Because of my work, I’m on a lot of mailing lists — some are truly weird, some only mildly so. Yesterday, I received a letter from the Pulitzer Prize Board, which sought input on “new musical works of distinction”. After a couple of paragraphs about qualifications of such works, the Board dropped in this bit:
“We enclose a bulletin that contains the current regulations and an entry form for your convenience. Please note that there is a handling charge of $50 for each entry. Entry forms may be photocopied, or you may complete the form on the Pulitzer web site http://www.pulitzer.org, print it and enclose it with your entry.”
So, (a) there’s a fee? I’d always assumed that Pulitzers were doled out by a committee of people who’ve read everything and heard everything and just know what’s best. But apparently the Pulitzers awards are run just like any low-rent poetry contest or fringe festival: if you don’t submit an application and some dough (and possibly a drawing of Tippy the Turtle), you’re SOL. So much for prestige.
And (b) what’s with all the printing? Does the Pulitzer really pair its whole old-skool pay-to-play approach with an even older-skool photocopied application process? They can’t be bothered to enter the 21st century and allow people to send in mp3s and PDFs? Jesus H. Christ on a cracker, who’s on this board? Fucking Matlock?