Winner of BFS / Exaggerated Press competitionComments Off
The winner of the BFS’s latest competition – to win three books from Exaggerated Press – is Jay Eales. Copies of Apoidea by Douglas Thompson, Mostly Monochrome Stories by John Travis and The Exaggerated Man and Other Stories by Terry Grimwood will be on their way to our lucky winner shortly.
The answer to the question posed for the competition – what is the title of the upcoming anthology from Exaggerated Press – is, of course, The Monster Book for Girls. This book is now available. It is edited by Terry Grimwood, has cover art by Steve Upham, and features stories and poetry by Allen Ashley, Rachel Kendall, Farah Ghuznavi, Gary Fry, Marc Lyth, Ian Sales, Kat Fullerton, Shay Darrach, Samantha Porter, Rosanne Robinowitz, Stuart Young, Kelly Rose Pflug-Black, Lorraine Slater, Andrew Hook, Nicole Papaioannou, Derek John, Jessica Lawrence, Gary McMahon, Tony Lovell, Terry Grimwood, Stephen Bacon, Sarah Hilary, Mark Howard Jones, Jamie Rosen, John Travis, John Forth, Regina de Burca and David Rix.
Full details HERE
BFS EGM – AgendaComments Off
Extraordinary General Meeting of the British Fantasy Society 6.00pm
NB. We will be starting at 6.00pm promptly to take care of formal business. Hopefully this will give us some time for an open discussion on future priorities for the Society. The meeting will by followed by the Open Event with special guests at 7.30pm. You must be a fully paid-up member of the Society to attend the EGM. Everyone else is most welcome to come to the Open Event.
First FantasyCon guests announcedComments Off
Award-winning horror/crime writer Joe R. Lansdale is the first Guest of Honour to be announced, with editor/ anthologist Mary Danby – best known as editor of The Fontana Book of Horror Stories from 1970 to 1984 – as Special Editor Guest.
Further guests to be announced shortly. Full details at the FantasyCon website
Vote for the British Fantasy Award ResolutionsComments Off
Here is your chance to vote on the proposed changes to the British Fantasy Awards process. The discussion has been raging over on the forum, so take a look and bring yourself up to date on what others think. http://www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3156.0
Then pop over to our secure voting system here and express your preference: http://bfawards.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/index.php?sid=79724
This vote is only open to BFS members, and all votes will be checked against the membership database. If you want to vote, it is not too late to join the BFS.
Votes are automatically tallied by the system and will be annouunced at the EGM on 9th December 2011.
Final Update from Acting Chair Graham JoyceComments Off
Membership numbers have shot up. We were at about 330 before the last Convention and I believe we’re up above 400. A lot of this is due to pledges of support and re-subscription but it’s great to see many new members. Hit rates for the website are remarkable and a tribute to the work of Del Lakin Smith and his team. The website is our public interface and I hope the new committee will give it the support and resources it deserves. Promises of support-in-kind from our top-rank writers is in place too and James Barclay is kicking off what will be a new series of Masterclass articles published by the BFS.
Just to remind you where we were ten weeks ago. The Society was an international laughing stock over what happened with the awards. There were other problems to do with the failure to present Accounts and Minutes of decisions taken. Plus there were accusations of cronysism. A group of over 30 “significant names” (by which I mean members of many years standing, authors and publishers who have supported this Society through thick and thin) got together and, abiding by the constitution, petitioned the President with their concerns and desire for change. I and others were convinced that there is a strong Society underneath these problems, and even though many of those names wanted to quit, everyone agreed to roll up their sleeves and work for their Society to make change happen. So in that context I agreed to be Acting Chair.
I made four pledges:
1) To repopulate a committee where previously the jobs of Chair, Secretary, Awards Administrator, Treasurer and Journal Production Manager were held by one person
2) To arrange for proper recording of Minutes and formal Accounts
3) To overhaul the Awards system
4) To begin a programme of re-enfranchising Fantasy enthusiasts in a Horror dominated society.
The first of these has been done. All places on the committee are settled for the forthcoming year and the line up – a mix of “brand new” and “relatively new” faces – is sparkling. I also aimed to address the gender issue and I’m pleased to say the matter settled itself with several highly accomplished and well qualified candidates. This committee will be ratified at the EGM.
The second of these has also been done. Proper minutes of the Brighton AGM will be available before the December 9th EGM. More importantly we have as Treasurer a professional accountant to oversee the Accounts and to introduce strict procedures into financial matters. A formal statement of accounts will be issued for the AGM. I want to thank previous Chairperson David Howe for his full co-operation in handing over the accounts information.
