This Writer Wednesday shout-out goes to author Lauren Myracle. Her controversial novel Shine was awarded a National Book Award from the National Book Foundation during their live-stream announcement on Oregon Public Radio last Wednesday, 10/12—and then later it came to light that there had been a miscommunication of epic-PR-nightmare-level proportions, and the award was meant to go to Chime by Franny Billingsly.
How awful. How very, very awful.
Lauren did what I am truly not sure I would have been able to do: She took the high road and withdrew her novel from consideration for the National Book Award, ending the back-and-forth about this mix-up on her own terms. She also managed to get the National Book Foundation to donate $5,000 to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Matthew Shepard was the victim of a horrendous anti-gay hate crime in 1998, and his story helped to inspire Lauren’s novel Shine. Talk about makin’ some lemonade!
Read her interview with Vanity Fair for more on what exactly happened with her book nomination, and why she chose to deal with it the way she did. She’s a great example for authors (and people) everywhere. In life, shit inevitably happens. The only thing anyone has control over is how they react to that shit. Lauren seems to be the type of person who gets that—and, consequently, the type of person whose books I now really want to read!