The Pulitzer Prize judges are wrapping up their business back in New York City this week. By the end of Friday, they will have selected the official Pulitzer Prize Finalists in each of the journalism categories. The way it works is the judges sort through all the entries in a particular category — Features, for example — and come up with the top three, the official Finalists.
In past years, all the entries would be placed on a big table and the judges would read an entry. If they didn’t like it, they’d toss it on the floor. One of the best books about the Pulitzer Prizes was written by my former editor, Doug Bates. Each year I was a Finalist I studied his book in an attempt to peel back the mystery of what was going on. This year, the entries are electronic. Hitting the “delete” key just doesn’t have the romance thinking of an entry being tossed to the floor.
The award season — between late February and April — plays havoc with so many journalists. Anyone in this business knows what I am talking about. Share your story and I will post it — anonymously, if need be — on here.
The Pulitzer Board will meet in April and select the winner in each category.
The two who didn’t make it will feel like they lost. I certainly did, even though many journalists go through a career without ever being a Finalist.
The year I won, I wrote this piece.