The overhaul of the Awards has been complicated and controversial but I don’t think you’ll find a more democratic process anywhere. We conducted a survey of preferences; used that survey to construct Resolutions and Guidelines; appointed a 5-person Working party of “wise persons” to review the proposed Resolutions; we posted the Resolutions and have accepted amendments; now it’s up to the membership to vote. I must say that I didn’t quite get what I wanted in the process, and I expect there are bits of it we could all quibble with, but I do think the resolution reflects “the majority of what the majority want”. Amendments arising from Forum discussions have been incorporated. There was no call to take the proposals in parts so there will be three votes: on Resolution 1, Resolution 2 and on the set of Recommendations entire.
The fourth pledge is ongoing. We are trying to feature Fantasy writers more in our publications and as guests at events without taking anything away from those with darker tastes. The outcome of the move to offer a Fantasy award is uncertain but I hope members will vote in favour of making a broader base to our Society and will vote for Resolution 2. If the base of the membership changes positively, these things can always be revised again at a later date.
I won’t pretend it has been plain sailing. I’ve had some difficult conversations with people, some of whom I’ve known for a long time and who are very dear to me. I apologise unreservedly for any volatility on my part. But where there have been differences, it has been with people whose love of this genre is unquestionable. One of the things I would ask is that the Old Guard (and I’m in that category) please give the new committee a chance to do things their way.
One of the things Lee will be asking in his new job is what members get in return for their membership. I won’t pre-empt him on this but I will say what I get and what I have always got. When I joined 20 years ago as a newly published author there was suddenly available to me a network of authors, publishers, reviewers and highly knowledgeable fans. It was both inspirational it was motivational. The conversations were what it was all about. The conversations. I could get advice from more experienced authors. I got insight into publishing. I could get hints about what obscure author I might like to read. I began to get a sense of all the antecedents in the genre. I got feedback on my writing and I made a million discoveries which I could never have made on my own: gem-like flames of conversation, handed round the membership. Plus I made wonderful friendships. As the years went by newer authors sometimes asked my advice or about what they might read and I liked to think that I was passing on some of those gem-like flames. By the way, I still ask more experienced authors about the vagaries of publishing and I still get great advice. What do I get from membership? I get amazing people in my life.
That’s why we decided this Society is worth protecting and worth fighting for. Those who don’t approve of the changes can cast their votes accordingly. For those very many people who have sent messages of support, hearty thanks. Please continue to support Lee and the new team in remaking the British Fantasy Society.
Competition – win three books from Exaggerated PressComments Off
Here’s a free-to-enter competition for all BFS members (current outgoing and incoming committee members excluded). Exaggerated Press have kindly offered a bundle of THREE of their books for a prize draw. The books included are: The Exaggerated Man by Terry Grimwood, John Travis‘ collection, Mostly Monochrome Stories, and Exaggerated Press’ newly published SF thriller, Apoidea by Douglas Thompson.
All you need to do to win these books is to email us at email@example.com with your name and the answer to the following question:
What is the title of the forthcoming anthology from Exaggerated Press edited by Terry Grimwood?
The answer to that question can be found on the Exaggerated Press website!
Email your competition entry to us by midnight (UK time) on Friday 16 December 2011 with the subject line EXAGGERATED COMPETITION. All entrants providing the correct answer to the question will be entered into the free prize draw and the winner announced shortly thereafter.
BFS Journal Winter 2011 / 12 … sneak previewComments Off
Ramsey’s Rant – Ramsey Campbell
The Journal is edited by Peter Coleborn (fiction), Ian Hunter (poetry) and Lou Morgan (non-fiction), and is designed by Cavan Scott. The fabulous cover art is by Vincent Chong.
Special offer on critique from Cornerstones for BFS membersComments Off
Cornerstones Literary Consultancy have kindly offered a discount to BFS members. They will give 10% discount on all bookings for critique until the end of January 2012.
To take advantage of this offer, visit the Cornerstones website and quote your BFS membership number when placing your order. Of course, if you’re not already a BFS member – then this is all the more reason to join!
British Fantasy Society – Awards Survey ResultsComments Off
Overhaul of the British Fantasy AwardsComments Off
I set out below two resolutions and a set of recommendations. I’d like members to be clear about how we arrived at these proposals. The normal way would be to have a discussion at a Fantasycon AGM. However, with the EGM restricted to those who could be in London on December 9th, we looked for a more painstaking, democratic and inclusive process:
1) We conducted an online survey that attracted well over 200 responses.
2) The responses were analysed and proposals were drawn up firmly based on the results.
3) I appointed a five-person working group representing various interests to look at the proposals in detail. The working group comprised James Barclay, Peter Crowther, the President of the Society Ramsey Campbell, Marion Pitman and myself.)
