August 10, 2011
Where's the Teen Choice Book Award?
I was reading the winners list from the Teen Choice Awards earlier this week and was disappointed and saddened to learn that books have no place in these awards. As those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter already know, I immediately emailed both Fox (the network on which the TCA ceremonies are aired) and Fox’s parent company, Newscorp, to ask why this is. That was Monday, August 8. As of today, Wednesday the 10th, I have received no response to either email.
I’m not quite sure how to proceed, but proceed I will, as I believe that books are every bit as important to teenagers as movies, music, and television. Fox has a unique and powerful opportunity to demonstrate this by making books a TCA category.
Many, many thanks to those of you who have posted on Facebook with thoughtful ideas on how to get my query heard and answered. I am busily figuring out how to implement them and will keep you posted here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
Here is the text of my email to Fox-TV at firstname.lastname@example.org. I sent the same text, plus a request for the names and titles of the heads of Fox-TV to email@example.com, a public relations representative, at Newscorp.
Why do the Teen Choice Awards have no category for books?
Countless studies on reading show that teenagers who read enjoy higher levels of success in their personal, social, and professional lives. (The National Endowment for the Arts' To Read or Not to Read is one such study. You can find info on it here: http://www.nea.gov/news/news07/trnr.html.)
These studies also show that American teenagers are falling behind their counterparts in other countries in academic test scores. In the NEA study, the data showed that American 15-year-olds ranked 15th in reading scores for 31 industrialized nations. This is deplorable.
With the Teen Choice Awards, Fox has a powerful opportunity to do good by its young viewers by impressing upon them the importance of reading. Make books an awards category and you will generate for literature the same kind of excitement the Teen Choice Awards currently generates for music, film, and television.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione....Bella, Edward and Jacob...these are all characters beloved by the Teen Choice voters. And you know what? They all came from books.
I look forward to your reply.
With best wishes,
Teen fiction writer, author of A Northern Light and Revolution
I hope you'll all join me in getting books the recognition they deserve!
With best wishes,