It’s DABWAHA Selection Sunday!

DABWAHA - 2013It's time for the 2013 DABWAHA! 

What's the DABWAHA?

It's our March Madness™- style tournament of romance novels, hosted by Jane from Dear Author and yours truly. The tournament began in 2008 which makes this our 6th annual tournament of books. Yay!

What's DABWAHA stand for? 

It stands for AWESOMENESS. And the assurance that I should be allowed to name everything because I came up with the name. (It stands for “Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors.” 

What do we do?

Today, we announced the slate of nominees! Have a look.

We put together a selection of great books published in 2012 in eight different categories. The books are pitted against each other. Envision a cage match between books. Your votes determines who wins. The books compete until only one book is left.

You, the player, win by guessing which book will win each match. The person who makes the most correct guesses will win an iPad. 

How come there are only 7 per category?

Because you (yes, you!) pick the 8th nominee in each category! We pick 56 of the 64 titles but readers, authors, and fans can nominate the last book in each category. This way if you think a book was excluded unfairly, you can nominate it and get all the other fans of that book to join the nomination.

We can nominate a book? Cool!

Yes. But Only 2012 Books Qualify. The book MUST have a publication date of 2012. No exceptions, no reprints. No paperback version of 2011 hardcovers.

Where is the nomination form

Right here! 

So what do we do now?

Have a look at the slate of nominees, and ask yourself, What awesome book from last year should be in the last spot? Then, prepare ye to nominate. Make sure it's a 2012 book, y'all. You can also look at the calendar for the tournament to prepare yourself for voting.


Yup. The winner of each round is determined by reader voting. Polls open, and voting commences! There's vote mongering, trash talking, and zany compliment wars on all forms of social media during the DABWAHA, too, so there's a lot of goofy fun to be had.

This sounds fun. What do we win?

PRIZES. Nice ones! The winners of the tournament – both the reader with the best bracket and the author of the winning book – win a big prize, and there are prizes for each round, plus prizes for random middle brackets, and prizes for the worst bracket of all. Lots of things to win – all provided by authors and readers, and Jane and Sarah.

Vote haggling, trading, trash talking, and all sorts of competitive behaviors are encouraged. “Lean in” readers. It is #DABWAHA time.

I think I need a nap.

So have a nap. Then get ready to DABWAHA! 

Here are the Important Links:




Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    When the Pulitzer list comes out I’m going to say: “Fine. But did you get a DA BWAHA nod? ‘Cause I did!”  I’m really thrilled to be nominated.

  2. 2
    marjorie says:

    Sorry if this is a dopey question, but for us newbies, what does “category” mean? I did poke about and saw that “NwRE” is “novel with romantic elements,” so I did try to do my own digging!

  3. 3
    Apx Rnr says:

    I thought I could answer this but when I really thought of it I could only come up with Harlequin. I never see anything else classified as category anymore. Skinny romance doesn’t really work to describe them any longer either.

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:

    Category or “series” romances are the smaller-wordcount novels, such as Harlequin, Loveswept, etc.

  5. 5
    SB Sarah says:

    I’m so happy you’re excited! It’s always fun when people get excited about the tournament. Makes me feel less alone, because I think it is SO fun.

  6. 6
    Emily A says:

    Do I really have to look up the ISBN number? Really? I don’t know it off the top of my head, and I am not sure how to get the ISBN number especially for a library book I already returned.

  7. 7
    Shannyn Schroeder says:

    You can go to Amazon or B&N and it’s usually listed as part of the description.

  8. 8
    cleo says:

    Category romances are come out under a specific category or series (mostly by Harlequin / Mills & Boon) – the marketing focuses on the category, not the author (unlike single title romances).  Each category type has a specific style, so you (supposedly) know what you’re getting when you buy a specific category – i.e. Harlequin Presents = wealthy alpha male hero and virginal heroine (and those crazy titles like The Billionaire Playboy’s Secret Mistress), Harlequin Blaze = more explicit sex scenes, etc.

  9. 9
    Ros says:

    All you need to know for ‘Category’ is that under ‘Title’, you write ‘The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh’ and under ‘Author’, you write ‘Clarke, Ros’. Okay?

