailer trend for months now because it seems humiliating and because Gawker can't stop writing about it, which is annoying.
  • Simon & Schuster is in the movie business, too, which is merely to say the giant hopes to make up for book losses with movie sales.  It's looking bad for books, isn't it?
  • Meanwhile, according to the Guardian, Kindle is the New iPod.

One Month to First Meeting of LROD BOOK CLUB

Don't miss out on this historic online event:*
September 15, 2008
LROD's first-ever BOOK CLUB
We will be discussing More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss

You have exactly one month to prepare.  I read my version on the beach.

Tip: Stick with the book over the bumpy beginning; it gets good later on.  It's definitely full-dress fiction, folks, so go on and force your way in, wearing a tux if you dare.

*Not really, but it sounded good.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oops...Please Ignore Our F**** Up

Responding to yesterday's form letter, an anonymous LROD reader sent me this missive:

I recently got a form rejection from an agent's assistant complete with the whole shebang about somebody else will surely see my bright talent, but "alas" not anybody at this agency.  About a week later, I received a letter from the actual agent apologizing for the form letter, telling me he liked my work, and asking if he could see something else. 

But guess what?  It was too late.  I'd already signed with somebody else.

(Wow; they sound highly organized.)  For you, it must have been one happy week! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

McSweeney's Tendency to Reject

From Jordan Bass at McSweeney Books in response to a submission sent in April:

Hi W,R-thanks for sending in your manuscript, and sorry it’s taken us so long to respond. We rely on submissions like yours, since a good portion of what we publish comes to us unsolicited. Unfortunately, we won't be able to publish your book--we're a very small company, and can only put out a few each year. Thanks again for your efforts, though,


Form letter as email.  Somehow the "Hi [first name]" and use of dash/hyphen, plus trailing off sytax, give this letter a cozy casual feel, but it's definitely a standardized rejection. They give good form, right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Build Your Own Rejection Letter!

Oooh!  What fun! 

It's a create your own literary rejection by Anna Richenda.  Very futuristic, don't you think?  

You just fill in the phrasing with a pull down menu and get to view the final letter!  If you like the agent rejection, you'll probably just love the lit mag version too. 

Brilliant.  Wish I'd thought of it.

Here's one I created:

EZ Literary Agency
1534 Editor Ave
Rejection City, WA 55555

Dear Writer, Rejected:

Enclosed please find a few pages my assistant found in the bathroom. Um....I think they're yours. (Sorry.)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to consider your manuscript, but I am unable to offer you representation at this time because, though I loved your novel, that was yesterday. Today I love something else more. (No, I don't have ADD.)

Another reason I must decline to represent you is that your manuscript isn't a variation on some existing bestseller. Can you write a cute animal mystery, please? I'm freaking out, here. In addition, this work is visionary and will likely win the Nobel Prize for Literature--and you know how boring those books are.

A few words of advice. Please don't call and email me a thousand times a day. That's called stalking. In closing, I have filed a restraining order against you, so don't get any ideas.

The very warmest of regards,

Gifford Regnal-Symes
Mailroom Assistant Trainee

The only thing it's missing is a pull down menu choice for "alas"!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Good Guys Finishing First

This amusing all-caps, vigorously punctuated note arrived via email:



But we who were once jealous of Jacob Appel now know him as a prince. He came around here to talk to us, and he is a genuinely humble dude. (Yes, totally annoying that he keeps winning, while we keep losing.  But good guy nonetheless.)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sherman Young Beach Reading (The Anti-Book)

I know I'm supposed to be on vacay, but I wanted to share this article raising some of the subject matter in Sherman Young's The Book is Dead (Long Live the Book).   


"Sherman Young, the Australian academic who wrote The Book is Dead, is mourning the book for other reasons. He argues that the seemingly crowded literary marketplace is mostly jammed with what he calls “functional books” and “anti-books” – not real books. Real books are well and lovingly crafted, emotionally and intellectually resonant. They are the work of people who think and care – authors, editors and publishers – people passionate about both words and ideas. This sort of literary endeavor is dying, the author argues."

Perhaps we've finally found our guru, people.  His argument is our argument.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gone Fishing

I'm taking a few days off from rejection, so if you're sending me a form "bug off" note in the mail, hold off.  Going to the beach, but back on Monday.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Miscellany Rejection Comments

Here are some recent notable LROD reader views:

