Announcing: The DA BWAHA AWARD

DA BWAHAIt’s March Madness time which means brackets, spoilers, and, of course, romance books!  Admittedly, the last element of the list is a rarely known component of March Madness, one that is often lost amongst the basketball hoopla. Which is so wrong, we will do all kinds of crazy shit to make it right.

We thought it was time to shine a light on the major, but forgotten, player.  This year, Dear Author and the Smart Bitches have combined their internet foo to bring you the DA BWAHA tournament.  (That would be the Dear Author-Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors for the acronym challenged).

It is a tournament of books that will be held during this month of March to determine THE ONE BOOK THAT WILL RULE THEM ALL. (No comment on which book will bind them. That’s kinky, and we don’t go there on the first date.) 

This tournament will be run exactly like the NCAA Collegiate basketball tournament. If you’re not familiar with bracketology, March Madness, or the absolute insanity that is the NCAA basketball playoffs, hold on to the seat of your pants. 

1. There will be a field of 64 nominated books published in 2007 that were nominated by the bloggers of Dear Author, Smart Bitches, Speak Its Name, The YA YA YAs, Uniquely Pleasurable and Teddy Pig.

2. There are eight nominated books in each category. The 8 categories of books are:

  • Young Adult
  •   Erotica/Erotic Romance
  • GLBT  
  • Paranormal  
  • Contemporary  
  • Historical  
  • Category
  •   Novel With Romantic Elements

3. Each reader who wishes to participate will have a few days to fill out his or her bracket of winners.

4. Once the tournament begins, we’ll be holding daily votes to determine which books advance through the tournament. We’re pitting book against book within the categories, and then, as the tournament advances, books will face off against one another across genre and subgenre until we reach the Book of the Year, or, the ONE BOOK THAT WILL RULE THEM ALL. (Again: bondage? Not yet. Buy us another drink.)

5. Readers and authors are in the running for fabulous prizes, bondage not included. The reader whose bracket is the best match to the end result of the tournament will win:

– A 6-month subscription to PaperSpine, courtesy of the fine folks at PaperSpine.
– A selection of the books that make the Elite 8 of our DA BWAHATournament
– Mad Props
– Big Ups
– A graphic for your personal site proclaiming to all and Sundry (Sundry, I know for a fact, is SUCH a silly cow so you totally want to rub it in her face) that you are The Winnah.
– A $50 gift certificate for irreverently awesome style from

6. Authors whose books make it to the Final Four will win:

– A hot pink bad ass ostrich feather quill pen
– A graphic for your personal site proclaiming to all and that wanker Sundry that you are Hella Good

7. The author whose book is proclaimed Book of the Year, aka the ONE BOOK THAT WILL RULE THEM ALL (now we’re ready for the bondage; pass the marabou wrist cuffs!) will receive:

– Aforementioned feather quill pen
– The graphic proclaiming your book the winner
– A $50 gift certificate for irreverently awesome style from
– A free one-month ad space on both Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author, month and content to be determined.

Plus, you’ll experience pimpage like nothing else, guaranteed.

Any questions? Email sarah @ or jane @, or leave a comment here or at DA.

Please feel free to diss our selections, bemoan our picks, and excoriate us for not including certain books.  It’s no fun without dissent.  Get your pencils – or mouse buttons – ready.  The DA BWAHA Tournament goes live on Sunday to determine the 2007 Book of the Year – or the ONE BOOK THAT WILL RULE THEM ALL (Ow! Do it again!). 



Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Marianne McA says:


    Something, Lettuce, Bacon, Tomato?

  2. 2
    KCfla says:

    I think it stands for “gay, lesbian, bi, or trans”
    Not sure about that though….

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual.

  4. 4
    Anji says:

    Taking Bracketology to a whole new level! Yay, this sounds like fun!

    And nice acronym, btw! void(0);

  5. 5
    dangrgirl says:

    I know that it happens all the time, but I still think it’s odd to group spaceships and ray guns in the same “Paranormal” category as vampires, werewolves and wizards. Also, what category does Romantic Suspense fit into? “Novel With Romantic Elements?”

