Final Round of Meanjin Tournament of Books: Breath vs Sea Hearts

I was a final round judge for the Meanjin Tournament of Books 2013, and here is my faintly ridiculous report. Will it be Winton or Lanagan?!


  1. Posted 27 December, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Hi Belinda … I have been writing up the tournament on my blog and in my latest report of Round 2 (I plan to do the final round this weekend) a couple of commenters – one a blogger, and one a writer – have criticised the tournament. I’d be interested in what you as a writer think about it, what you understand Meanjin to mean by it?

  2. Belinda Rule
    Posted 27 December, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi… well, it’s an organised series of comparative book reviews, with the intention of being light-hearted and entertaining (or so the judging brief tells us!), and starting a conversation about the books involved. I guess the high-level objective is to promote Australian fiction in an entertaining way. If you google “tournament of books” you can see that a few different publications around the world do them – not sure who was first! Without knowing what the criticism is, it is hard to respond to? 🙂

  3. Posted 29 December, 2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks Belinda … yes, I have seen the American one which I think Meanjin referred to when they did their first in 2011. What you say is how I’ve seen it, but, I have had comments this year and in 2011 (less so last year) that indicated not everyone sees it that way. I hope you don’t mind if I quote you (with a link here).

  4. Belinda Rule
    Posted 29 December, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi – sure, by all means. Though this seems to be a bit of a joust with mirrors – you may be better off seeking comment from Meanjin directly! (Though they’re out of the office for xmas/NY currently.)

  5. Posted 29 December, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I should add that those who’ve questioned the tournament on my blog are genuinely concerned that the competition aspect is cruel or makes light of the hard work of authors.

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  1. […] response to these concerns, I posted a question on one of the judge’s blogs – Belinda Rule’s barking dogmouth – regarding her understanding of the tournament. Here is part of her […]

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