As I attempt to settle on a title for my second novel, I am amused by the discovery that a prize is given out annually to the book with the oddest name.
It’s known as The Diagram Prize, named for the information and graphics company where it was born.
This year’s winner: The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais
Runners-up included Curbside Consultation of the Colon, The Large Sieve and Its Applications, Strip and Knit with Style and Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring.
My favorite: A tie between the 1992 winner How to Avoid Huge Ships and the 2006 winner The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification.
Interestingly, no prize was awarded in 1987 and 1991. No book, it was determined, had a title odd enough to be worthy of the prize.
While all of the books on the list of winners seem deserving, I would love to see what the winner might be if non-fiction and technical books such as these were excluded from the running. Other than a collection of short stories, every winner on the list appears to come from the realm of nonfiction.
I’d love to see a prize for the oddest title of a novel each year. But I have far too many projects on my plate to organize such a prize, though I must admit that the idea is appealing.
Hopefully my second novel, currently titled UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO, would not be in contention.