  6. 6
    Leslie says:

    Hey it’s like the Eukenuba Dog Show but instead of a Bull Mastiff competing against a Toy Poodle and Cocker Spaniel, we have Alternate Worlds competing against Bad Prom Dates and Kinky Threesomes!  WOW!

    Sounds like a blast!  Although dngrgirl does have a point.  Shouldn’t the Yorkies compete against Yorkies before moving on to the Toy Group?


  7. 7
    Tasha says:

    Just out of curiosity, given that the sites you’ve chosen are skewed heavily toward the G and B, what are you doing to make sure the L and T are represented in this?

  8. 8
    dangrgirl says:

    “Just out of curiosity, given that the sites you’ve chosen are skewed heavily toward the G and B…”

    Which reminds me, back to my comment on the Paranormal category: I’m sure the SpecRom Online people would have some suggestions for SF/F Romance titles.

  9. 9
    Cat Marsters says:

    The thing is, you start splitting off into separate categories for SF/fantasy/urban paranormal or whatever it’s being called this week…you have to do the same for other subgenres (which era of historical?  Should Recency have its own section?  Must we judge gay against lesbian against menage? etc) until you end up with gazillions, and yet still someone’s left unrepresented.

    Still, take heart.  My mother calls all paranormal books ‘Dark-huntery’ and all paranormal TV ‘sci-fi’.  Lord of the Rings?  Dark-huntery book, sci-fi film.  Of course.  It’s like grouping an Afghan with a Daschund.  No…wait, they do that, don’t they?

  10. 10
    Jane says:

    No, unfortunately, the L and T is not well represented.  Let us know who we should contact for next year’s tourney.

    Also, we did do very broad categories because in the bracketology math, you have to have 8 categories. (4 regions with 2 categories in each region).

  11. 11
    dangrgirl says:

    Yes, it is a big can of worms that could present problems. There are more than a few readers who love the vampires, but want nothing to do with faster than light travel, dark matter and artificial intelligence. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.

  12. 12
    Jane says:

    We’ll have to see how the factions battle it out then.  :)  The light sabers against the vampire teeth.

  13. 13
    dangrgirl says:

    I personally love it all, but I think I’m in the minority on that. Maybe we’ll end up with “Dark-huntery Jedi Vampires” or something.

  14. 14
    Jane says:

    I looked at our slate of nominees and it isn’t very strong on the space stories.  But maybe next year.  You’ll have to let us know how we can improve for the next year.  I think each time something like this gets done, it’s always a learning process.

  15. 15
    Jill Myles says:

    Dude, if you can tell me where to buy some Dark Huntery Jedi Vampire fiction, I am so all over that.

    Fr srsly.

  16. 16
    dangrgirl says:

    There is a steep learning curve to something like this and each year I can see it improving. I’d suggest tapping into the SpecRom people. Linnea Sinclair had two books released in 2007: Down Home Zombie Blues and Games of Command. Susan Grant had My Favorite Earthling and How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days. Several Shomi books came out in 2007 like Liz Maverick’s Wired, Marianne Mancusi’s Moongazer and Eve Kenin’s Driven.

    So, there’s a lot of SFR to choose from right now.

  17. 17
    dangrgirl says:

    Dude, if you can tell me where to buy some Dark Huntery Jedi Vampire fiction, I am so all over that.

    Yes, but will you be there in costume? :)

  18. 18
    Leslie says:

    It’s like grouping an Afghan with a Daschund.  No…wait, they do that, don’t they?

    See…the Dog Show competition analogy works!  And, let me tell you, THAT is one mutt I’d be interested in seeing! LOL!

  19. 19
    Jill Myles says:


    No. Just no. ;)

    But oh, yummy Jedi with fangs. A girl can dream. ;)

  20. 20
    RStewie says:

    1st: Paperspine rocks.

    2nd: Where’s the list? It’s coming out on Sunday?  Will it be posted here?  Where can I go to nominate?

