Novelist Lauren Myracle out of award race after error

NEW YORK Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:02pm IST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Young adult novelist Lauren Myracle said on Monday she had withdrawn her latest novel "Shine" from the 2011 National Book Awards after being told it had been short-listed by mistake.

Myracle, author of teen best-sellers "ttyl" and ttfn" and other novels about disenfranchised young people, said in a statement she was "over the moon last week after receiving the call telling me that 'Shine' was a finalist for the award."

Myracle said she was later told that "Shine" had been included in error but would remain on the list "based on its merits." The novel is the tale of the hate crime murder of a young gay teen in a small U.S. town.

But on Friday, the National Book Foundation asked her to withdraw, "to preserve the integrity of the award and the judges' work, and I have agreed to do so," she said.

Myracle added that she continued to support the remaining authors on the short-list for the young people's literature prize.

Her publisher at Amulet Books, Susan Van Meter, added; "We strongly encourage the NBF to review their procedures for transmitting award information between the judges and the staff and to authors and the public so that a painful error like this doesn't happen again."

Myracle suggested that NBF make a donation to the Matthew Shepard Foundation "so that something positive might come of this error." Shepard, 21, was attacked and killed in Wyoming in 1998, apparently because he was gay.

The National Book Awards will be presented at a gala ceremony in New York on November 16.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Jill Serjeant)

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