The 2015 Kitschies Shortlists


Congratulations to all the finalists for The Kitschies - the most tentacular of all literary prizes. 

The award for novels containing "elements of the speculative and fantastic" has revealed their picks for the most "progressive, intelligent and entertaining" titles of 2015. As always, The Kitschies' broad remit has attracted a ton of books - with the judges reviewing 176 submissions from over 40 different publishers.

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The Kitschies: New!

The 2014 Kitschies are now open for submissions - if you're a publisher-type, you can learn about what to do here

This year's Red and Golden judges are a pretty spectacular lot: Kate Griffin (one of last year's judges), Adam Roberts,  Frances Hardinge (both previous finalists for the Red Tentacle), Kim Curran and Glen Mehn. As always it is a nice range of academics, authors and readers, fantasy, SF, YA and more. Details here. There's a great line-up in the works for the Inky Tentacle as well, which will be announced later.

The prize also has a new Director: Glen Mehn. As well as being a wonderfully enthusiatic genre reader, Glen's a social entrepeneur by trade - his actual profession is making good ideas happen (which makes running The Kitschies a bit of a busman's holiday, I suspect). Glen's been a member of the prize's board for two years and has demonstrated that he is, appropriately enough, incredibly progressive, supremely intelligent and vastly entertaining. The prize is in great - the best - hands. Please wave a tentacle at him at @gmehn and, of course, @thekitschies

Anne and I are both immensely proud of The Kitschies. Somehow, over the course of five years, it grew from a silly idea into a good one into a - miraculously - working one. We did a lot right (sometimes intentionally) and a lot wrong (and mostly learned from our mistakes), and, on the whole, we're really  delighted with what the prize accomplished.

The very nature of the award is a progressive one - Anne and I always wanted it to become better every single year. And that means that, unlike our noble squid totem, we've had to learn to let go. Anne had to cease direct involvement with the award when she joined Hodder & Stoughton over two years ago and, after five years with the prize, it is my time to move on as well. Thank you to all the friends, judges, publishers, authors,  bloggers, libraries, booksellers, sponsors and readers that got us this far. Like you, we can't wait to see what happens next.

The Kitschies present... Ben Aaronovitch, John Connolly and Triffids!

Tonight! Ben Aaronovitch and John Connolly, interviewed by Anne at Blackwell's Charing Cross. Peter Grant meets Charlie Parker. We're hoping it goes a bit like this:

The event booked out within a week! (Yikes!) We look forward to seeing all the lucky (and/or very, very quick) ticket-holders at the shop tonight. 

But also... Triffids!

The Kitschies are part of the Chelsea Fringe this year, and we're hosting "The Evening of the Triffids" on 21 May.

Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory, will give a talk about the science of Wyndham and the awesomeness of astrobotany. 

And Lauren "Deadly Knitshade" O'Farrell will be hosting a workshop in which you can BUILD YOUR OWN TRIFFID.

Because there's a finite amount of awesome in the world, tickets are limited. So move quickly!

The Kitschies: Congratulations & Thank you

The winners of The Kitschies:

  • Red Tentacle (Novel): Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being
  • Golden Tentacle (Debut): Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice
  • Inky Tentacle (Cover): Will Staehle for Adam Christopher's The Age Atomic
  • Black Tentacle (Discretionary): Malorie Blackman

Congratulations to a brilliant and talented group of winners and finalists. More about them and the prize here.

And a huge thank you to all the people that made this possible: our board, the authors and publishers who submitted, The Kraken Rum and, especially, the judges. Reading and critiquing and discussing so many books threatens to turn a pleasure into a chore, but this year's panels carried out their duty with enthusiasm and rigour from start to finish.

Everyone involved in the award is a volunteer, and we couldn't be more appreciative of their dedication and hard work. Thank you again.

The Kitschies - 2013 Shortlists

Here they are!

Also the list of 'special mentions'

And the breakdown of submissions (charts!)

A huge thanks to the judges - who approached a monumental task with unflagging enthusiasm, rigour and a wonderful sense of joy.

And to our board, who, as always, have been supportive and innovative.

And, finally, to The Kraken Rum, our noble and tentacular sponsor. 


Now, how about those books?


490px-Trifle_4layerThree of them, and they are not to be trifled with. (Pictured: a trifle, so you know what to avoid.)

Irregularity: 8 November. Our 'Age of Reason' anthology for next spring, with the National Maritime Museum. I do not care at which point on 8 November I receive stories, but be aware that there is a limited window between "receiving stories" and "going off on holiday with no internet access to a place where I will be reading the stories". So wiggle room there ain't.

