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Diagram Prize shortlist 2008


The 2008 Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year

Here's the shortlist for the 2008 Diagram Prize.  It looks like it's going to be another strong year.

My favourite competition of the year is run by columnist Horace Bent in the Bookseller (the UK book trade weekly) with input from dedicated odd title hunters from all over the world. He reckons that this year’s entries are so strong that it has proved more difficult to compile a shortlist than any year he can remember. The prize, set up in association with the Diagram Group, has been running since 1978 and is a joyous celebration of the barmy side of publishing.

So here's the shortlist:

Baboon Metaphysics by Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth (University of Chicago Press)

Curbside Consultation of the Colon by Brooks D Cash (Slack Incorporated)

The Large Sieve and its Application by Emmanual Kowalski (Cambridge University PressPublishing business of the University of Cambridge; granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534 world's oldest publishing house; second largest university press in world; ( tells you how to submit manuscripts electronically, but only deals with non-fiction. )

Strip and Knit with Style by Mark Hordysznski (C & T)

Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring by Lietai Yang (Woodfield)

The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-miligram Containers of Fromage Frais by Professor Philip M Parker (Icon Group International)

So, will it be Baboon Metaphysics, Strip and Knit with Style or The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-miligram Containers of Fromage Frais (my own favourites)? The answer will be revealed soon.

The Bookseller's announcement.


© Chris HolifieldManaging director of WritersServices; spent working life in publishing,employed by everything from global corporations to start-ups; track record includes: editorial director of Sphere Books, publishing director of The Bodley Head, publishing director for start-up of upmarket book club, The Softback Preview, editorial director of Britain’s biggest book club group, BCA, and, most recently, deputy MD and publisher of Cassell & Co. She is also currently the Director of the Poetry Book Society; During all of this time aware of problems faced by writers, as publishing changed from idiosyncratic cottage industry, 'occupation for gentlemen', into corporate business of today. Writers encountered increasing difficulty in getting books edited or published. Authors create the books which are the raw material for the whole business. She believes it is time to bring them back to centre stage. 2009