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Tag: ursa major awards

Discover the best of furry fandom with the 2017 Ursa Major awards, and 2017 Cóyotl Awards.

by Patch O'Furr

Thank you for helping Dogpatch Press to win the Ursa Major Award for Best Magazine of 2017!

 

Ever have a hard time knowing where to start with furry media? Does the horizon get lost in the digital sands?

Look no further than the Ursa Major Awards.  That’s the Furry equivalent of science fiction fandom’s Hugo Awards, mystery fandom’s Anthony Awards, or horror fandom’s Bram Stoker Awards. The Hugos also have the Nebulas to  complement them – and Furry has the Coyotl Awards for literature, as voted by the Furry Writers’ Guild. That’s not all – furry literature will also soon have the first Leo Awards, to be announced at AC 2018. (What’s the difference? The Leos are fandom-specific and voted on by a panel of judges.) The Ursa and Coyotl winners were both announced this month, so they’re all listed below to encourage you to check out some cool stuff you might not have seen.

URSA MAJOR NEWS

The winners for 2017 were announced at a presentation ceremony at the Furry Down-Under 2018 convention in Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland, Australia, on Saturday May 5.  FurDu posted a video of the ceremony including a slide show created by Ed Otter:

There was a lot of talk about it here before they were announced. Fred Patten saw growth in activities like fursuiting competing for attention with fan media, while maybe the awards could use a boost for reach after lower voting this year than in the past. A lack of staffing and funding led to appeals for help, while Anthrocon began offering matching donation to support writers. For 2019, the Awards will be presented at AnthrOhio.

Here’s a few things that stood out about the winners:

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Furry founder Fred Patten saw more partying, less fandom in 2018 with the Ursa Major Awards.

by Patch O'Furr

Fred Patten started off with a message to Patch O’Furr:

This is a rant, as much as anything.  I wrote, as Secretary of the ALAA (AKA the Ursa Major Awards) to the AnthrOhio Committee, to invite it to host next year’s award presentation ceremony.  AnthrOhio is the new name of former Morphicon in Columbus, Ohio. They presented the Ursa Majors in 2008, 2011, and 2015.

I got a very nice reply from Danny Travis, this year’s Director of Programming for AnthrOhio.  He thinks it’s a great idea and has agreed.  But his reply implies that he’s never heard of the Ursa Major Awards, and that he was unaware that they have been presented at Morphicon/AnthrOhio in the past.

This makes me wonder how many of today’s furry conventions are being organized by people who are mainly interested in putting on a big party with fursuits, and little interest or knowledge in furry fandom beyond their own convention, including their own con’s history.  Some like Anthrocon with Dr. Sam Conway and CaliFur with Rod O’Riley (and any con with staffers who have been around for a while) know what’s going on. But how many are being organized by young people who only use the trappings of furry fandom to have a good time?

You have been following not only the conventions but a lot of the smaller furry parties and raves.  Do you get the impression that most attendees are more interested in partying then other active fandom?

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Ursa Major Awards get matching donations from Anthrocon, help wanted from other cons.

by Patch O'Furr

For 15 years, the Ursa Major Awards lacked resources. Costs came from organizer pockets.  This year they tried a GoFundMe, and it’s getting close to the goal!

Here’s some good news courtesy of Fred Patten.

At a recent Anthrocon Board of Directors meeting, it was approved for Anthrocon to match up to $350 in donations received in the UMA’s GoFundMe campaign to cover trophy manufacturing and costs.

The donation is viewed as a way to support writers. Many publishers release new works at Anthrocon, and the con has a substantial writing track which doesn’t cost much to run. Anthrocon spends a lot to support fursuiters (they can get special souvenir tags, for example), but the writing track has never asked for more.

During the discussion, it was noticed that the ALAA hasn’t gotten other cons to donate yet. It was suggested the ALAA use this opportunity to ask other cons to match a portion of GoFundMe donations too.

There was discussion of making Anthrocon’s donation regular annually – if other cons donate regularly Anthrocon is likely to join in, probably matching their amounts. Now is the time to step up and help.

AnthrOhio has agreed to host the 2019 UMA presentations, and Biggest Little Fur Con the 2020 presentations.

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

VOTE NOW for the 2017 Ursa Major Awards – voting closes on March 31.

by Patch O'Furr

Hey furries! The Ursa Major Awards for the best anthropomorphic media of 2017 are now open for voting. Go vote between March 1st – March 31st on the UMA website:  http://www.ursamajorawards.org

Can you imagine running these fandom awards for 15 years and not having enough help? I recently covered the story of financial difficulty and understaffing. Rod O’Riley, a key member of the award committee, is a fandom founder who organized the first furry parties and conventions in the 1980’s. He’s been covering costs out of his pocket for 15 years. There’s now an Ursa Major Awards GoFundMe taking donations to cover the costs of running it. Because I don’t just bark about critical stuff, I’m going to contribute $100. Can you give some too?