Pandemonium: The Rite of Spring: 15 December. Loads of time - I had initially scheduled this very late, so folks could read Ash before writing. But Ash fell early, so, hey, take advantage of it... six weeks left to write 750 words for our next chapbook.  

And one more - a big one:

The Kitschies. 1 December. This falls on a Sunday this year, so if you are a publisher and you are sending physical copies, you'll want to keep that in mind... We do take digital copies though, which might be convenient for some. Publishers should get in touch at [email protected]Authors and agents should nudge their publishers (they love it, I know). 

The Kitschies present... Secret Histories

The KitschiesOur next event for The Kitschies is announced. Or shall we say, declared

Secret Histories is about the intersection of history and fiction, and the hidden worlds all around us. Our guests on the evening:

  • Tim Powers (Declare, Last Call, Hide Me Among the Graves)
  • Kate Griffin (The Midnight Mayor, A Madness of Angels, The Glass God)
  • Lavie Tidhar (Osama, The Violent Century)

Moderated by your very own Anne C. Perry.

The event takes place on Monday, 28 October at Blackwell's Charing Cross, starting at 6.30. This is a ticketed event, but your £3 ticket gets you a coupon for the evening and a secretive/tentacular goodie bag. All the details - and the link to buy your tickets - are here.

In the run-up to the event, we'll be hosting lots of guest posts, lists, reviews, rambles and exclusives, exploring the "secret histories" theme in even more detail. 

Nine Worlds and Porno/Kitschiness

Nine WorldsNext weekend is Nine Worlds, a sprawling new convention set out in London's Heathrow hinterlands. We'll be running around playing games, watching films, hassling English PEN and propping up the bar (not sure how all of this will take place simultaneously, but we'll try). 

Nine Worlds will also be crawling with Kitschies judges, including Will Hill, Kate Griffin and Barry Nugent, as well as previous judges Rebecca Levene and Lauren O'Farrell. Bribes will be accepted through all the standard channels. I JOKE. HA HA HA. 

Various members of prize's board will also be strutting around as well, including Jenni Hill, Glen Mehn, Anne and myself. Feel free to tackle any of us with questions, and we'll do our best to nod sagely and provide reasonable answers.

A few places you can find Kitschiness:

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The Kitschies: The First 60 Days

20000_squid_Nautilus_viewbayThe Kitschies have been open for submissions since early May, and the first two months have been busy ones.

On the literary side (Red and Golden Tentacles), the prize already has 63 books for consideration. Of these 63:

  • 15 are debuts
  • 6 are books in translation
  • 26 imprints are represented (with "self-published" counted as a single imprint)

(It is worth noting that some of these books have been submitted by publishers, but not yet received by the judges.)

We made a couple of small tweaks to the submissions procedure this year, both of which have had slightly surprising results:

  • We no longer require that publishers submit physical copies for consideration. 16 of our submissions so far have arrived as ebooks. (We were expecting more.)
  • In the past, all books would be automatically considered for the Cover Art category, but this year the Inky Tentacle has its own submissions process - with 35 books received. (This year, it seems likely that we will have more literary submissions than artistic ones for the first time.)

From my purely administrative point of view, I'm quite pleased with the way things are shaping up. Although I don't have comparable numbers from previous years, it does feel like we're ahead of where we normally are at this point in the year - at least, in terms of in books received, books expected and diversity of publishers.

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The Kitschies: Submissions & 2013 Judges

The Kitschies, presented by The Kraken Rum, are very proud to announce the 2013 judging panels. These ten individuals will be searching for the most progressive, intelligent and entertaining books containing elements of the speculative or fantastic.

Red & Golden Tentacle judges (Novel & Debut):

Inky Tentacle judges (Cover Art):

More detail on the judges and their backgrounds can be found here. We owe a huge thank you to last year's judges - Patrick Ness, Rebecca Levene, Ed Warren, Lauren O'Farrell and Gary Northfield. They worked extremely hard and did an exceptional job. Bex and I [Jared] have been judges for several years now and we are both saddened (and slightly relieved) to be stepping down.

Submissions for 2013 titles are now open. There are a few changes from previous years. Most notably, Inky submissions now need to come in separately (books will no longer be considered for Cover Art automatically) and the prize no longer requires physical copies of books - eBooks are welcome. Please read the submissions requirements carefully. Even if you have submitted in the past, we strongly suggest taking a few minutes to look them over.

And, as with previous years, the judges ask for the books to arrive "early and often", rather than in one giant crate in November.

We wish the best of luck to everyone!