4) With reference to the survey the working group made amendments and finalised the proposals before you.
5) The proposals will be put to an online ballot of the membership.
We want complete transparency. The results of the survey (excluding individual comments) will be made available on the BFS website.
Regarding the survey, some very clear preferences emerged. Where a few people were content with the old method of voting there was an irresistible call for a change of system. Where a small number of people felt that there was nothing wrong with canvassing for votes, I have to say a very large number of members expressed distaste for the recent practice and clearly want to move to a juried system. My own preference for a jury to provide a shortlist followed by a member vote was not supported. There was however great support for a system whereby members come up with a shortlist and then a jury with “oversight powers” makes the final decision. This is therefore the system proposed.
Rather more controversial is the idea of offering two awards, one for Fantasy and one for Horror, in the Best Novel category. The survey yielded closer results on this matter and so needs to be put to the vote. Having won this award myself with novels that might have gone in either category I can see technical discussions ahead. However when I took on the job of Acting Chair I promised to look for ways of re-enfranchising some friends we might have lost through the dominance of the Horror genre over the last years. I do think that if we want authors and publishers to put their weight behind the Society we can’t afford to be exclusive. This is part of a wider policy and if we can tempt back some of the valued members we have lost by offering another prize then I think we should do so. If the balance is restored in the coming years we can always return to a single prize if that’s what the membership wants. Meanwhile I very much hope that members will support the proposal in Resolution 2.
The rest of the proposal is a set of Recommendations. My thinking here is that I didn’t want to tie the BFS or the Awards Administrator in knots, (for example, whether to have a jury of 3 or 5 members has an inbuilt assumption that it is easy to find willing volunteers) so whereas the Resolutions are decisive, these are firm guidelines for the administration of the awards which allow for fine tuning. Built into these guidelines are checks and balances to avoid recent difficulties. Some awards will have special juries or conditions. This is mainly but not exclusively designed to spread the work around and to relieve the burden of the appointed main jury. Otherwise most of the Recommendations are based on what we have already.
Online balloting pre-empts the cut and thrust of an EGM debate but it is a much more democratic method than restricting participation to the voices and votes of those who are available to attend the EGM. Discussion can now be held on the on Forum in the forthcoming week. If I hear a supported call for taking the resolutions or recommendations in parts, that’s what we’ll do. Otherwise there will be three substantive votes, for Resolution 1, Resolution 2 and for the Recommendations.
The ballot will be conducted by secure online vote from mid-day Thursday 1st December to mid-day Thursday 8th December. The result of the ballot will by announced at the EGM on December 9th and the meeting will go on to discuss priorities and the way forward for the Society.
Finally, I am ruling myself out of the ballot for 2012. It’s not that I assume I would be in the running, and anyway I would only be eligible in certain categories; but right now I think it’s important to show a clean pair of hands.
This is an opportunity to reshape not just the awards but the character of the Society. Voting is of course restricted to paid-up members, so please cast your ballot. Online balloting, if it proves successful here, can become a vital decision-making tool for the Society in future years.
Graham Joyce, Acting Chair
The British Fantasy Awards: Motion to the EGM December 9 2011-11-18
Resolution Part 1
The British Fantasy Society resolves that the BFS Awards shall ultimately be decided by a jury deliberating on a shortlist determined by the members of the Society. The Jury shall comprise individuals directly or indirectly related to the writing, publishing and bookselling genre fields. The Jury shall include at least one non-member of the Society.
The Jury shall be appointed by the Awards Administrator, subject to approval by the BFS committee.
The Jury shall deliberate on a shortlist of four nominations as determined by the membership by online or postal vote.
The Jury shall also have oversight powers to add nominations where it identifies an egregious omission or to subtract a nomination in the case of a poor quality nomination artificially boosted by the practice of canvassing. In order to add or subtract such nominations the jury must make a unanimous decision. The addition or subtraction of a nomination will be made in camera.
Resolution Part 2
In the category of Best Novel there shall be one award for Best Fantasy Novel and one award for Best Horror Novel.
1. The Awards
The British Fantasy Society (BFS) and the British Fantasy Convention (FantasyCon) present the British Fantasy Awards (BFA) annually. The BFS and FantasyCon jointly finance the Awards and appoint a Committee (minimum of two persons) to organise the voting arrangements and to assist the Awards Administrator. In the event of the demise of either the BFS or FantasyCon, the remaining organisation will continue to present awards for as long as is practical. The ballot procedure is open to audit following prior notification.
