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The Kitschies: Patrick Ness joins 2012 judging panel

The KitschiesWe are pleased to announce that award-winning author Patrick Ness will be a literary judge for The Kitschies in 2012.

The Kitschies reward “intelligent, progressive and entertaining” novels that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic. Winners receive an iconic Tentacle trophy, a cash prize and a bottle of rum, courtesy of the award’s sponsor, The Kraken Rum.

Last year, over 150 books were submitted from almost forty publishers, spanning both literary and genre imprints. The shortlists in all categories (Novel, Debut and Cover Art) are selected every January and, uniquely among juried awards, the finalists are reviewed publicly by members of the judging panel before the winner is decided.

Patrick Ness, whose A Monster Calls won the coveted (and squashy) Red Tentacle in 2011, will be replacing previous judge - and winner - Lauren Beukes. Ms. Beukes shared some helpful advice:

Patrick, this is a different award. It's not just the best book, but the perfect storytelling trifecta of progressive and smart and entertaining, but never wanky. The irreverence means you have to take it more seriously.

Move in to a bigger house. There is such a thing as too many books. Bring kevlar made of wit and gab to fight for your favourites. Judge books by covers. Steel yourself, not for the unreadable crap (there will be some), but for the genuinely astonishing ones that you will wish you'd written.

Mr. Ness was quick to respond:

'Never Wanky' could practically be the motto of The Kitschies, which possibly can't be said of every other big award. I can't wait to set out on a journey into almost certainly the most interesting and - as Lauren says - genuinely astonishing fiction of the year. I will not, however, be buying a bigger house.

Mr. Ness is joined as a literary judge by author and editor Rebecca Levene and the award’s co-founders, Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin. The four judges will select the Red Tentacle and Golden Tentacle, for the most deserving novel and debut. The judging panel for the Inky Tentacle, for cover art, will be announced in May.

The Kitschies open for submissions on Friday, 1 June, 2012. Submissions close on 1 December 2012, and the 2012 finalists will be announced in January 2013.

Details on eligibility and criteria can be found at