Literary Tribute To Greasy Spoon Diners Is Nominated For New Global Litarary Prize -- For New Type of Book

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“The Blooker Prize,” the world’s first literary prize for “blooks” (books based on blogs or web sites), announces today its short-list for award contenders in fiction, nonfiction, and webcomics. American “blauthors” dominate an international field. “Blooks” are the fastest-growing new kind of book -- a new hybrid literary form and the hottest new publishing and online trend.

A literary tribute to greasy spoon diners is among the works short-listed for a new global literary prize, awarded to a new kind of book -- “blooks,” alias books based on blogs or web sites.

“Eggs, Bacons, Chips And Beans,” by Russell Davies, a U.S.-based Brit, has edged out an anthology of Iranian blog-postings and a sci-fi novel by a Canadian called Cheeseburger Brown to make the short-list of the first “Lulu Blooker Prize” (http://www.lulublookerprize.com), which is announced today.

Other blooks to make the short-list include “Julie and Julia,” Julie Powell’s chronicle of extreme cooking in a New York apartment kitchen, and “Belle du Jour,” based on the blog of a London call-girl.

American “blauthors” (authors of blooks) dominate the short-list, followed by Canadians and Brits, but entries also came from Africa, India, Australia, Mexico, France, Spain and the Netherlands. All contain writing that began life online.

The Blooker -- whose name is an affectionate nod to another well-known literary prize -- is the world’s first contest to honor “blooks,” a new, hybrid literary form at the cutting edge of both literature and technology. “Blooks are the hottest new publishing and online trend,” says Bob Young, CEO of Lulu (http://www.lulu.com), the self-publishing web site that is the prize’s sponsor.

Lulu, which lets anyone publish either a book or blook at no up-front cost, launched the Blooker last October to mark the 450th anniversary of Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type in 1455, another landmark in the history of books. “Blooks are the latest landmark in the history of books,” says Young.

The Blooker is open to any blook published anywhere by anyone, making it both the largest -- geographically at least -- and most eclectic literary prize in the world. Entries for the Blooker must have been published in English and fall into one of three categories: fiction, nonfiction, or webcomics. A total of 89 blooks, by authors from over a dozen countries, made the contest “long-list.”

While a blog is narrowly defined as an online diary, blogs increasingly take diverse forms. With an estimated 60 million blogs already online and a reported 75,000 new ones launching every day, blogs are the fastest-growing kind of new media. Meanwhile, a growing number of bloggers are now publishing traditional, printed books or “blooks.”

“Eggs, Bacon, Chips and Beans” is a guidebook to Britain’s 50 top greasy spoon diners (http://russelldavies.typepad.com/eggbaconchipsandbeans/), by Russell Davies, a Brit now living in the States. "Belle de Jour: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl" by Anonymous (Phoenix), is based on a blog read at one point by 15,000 a day (http://belledejour-uk.blogspot.com).

"Julie and Julia: 365 Day, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen" (Penguin) is by Julie Powell, a young New Yorker who built a cult following for her blog, The Julie/Julia Project (http://blogs.salon.com/0001399), chronicling her bid to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's classic 1961 cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It became one of the hottest blooks of the year.

Cory Doctorow, an author, speaker, activist and blogger, chairs a panel of three prominent Internet figures judging the 16 short-listed blooks. The others are Robin Miller, editor-in-chief of Slashdot (http://www.slashdot.org), the influential technology blog, and Paul Jones, director of iBiblio (http://www.ibiblio.org) -- a large, contributor-run digital library -- and an internationally noted speaker.

The prize money is modest -- some $4,000 -- of which $2,000 goes to the overall winner. But the real prize is that piece of blogosphere glory that goes to the winners of the inaugural contest.

The prize’s winners are announced April 6. For more information on the Blooker Prize see http://www.lulublookerprize.com.

THE SHORT-LIST IN FULL

Nonfiction (Six finalists)

  • "Egg Bacon Chips and Beans" by Russell Davies (HarperCollins Entertainment)
  • "Julie and Julia" by Julie Powell (Penguin)
  • "All the President's Spin: George W. Bush, the Media, and the Truth" by Bryan Keefer, Ben Fritz and Brendan Nyhan (Simon & Schuster)
  • "Biodiesel Power" by Lyle Estill (New Society Publishers)
  • "Belle de Jour: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl" by Anonymous (Phoenix)
  • "Stone Cold Guilty - The People v. Scott Lee Peterson" by Loretta Dillon, (Lulu.com)

Fiction (Five finalists)

  • "Action Poetry: Literary Tribes for the Internet Age" edited by Levi Asher, Jamelah Earle and Caryn Thurman (Authorhouse)
  • "Gus Openshaw's Whale-Killing Journal" by Keith Thompson (MacAdam/Cage)
  • "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" by Cherie Priest (Tor)
  • "Africa Fresh! New Voices From the First Continent" edited by Rod Amis (Lulu.com)
  • "hackoff.com” by Tom Evslin (dotHill Press)

Comics (Five finalists)

  • "Dinosaur Comics: Huge Eyes, Beaks, Intelligence, and Ambition" by Ryan North (Catprint)
  • "Ambidextrous: Collection 1" by Kevin Cornell (Lulu.com)
  • "The Dada Alphabet: An Absurdist's Illustrated Primer" by Stephanie Freese, David Milloway, and Matthew Wood (Lulu.com)
  • "Totally Boned: A Joe and Monkey Collection" by Zach Miller (Lulu.com)
  • "Comic Strip Volume 1: Scarybear & Friends" by Jason Pultz

ABOUT LULU.COM: Lulu, the world's fastest-growing source of print-on- demand books, lets you publish your own books, ebooks, calendars, images, music and videos at no advance cost.

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