World Fantasy Awards Advocacy: Send in Books and Other Material!

Jeff VanderMeer • March 1st, 2011 @ 7:16 pm • Culture

UPDATE: The administrator of the awards has sent a corrected address for one of the judges:

Sacha Mamczak
Heyne Verlag
Verlagsgruppe Random House
Bayerstrs. 71-73,
D-80335, München
Germany
++49-89-4136-3127

The World Fantasy Award judges have finally been announced, and I’ve got the list along with the other relevant details from the press release below the cut. The judges pick three of the five finalists in each category—sometimes more if the judges can’t come to agreement or find more material they all agree is worthy in a particular category—with the other two being voted in by attendees of the prior year’s World Fantasy Convention as well as, I believe, those who bought supporting memberships.

As the internet and other factors have begun to open up the richness of world fantasy to the Anglo world, I’ve increasingly questioned the “World” in the World Fantasy Award, but here’s the simple truth: the judges cannot consider material they do not receive. So the simplest form of advocacy for non-center-genre stories, books, and publishers from anywhere in the world, published in English, is to make sure this material gets in front of the judges. (Also, the World Fantasy Award has been very open to indie presses.)

Having served on the judging panel before, I personally feel it’s more effective to have your editor or publisher submit a novel, anthology, magazine, or story collection but I don’t believe anything in the rules stops an individual writer from doing so.

As for magazines and sites that publish fiction electronically, the editors of same might not want to assume the judges will automatically see online material. iI may be best for an editor to send print-outs of relevant material with the URL of the site, unless some other arrangement is satisfactory to the judges—by now they may have some protocols in place with regard to this issue. But, believe it or not, piles of paper can be convincing arguments to read stuff.

Certain books and magazines you can be sure are already being sent. For example, F&SF, any of the anthologies by major editors in the field, and, I believe, material from Strange Horizons, along with many more. (Anyone with additional insight, feel free to chime in.)

There’s plenty of time, since I find it doubtful the judges will even start communicating and talking about any books or stories for another couple of weeks, based on my own experience, at least. You’ll also be doing the judges a favor. I remember how excruciating it was on a tight budget to have to buy some books that weren’t sent, to make sure we considered them, or the time spent tracking down copies of things that could’ve gone toward reading. We were also surprised that some editors couldn’t be bothered to send work in; hopefully, that’s changed.

One last note…if you think you’re deserving of the lifetime achievement award and want to put yourself forward or have your editor to do…don’t do it. You will just look like a complete egotistical jerk and will have five judges thinking the word “ass” whenever they see your picture. (We had a couple of situations like that the year I was a judge.)

2011 World Fantasy Awards Judges

Andrew Hook (85 Gertrude Road; Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 4SG; United Kingdom)

Sacha Mamczak (Heyne; Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH; Bayerstrs. 71-73, D-80335, München; Germany)

Mark Rich (P.O. Box 46; 413 Broadway Street; Cashton, WI 54619; USA)
Sean Wallace (9907 Gable Ridge Terrace, Apt. I; Rockville, MD 20850; USA)

Kim Wilkins (5B Vera Street; Toowong; Queensland 4066; Australia)

Convention Chair—Valerie Ontell, Chair; 2011 World Fantasy Convention; P.O. Box 927388; San Diego, CA 92192-7388; USA

February 28, 2011

The judges for the 2011 World Fantasy Awards, for work published in 2010, have now been empanelled. PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL MATERIALS SENT TO THE JUDGES MUST BE RECEIVED BY JUNE 1, 2011.
The Gahan Wilson designed trophies will be presented to the winners at the convention, to be held Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30, 2011 at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center; 500 Hotel Circle North; San Diego, CA 92108; USA.

Through March 31, 2011, an attending membership costs $150US. Information and forms can be found on the convention web site at www.wfc2011.org or via email query at [email protected]

If you have any materials that you wish to be considered by the panel, please send them directly to the addresses above, and very importantly, please mark all packages as PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS – NOT FOR SALE OR RESALE – NO COMMERCIAL VALUE — WORLD FANTASY AWARDS MATERIALS. Also, please make sure to send a file copy of all materials to this office so a comprehensive submission list may be kept: Peter Dennis Pautz, P.O. Box 43, Mukilteo, WA 98275-0043. This is the only way the judges can consider all eligible items, and you can be sure that your work has been given fair attention.

Qualifications: All books must have been published in 2010; magazines must have a 2010 cover date; only living authors and editors are eligible.

Fantasy Types: All forms of fantasy are eligible.

Categories: Life Achievement; Best Novel; Best Novella (10,001 to 40,000 words); Best Short Story; Best Anthology; Best Collection; Best Artist; Special Award Professional; Special Award Non Professional.

Please note that the nominees in the Life Achievement category will not be released, though the winners will be announced well before the awards banquet.

9 Responses to “World Fantasy Awards Advocacy: Send in Books and Other Material!”

  1. Christopher Roden says:

    Ah, World Fantasy judging. I can tell that you wish you were doing it all over again.

    Bit late getting the panel together this year though, eh?

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Ha! If I had time I’d volunteer for it, believe it or not.

    VERY late getting the panel together.

  3. Christopher Roden says:

    I’m making do with judging for the Sunbursts this year. At least there are only around a quarter of the number of books you folk had to cope with for WFA. I will refrain from mentioning the quality (or lack of) of a large percentage.

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    oooh, sunbursts. i hope it’s fun, though.

  5. Christopher Roden says:

    So far. The bickering between judges comes later, I guess.

  6. Barbara Roden says:

    Funnily enough, Jeff, I was thinking the other day that I’d be up for it again, if the chance came round and I had the time. It was a lot of fun, and I was certainly lucky to be part of a great group of judges.

    As for your points: completely agree. Judges can’t judge what they don’t see, and it gets frustrating when repeated requests for certain titles are ignored by the publishers. Almost as frustrating is when repeated requests for titles, over a period of months, are ignored until days before the deadline, when a big box of books arrives. There’s absolutely no advantage in waiting until the last minute, people.

    There’s nothing that prevents writers from sending in their own work, if they suspect their publisher isn’t going to do it; but any halfway professional publisher should look after that for you. If for some reason you think your publisher might not send in material, ask them, and then send it in yourself if that’s the only way you can get it considered.

    Gordon van Gelder at F&SF was wonderful: every magazine had a sheet of paper tucked into it, detailing which stories should be considered and which shouldn’t (largely because they were pure SF). I also appreciated those anthologies and collections which spelled out which stories were original, or first published in 2005, and those that had been published in previous years and were therefore ineligible. If you’re a publisher sending in a collection or anthology that DOESN’T spell that out in the book, for the love of heaven include a letter or printout which clearly indicates what material is original to the year under consideration. The judges will weep tears of joy. Well, maybe not quite, but they’ll be happy. (And if you haven’t put that info in the book, then why not?)

  7. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Thanks, Barbara! I totally forgot to mention the importance of a cover letter with that kind of info.

  8. Barbara Roden says:

    That kind of info is a lifesaver, it really is. A little thing, but it goes a long way, when you’re looking at some 300 books, and trying to figure out what you need to be paying attention to.

  9. Ben Jones says:

    I’m curious about the people who put themselves forward for lifetime achievement awards. Have you had a chance to talk to any of them since? And do they have any stories about it? It sounds like the kind of idea an ambitious editor might have for one of his authors, not having worked out the social ramifications.

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