    I WANT TO NOMINATE… I’m not a blogger, though. /cry

    spamword: tell76.  I’ll tell more than that, if only I knew how to!!

  21. 21
    Jane says:

    No nominations this year.  We decided to field the slate of 64 ourselves this year (kind of because of timing).  Next year, we may take nominations or we may not.

  22. 22
    SB Sarah says:

    Originally, when Candy and I talked way back when about how to divide up the subgenres (aside: I just had lunch with Very Cool People and was describing romance in terms of a person with a few hundred multiple personalities – so many disparate sub genres in one general genre holy crapping damn) and she came up with this amazing division, which I think worked for sorting, but didn’t work at all in bracketology.

    Oh, how I love typing the word “bracketology.” And “Bracketologist.”

    So anyway, Candy broke down Paranormal into four subsets, and as usual, she’s all smart and crap:

    The immortal and the undead
    Fey folk
    Celestials and the Underworld
    Mutants, Superpowers and Mind Readers

    She later emailed me:

    “… or would it be easier to divvy it up roughly as Horror, High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and SF?”

    The real test was naming a title and trying to figure out if it was an exception to the existing subcategories, and that was before we tried fitting it into a tourney system. There are so many ways to address the paranormal subgenre alone, it makes for challenging task lists when you try to sort that into a bracket.

    But even if you’re not fond of the way we’ve done it this year, you know we’re reading/listening when you offer your suggestions.

  23. 23
    Chicklet says:

    Am I the only one who’s looking at this contest as Just For Fun and therefore sees no need to nitpick the book categories? Because that’s where I stand. Perhaps I’m alone, like the proverbial solo cheese.

  24. 24
    dangrgirl says:

    Try to say ““bracketology” three times while rubbing your tummy and patting your head.

    It is challenging and I’m glad to hear you’ve had conversations about it. In the first group, I’m not sure where SF fits in. I’m partial to Horror, High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and SF, myself.

  25. 25
    dangrgirl says:

    Am I the only one who’s looking at this contest as Just For Fun and therefore sees no need to nitpick the book categories?

    I am having fun. :) But I always have more fun when more SF is involved.

  26. 26
    Aimee says:

    i am totally looking forward to this.  can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

  27. 27
    Sunita says:

    Everyone who is nitpicking the categories (ahem, offering well-reasoned criticisms of the choices) is honoring the original tournament.  I have never participated in a pool that didn’t feature major carping about the allocation of teams to regions.  Read any sports blog during the days after the announcement, and that’s half the coverage (e.g., You can’t possibly put Gonzaga in the South, that’s totally unfair, or Why does Duke get to play in Winston-Salem but UNC goes to Syracuse, etc. etc.).

    Will there be a streaming video of the bracket selection process?  With commercial breaks between the regions?

    I am sooo in.

  28. 28
    SB Sarah says:

    Everyone who is nitpicking the categories (ahem, offering well-reasoned criticisms of the choices) is honoring the original tournament.

    YES! bring on the picking of nits, only not literally because I have seen that done and omg I was psychosomatically itchy for WEEKS afterward.

    note to parents: please don’t send your kids to summer sleepaway camp if you KNOW they have lice. It’s really, really awful in many, many ways.

  29. 29
    Jane says:

    Sunita, you are so correct.  Also, since DA and SBTB were the selection committee we can’t also serve as bracketologists.  That has to be someone else’s role so the streaming video has to be done by someone else. 

    But yes, it is supposed to be fun, but we also want to hear people’s complaints. It won’t ruin our fun, honest.

  30. 30
    Robinjn says:

    I’m tellin’ ya, you need Karen Traviss in the SF category. Spaceships. Polyamory. With an alien. Seriously scary kick-ass heroine. Her new book, Judge, which is the final in the Shan Frankland/Wess’har series, comes out today. All kinds of whoop ass is about to be visited upon earth.

    Ooooh, eerie submit word. feeling47. Why yes, I am feeling 47. I won’t feel 48 until May 10.

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