It’s World Book Day in the UK: a time to remind ourselves about the universal greatness of books.
I have a story to tell about the genesis of the event, which I shall reveal later today…
Drum roll, please….
Our panel of nine judges and a chairman completed a blind-jury short questionnaire about the shortlist (in which names, email addresses and locations of the entrants were not revealed), giving each of the six entries a different score from 1 to 6 (with ‘1’ being the top mark) and saying ‘why they chose their favourite entry’, ‘why reading for pleasure is a great leisure activity’ and ‘why Jolabokaflod is a terrific literary tradition’. The entry with the lowest cumulative score is declared the winner of the £500 cash prize and a bespoke crowdfunding campaign at CrowdPatch (to be launched soon) to make the idea happen in the real world.
So, lights down; envelope, please…
The winner of the 2019 Jolabokaflod ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ at 12R Prizes is….
One of our judges, Debbie Williams (Course Leader for BA and MA Publishing degrees at the University of Central Lancashire), said:
‘Personalisation is the name of the game at the moment. Although not an entirely unique or new idea, the pitcher does seem to have really thought about how this is used, where and who.’
We are excited to work with Alison to make her idea happen over the coming months, especially – as Debbie infers – the gifting of books (both to yourself and to loved ones) captures the true essence of the Jolabokaflod tradition.
Details about our crowdfunding campaign to make BookDate happen will follow very soon. Here’s hoping you will feel inspired to follow its progress and to get involved.
All of the 20 eligible entries received for our Reading for Pleasure Prize were of an exceptionally high standard. It was rewarding and gratifying to tap into the creativity and talent of the ‘wisdom of crowds’.
Of the entries received, 75% of them met the four criteria for the competition and were serious contenders for making the shortlist:
Six entries were shortlisted on 1 January 2020 for consideration by a international panel of nine judges and one chairman (from the UK, USA and Iceland) representing a range of different perspectives of the book trade, including award-winning authors, literary agents, sales and marketing publishing executives, literary charity trustees, social entrepreneurs, publishing academics and postgraduate students. All the entries we received are displayed at IdeasNest, showing the numbers of likes and views each one received. The list below comprises the shortlisted suggestions in the order they are displayed on the ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ page (starting from the top row and reading from left to right) and provides links to each idea pitch:
The judging process takes place over the first week in January, with a decision reached for announcement on Twelfth Night, 6 January 2020, the day when the last of the Yule Lads leaves Icelandic homes for another year to travel back to their lair in the mountains.
Here is our press release about a new competition to promote Jolabokaflod (Christmas book flood), the 75-year-old Icelandic literary tradition: Jolabokaflod launches ‘Reading for Pleasure’ competition at 12R Prizes.
Jolabokaflod CIC’s £500 cash prize contest opened on 26 October 2019 (First Day of Winter in Iceland) for entries in less than 500 words to be submitted until Christmas Eve (the culmination of Jolabokaflod in Iceland). The competition is open to everyone in the book trade and in the general public beyond (as long as they not involved with the judging process): the application for the ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ is hosted on the 12R Prizes platform: Reading for Pleasure Prize.
We are looking for entries that have the following characteristics:
An international panel of book-trade experts will judge the eligible entries. A shortlist of potential winners will be announced on New Year’s Day with the winner revealed on 6 January 2020 (Twelfth Night).
From 7 January to 14 February 2020 (International Book Giving Day), Jolabokaflod CIC will run a crowdfunding campaign at CrowdPatch to put the winning entry into action by raising money, awareness and engagement.
We invite everyone reading this announcement to submit your entries for the ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ competition. Good luck!
Iceland celebrates the First Day of Winter every year (Fyrsti Vetrardagur), marking the beginning of Gor, the first winter month in the Old Norse calendar. Viking culture recognised two seasons – summer and winter – that matched changing daylight hours giving a rhythm to farming. In the Arctic Circle, the cycle of the seasons leads to long summer days and long winter nights.
The First Day of Winter always falls on the first Saturday after the 26th week of summer: this year the date is today, 26 October 2019.
In Reykjavík, the occasion is marked by restaurants on one of the main shopping streets, Skólavörðustígur, offering around 1500 litres of free meat soup (kjötsúpa) to the public. The traditional broth is a soup-cum-stew made with mutton and seasonal winter vegetables, like potatoes, parsnips and swedes. By tradition, the restaurants started the afternoon ritual by first feeding prisoners at a reception jail on the street, but the 19th-century stone building was decommissioned in 2016. City residents then queue in long lines to get their share of the soup.
At Jolabokaflod CIC, the First Day of Winter also marks the launch of our Book Bulletin 2019 campaign at CrowdPatch. This crowdfunding project rewards people with entries in the online catalogue for books of their choice plus classified ads to promote the contributors, their work and their personal projects and enthusiasms. The Book Bulletin is hosted on this website, to give you great ideas for Christmas presents – and for any other special occasion – for your friends and family.
Why not browse the catalogue to find ideas for early seasonal gifts?
The Spring Bank Holiday Monday is drawing to a close in the UK, traditionally a time when people first venture to the seaside in the knowledge that summer is just around the corner. National days leave in Britain are so called due to the tradition that banks are closed for business on these days, a custom harking back to the late 19th century when clerks needed branch closure time to update accounts and tally bookkeeping. Nowadays bank holidays are retained to give tired workers a decent break to relax and recover from the stress of life over long weekends and the opportunity to enjoy extra leisure time.
In the holiday spirit of today’s day off work, we are drawing attention to Jolabokaflod’s Book of the Day feature.
Every day of our campaign to celebrate the Sumarbokaflod season (from 25 April to 8 September 2019), we are publishing one recommendation suggestion from either an A-list celebrity reader or a crowdfunding contributor who has purchased a GBP £50.00 reward from our live Book Bulletin project.
Today, at a rate of one per hour, we are tweeting the first 12 books in the Book of the Day sequence, one title per time zone. From tomorrow onwards, we shall reveal each Book of the Day title on the day in which it features.
We hope you get inspired to read some of the Book of the Day titles recommended for you in the coming weeks and months, especially when you take a relaxing evening, a lazy weekend mini-break or a chilled-out vacation in order to read for pleasure.
Never one to miss an opportunity to make analogies, today – 5 May – is International Day of the Midwife. Whilst the medical world of baby sherpas have their awareness day in the sunshine – this year the emphasis is on defending women’s rights – here at Jolabokaflod Towers we can extend the metaphor to include authors giving birth to their work (all 2,200,000 per year around the world). Once you suspend disbelief to compare and contrast the process, there are similarities:
So, please be up-standing – and raise your glass of flat Prosecco with us – to toast the author-parents of the world and their publisher-midwives, as well as – obvs – the unsung heroines (and heroes) that help to bring our real-world babies into the universe.