  10. 10
    Cathy Pegau says:

    Love DABWAHA, but the separation of LGBT from other subgenres makes it difficult to nominate some really good books.

  11. 11
    cleo says:

    I know.  I ended up nominating an m/m novella for the novella category, since the slate of novellas goes across the other categories (there’s contempory, historical and sfr/pnr).

  12. 12
    Cathy Pegau says:

    The question is, will that fly? I may have to go back and do something like that :)

  13. 13
    library addict says:

    Whoo! It’s DABWAHA time. My bracket will probably be broken early and my credit card is already crying. The thing I love most about DABWAHA is discovering new books!

  14. 14
    CarrieS says:

    WHAT?  No Duchess War by Courtney Milan?!  I also put in a vote for Team Human under YA and Alif the Unseen under novel with strong romantic elements.  I never did review Alif for this site but it has stuck in my head more than almost any book I read this year.

  15. 15
    Emily A says:

    I can”t remember how December works. Is it that books published in December 2011 get counted in 2012 and what if we don’t when exactly a book was released. What are the rules on this?

  16. 16
    laj says:

    The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley is a reprint from 1998.

    What nonsense there’s no Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews!

  17. 17

    Is it possible to nominate LGBT YA (for example) in YA instead of LGBT?

  18. 18

    Thank you for THE CHOCOLATE THIEF pick!  Although I’m a bit overwhelmed by the competition.  Still…I bribe with chocolate.  The good stuff.  Just saying…

    Ros, I personally think the pure pleasure of typing “The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh” should garner multiple nominations.  Who can resist?  Her Sexy Sheikh…Her Sexy Sheikh…it practically writes itself, see?

  19. 19
    Ros says:

    You are so right, Laura. :)

  20. 20
    SB Sarah says:

    I hear you, Cathy. I look at that every year and ask myself if that’s the best way to do it. I am listening.

  21. 21
    SB Sarah says:

    Yes – thank you. We’re correcting the Keasley title now. She notified us that it was a 98 reprint. Sorry!

  22. 22
    GhengisMom says:

    UGH! What the hell did I do with myself all year?! I read on average 2 books a week! Were they ALL catalog?! I have only read TWO damn books in this tourney. boo! I can hardly vote if I haven’t read them. *cheering from the sidelines*

  23. 23
    Cathy Pegau says:

    I appreciate that :) I can’t speak for everyone, but I’d like the merits of my book based on comparison to other speculative fiction titles, not whether my girls are more popular than someone’s boys ; )

  24. 24
    Charon says:

    This is the first year I’ve been around for this. Is it normal that ALL of the LGBT books are m/m?

  25. 25

    I always love this time of year.

  26. 26

    Tessa Dare and Shannon Stacey are claiming no bribes allowed, over on Twitter!  Of course, they *would* say that.  They know what an evil advantage chocolate bribes might give over their awesome books.  (ALMOST as awesome as THE CHOCOLATE THIEF.  Almost!!) 

    Tell me it isn’t so, and they’re just trying to undermine their opponents.  I was really looking forward to the bribery part.  It was going to involve Really Good Chocolate.

  27. 27
    CarrieS says:

    Well, Laura, let’s discuss this.  Would said briber pay the cost of shipping said chocolate?  Are we talking white chocolate, milk, or dark?  Let’s see some details here.

  28. 28
    Tessa Dare says:

    Wait, wait, Laura.  I don’t know about Shannon Stacey, but Tessa Dare totally wants bribes to be allowed.  Tessa Dare was lamenting on Twitter that they weren’t allowed last year, and that she hopes TPTB at SBDA will be lifting that ban this year.  Because Tessa Dare is amped about this year’s tourney.

    And she plans to take all the competition DOWN.  NO MERCY. *rips tapout shirt*

  29. 29

    Tessa, I am dissing on your character.  Be quiet and go back and write a book or something.  You’re not supposed to be online right now.

    Everyone, Tessa totally said she did not want you to have chocolate!  She said that on Twitter! I saw it.  And Shannon Stacey.  Shannon Stacey was being evil.

  30. 30


    What you could have had, if only my competition hadn’t deprived you of it by getting squeamish about the bribes. Let them know you won’t put up with that, voters.

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