BFS and FantasyCon publications are ineligible, although their contents (e.g. individual stories, articles and pieces of artwork) are eligible. The Awards Administrator may not be associated (either by writing, publishing or editing) with work nominated in any category. The “relevant year” throughout this constitution is the calendar year (January to December) preceding that in which the awards are presented. Eligible voters: members of the BFS (the vote of a member whose membership expires after the vote is cast remains valid), members of the previous FantasyCon, and those who have registered for the upcoming FantasyCon.
3. Changes to These Guidelines
Changes to these guidelines may only be made by a vote at the AGM of the British Fantasy Society, taken according to the same rules of procedure outlined in the BFS constitution. A committee vote may not be used to reverse a decision made at an AGM.
Novel The August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel and The Robert Holdstock Award for Best Fantasy Novel.
Eligibility: fiction over 40,000 words published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world in any format during the relevant year. (*In the event of a dispute over genre category, definition shall rest with the author.)
Eligibility: fiction from 15,000 to 40,000 words published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world in any format during the relevant year.
Eligibility: stories under 15,000 words published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world in any format during the relevant year.
Eligibility: a collection of work by various authors, published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world during the relevant year. BFS anthologies are not eligible for this award.
Eligibility: a collection of work by a single author, published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world during the relevant year.
Eligibility: a screenplay for TV, Film or Electronic Broadcast released in the English language in any part of the world during the relevant year.
Eligibility: non-fiction and fiction magazines, print and online, that were active during the relevant year. BFS publications (such as Dark Horizons and Prism) are not eligible for this award.
Eligibility: comics and collections of comics, published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world during the relevant year. New collections of previously published comics are eligible.
Categories with special juries.
The PS Publishing Independent Press Award
Eligibility: Independent presses active during the relevant year. Note that PS Publishing withdrew from competition in this category in 2009, choosing instead to sponsor the award. *Special jury to be appointed by PS publishing.
Eligibility: any artist who has produced work during the relevant year. This category covers artists who work in any format. *Special jury to comprise at least one artist working within the genre.
Eligibility: items eligible for this Award include non-fiction books, chapbooks, magazine or online columns or single magazine or online articles. The non-fiction item must have been published in any format (book, magazine, small press or electronic) in any part of the world during the relevant year. *Special jury drawn from bloggers, reviewers and commentators on the genre.
Special Award (The Karl Edward Wagner Award)
The British Fantasy Special Award is known as the Karl Edward Wagner Award. The Award may be presented to individuals or organisations. Eligibility: this Award is not necessarily restricted to an activity in the year prior to that in which the Award is presented. The Award may go to someone who has made an important contribution to the genre or the Society throughout his/her lifetime; or it may go to the organisers of a special event or publication that took place in the relevant year. Recommendations for this Award will be sought from the membership. *The BFS Committee will determine the winner of this award.
The Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award
The award is for a new fiction writer. The recommendations can be for a single work or more than one, provided they meet the eligibility criteria set out above. Recommendations for this award are sought from the BFS membership. Eligibility also requires that copies of the work(s) be provided to the voting panel by the appropriate author, editor or publisher. This award is sponsored and funded by the estate of Sydney J. Bounds and the winner will receive a cheque for £100. The winner is decided by a special panel of readers appointed by the BFS and will include representatives from the Bounds estate and the BFS.
(BFS Short Story Competition
The competition is subject to its own rules, which are at the discretion of the BFS Short Story Competition Administrator.)
5. VOTING PROCEDURE
The precise voting schedule each year will depend on the schedule of BFS mailings and the timing of FantasyCon.
Recommendations sought: Jan-March.
Jury work: April-July. Shortlist announced April.
Announcement of winners: usually September
Stage 1: Shortlist from the membership: Recommendations may be submitted online or by post.
Each member may put forward up to three nominations in any category.
All recommendations should ideally be accompanied with publication details: year of publication, publisher, and title of collection, magazine, editor, etc, if applicable. If the information supplied is insufficient for the BFA committee to establish eligibility the recommendations may be excluded from the ballot form.
Recommendations may not be made for the recommender’s own material.
The four titles or names with the highest number of recommendations will go forward to form the shortlist of nominations.
Stage 2: The Jury
A Jury of three or five readers shall have the power to add up to two further nominations if they so wish. The Jury shall decide a winner from the shortlist. The Jury’s decisions shall be final.
Stage 3: Announcement and Presentation
The Awards are presented at FantasyCon or at a suitable alternative event if FantasyCon is cancelled in any particular year.
The Awards will usually take the form of a statuette. The statuette should be abstract or genre-neutral in design, avoiding any preference for horror, fantasy etc.
Resolutions and Recommendations are:
Proposed by Graham Joyce (Acting Chair)
Seconded by: James Barclay, Ramsey Campbell (President), Peter Crowther, Marion Pitman.
*You can join in the discussion over at the forum http://www.britishfantasysociety.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3156.0