03 March, 2014

The Diagram Prize

After asking for your advice on whether I should change the title of my novel, and previously blogging on the importance of a good title, I thought it only fair to draw your attention to The Diagram Prize. This is an annual award for the oddest published title of the year.

This year's shortlist of six books, contains two books about poo. This is the level we're working at here, people. The only other time I've been aware of seeing more than a couple of articles about The Diagram Prize was two years ago when it was won by a book called Cooking With Poo. Are you spotting a trend? (In the interest of fairness I should point out that Cooking with Poo is a recipe book written by a chef from Thailand whose nickname is 'Poo' - Thai for 'crab').

Despite the obsession with toilet humour on the shortlist, it does make for intriguing reading. The full list for this year is:
  • Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City
  • Are Trout South African?
  • How to Poo on a Date
  • Pie-ography: When Pie Meets Biography
  • How to Pray When You're Pissed at God
  • The Origin of Feces 

You can vote for your favourite title until 16th March, with the results announced on 21st. Previous winners include: Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop; Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers; Managing a Dental Pracitce the Genghis Khan Way; and Living With Crazy Buttocks. All of which sound perfectly splendid, not to say immensely useful to most of us at one time or another.

Which of this year's shortlist would you vote for?


  1. Those are some interesting titles. Would definitely catch my attention.

    I love one of the previous winners. The Goblinproofing one. That makes me really curious and I'll have to check it out. It makes me think it's some kind of humorous memoir or something like that.

  2. I wonder how one defines crazy buttocks?

    1. I feel it's one of those things where you know if you develop them!

    2. I expect nothing better from you!

    3. Crazy Buttocks sounds like a Native American name, perhaps given to someone who can't sit still!

    4. Aren't Native American names taken from the first thing a woman sees when she leaves the tent/house after giving birth? That would certainly be a story!

  3. I remember one from a few years ago, called something like "How to Avoid Massive Ships". Vital advice for anyone, I'd have said.

    I'd love to know if these books get any kind of sales boost from being nominated for the prize - it gets a lot of coverage so I'm sure it doesn't do their figures any harm.

    1. I reckon it must help - at least with search engine hits if not actual money!

  4. 'How to Pray When You're Pissed at God' really appeals to me. Perhaps because of my strict Catholic upbringing ... which disappeared by the time I had completed my military training.
    Seriously, that title brings back so many memories of times when I would like to have prayed, and then thought ... that b....d put me in the spot I'm in.
    Novelty has a lot to answer for.


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