  • Our friend Puc points out this blog, which displays the nice rejection collage above.
  • Matt Bell came around the other day to assure us that book reviews will never die. He says this: "Luckily, between the blogs and the dedicated book review sites--such as The Short Review, and Rain Taxi, and NewPages (where, full disclosure, I'm the book review editor)--there are plenty of places to get your book reviews, especially those of independent or small press books. Also, I presume the LA Times will continue their excellent coverage online, both at the main books site and their own excellent blog (for proof of how good it is, check out their recent coverage of Denis Johnson's serial novel in Playboy). Their print space may be diminished, but I expect their work to continue online, which is where most of us read the LATBR anyway. Book reviews are far from dead, and online reviews are capable of eventually reaching a larger and larger audience, so beyond my sympathy for those who have lost their jobs to these shrinking sections, I don't see an overwhelming cause for concern or alarm."
  • And on the post where I figured out about LROD being trolled, someone trolled me with this comment: "Frankly, LROD. You were the last to know. You didn't just lose your troll readers."  Which, I must admit, made me laugh.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Unbelievable Comeback

Here's a mind-boggling quote from a New York Observer article straight from the lips of James Frey:

"I’m in conflict with what writing is, in conflict with what literature is, in conflict with what people’s acceptable standards are. In conflict with the idea of what fiction and non-fiction is, or are. There are things that will play themselves out. I'm not done with twisting the lines of fact or fiction. I'm not finished with that issue by any stretch of the imagination. There isn't a great deal of difference between fact and fiction, it's just how you choose to tell a story."

In conflict?  Give me a break.  

Dude has figured out how to turn being a liar into being a cultural phenomenon.  And our trash culture is going right along with him, making his books best sellers. Please, people, let's get it straight. There's genuine creative nonfiction which emphasizes the metaphorical truth over the literal truth by exaggerating and re-crafting slightly, and then there's outright stupid lying.  It may be difficult to tell the difference, but let's start trying. It can be done.  We can all start right now by aiming to be a bit more discerning. 

Allow me to demonstrate:

Sedaris might write something like, "My mother died of lung cancer with a cigarette in her mouth."  The cigarette dangling from dead Mommy's lips on her death bed may not be literally true, but there is a metaphor here in the statement suggesting the man's mother continued smoking to the end.  Sedaris' writing has many examples of literary exaggeration, serving some literary or humorous truth central to the point of his work.  Thus we know if Sedaris writes that his mother died of lung cancer, you can pretty much be sure that Mrs. Sedaris' death certificate will corroborate.

Frey might write something like, "Mom used to work for Philip Morris.  She was a narc when company execs covered up how cigarettes killed you.  She made a lot of enemies that way."  If Frey's mother never worked for Philip Morris, or never acted as a narc, we have ourselves a whole different ball of wax: what I like to call a big fat lie being passed off as a literary memoir, which serves no purpose other than to plump up the plot, create false intrigue, and rely on lies to cover weak writing.  A very different, very undignified enterprise. 

So, what's say, folks, shall we start a revolution here and now?  Stop buying Frey's books.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mouthy Rejection Talk Back

Here's a little crazy for your Monday morning.   Don't know where to start: With the author (deemed a troll) who wrote back to his rejector, who is the blogging agent (blagent) Jessica Faust at BookEnds.  Or with the agent who then responded!  Oy.  Check out the comments section egging the agent on.

Get Your Book Reviews (Online)

With the recent demise of  the L.A. Times's book review, and many other dedicated book review sections in newspapers of note (in fact, all are gone but those from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle), someone has to attempt to answer the question, "Will Blogs Save Books?"  (I never have cause to link to the Huffington.  Fun.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Don't Troll My Space, Dude

Here's an article to shed some light on the bad ju-ju that's invaded (and I believe evacuated) LROD lately.  Perhaps we've had a troll or two!*  Luckily, with the advice of the other mice, we seemed to have scared them away.

*Someone who intentionally disrupts online communities.

A Shift Toward "Dynamic Publishing" & Away from Human Errors (?)

Here are some interesting publishing news tidbits from the week:
  • AuthorHouse Publishing announces a 26% increase in contracts for the first two quarters of 2008 compared to last year.  The self-publishing group claims that sales were bolstered by its online e-commerce portal.  At least somebody is profiting.  Even the best advertising efforts of this publishing house (with its google ad cleverly entitled "Don't Use Authorhouse") can't stop AuthorHouse.
  • According to MarketWatch, we should be referring to the traditional book business as Static Publishing and business with digitized books as Dynamic Publishing.  (Where would you rather be?) Read a market research report on the matter here
  • MediaWeek announces that Time Inc (after having closed down Life and Business 2.0 publications) has decided to transform (rather than shut down) Fortune Small Business as a customized publishing title, distributed free to 1 million small business holders.  Unfortunately, 17 employees will get the ax, including 23-year vet editor Dan Goodgame. I guess that's just the way the magazine crumbles.
  • And last, but not least, if you're gay or lesbian, you can find your own self-publishing site here at
  • And Finally....Tom Bullough, was announced as the winner for the Wales Book of the Year 2008 Award. But when he arrived at the podium to accept, he was told that the announcer (Assembly heritage minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas) had made a mistake. He didn't really win and had to go and sit back down while the winner (poet Dannie Abse) accepted the award. Luckily, this humiliation has been nothing but good for the sales of his book. You can watch the terrible moment on video here.