Before we get to the nominees, here’s some special notices. For Best Dramatic Series or Short Work of 2017, check out OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes. This Cartoon Network show got a lot of fandom notice for their episode “We’ve Got Fleas”. It makes a suspiciously cute callout to things we love. Wait for this: an interview with a writer/storyboard artist for OK K.O. is publishing soon on this site and it’s a fandom connection you’ll love.

The banner up top is special art we had made by Mexican furry artist Meteor-05 to give you a suggestion for Best Magazine. And Dogpatch Press isn’t even the only nominee from the culprits who make it happen. Best Other Literary Work has two from Fred Patten. Best Non-Fiction Work has an essay by me in Furries Among Us 2. There’s also Fred’s Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015 … but nobody should worry if your first pick is Furry Nation by Joe Strike, the first formally published fandom history, many years in the making. How did this category get so tough for picking just one?

Here’s the Final Ballot. Winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony at FurDU 2018 at Gold Coast City, Queensland, Australia on May 4-6, 2018.

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The Ursa Major Awards are a fandom institution, but can we fund them?

by Patch O'Furr

Co-written by Thurston Howl and Patch O’Furr. Full disclosure – Howl and Patch have received Ursa Major awards by community vote.

Even in non-writing communities in the furry fandom, many furries are aware of the Ursa Major Awards. They’ve been around for about 17 years, have presence at cons, and each year they receive many voters. However, for all their legacy, Thurston Howl – (a furry publisher who assisted with social media and marketing for the UMAs in 2017) – has come forward with concerns involving the UMAs’ recent soliciting for donations and GoFundMe campaign.

A transparency concern.

Until now, there has been no formal budget or accounting for funding. Fred Patten, Secretary of the ALAA (Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which runs the UMAs), told Howl on 5/30/17: “I cannot remember that the Treasurer for the ALAA has ever submitted a formal treasury report.” Fred confirmed there were no records for 17 years, and later added:

I don’t know how much it costs to print UMA award certificates, buy frames for them, ship them to the recipients, make and ship powerpoint presentations, etc., and I don’t know how much total in donations we’ve gotten over the years…

There have been complaints in email discussion by associates.  ALAA member Bernard Doove said: “I would like a report on the finances that is more than ‘we’re broke.'” And on 5/4/17, a donor reported that they considered their donation “an unwise decision that could have been put to much better use elsewhere.” There were even fears of misappropriation, but Bernard Doove found no evidence when he looked in the bank accounts. The explanation seems to be fees of $156/year to maintain a Checking and Savings account if they have under a $300 minimum balance each.

It honestly seems like an issue of mixing small fan efforts with more formal organization, like how fandom started. ALAA Treasurer Rod O’Riley was a fandom founder who helped start Confurence in 1989. He responded to a request for comment:

The problem is not transparency — the problem is a lack of funds to be transparent about.

All donations have made their way into our bank account, and have been spent on either what they were supposed to be spent on — making and mailing out our trophies and plaques — or else were swallowed by the bank fees. ALL donations. Sometimes they took a while to get where they were going — as recently, when PayPal and our bank’s on-line system had difficulties talking to each other, for reasons I still do not understand. But eventually, they got where there were going.

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2017 Ursa Major Awards nominations open now!

by Patch O'Furr

On Sunday evening at Further Confusion, I chatted with Mark Merlino and Rod O’Riley of the Prancing Skiltaire furry house, founders of ConFurence, the first furry con. We talked about how a certain fandom controversy today is dragging on one that started all the way back with the divide between fans and “lifestylers”. That is, people who only liked furry stuff – vs. people who dared call themselves Furries, with a community beyond simply being a consumer for anthropomorphic animal media. It looks out for its members like any other.

This community recognizes contributors with annual awards. The awards are funded by Rod and Mark, and they need help. It’s a modest 3-digit cost… but still the help has to happen. We discussed the monthly model of Patreon vs. a one-time cost of GoFundMe or IndieGogo. Expect more info on that soon. Furry readers: is this something you would contribute to? Please speak up in the comments! – Patch  

Fred Patten tells more about those awards:

Nominations for the 2017 Ursa Major Awards opened on January 11, the first day of Further Confusion 2018. The awards celebrate the best anthropomorphic literature and art first published during the previous calendar year.

Visit their site to participate: http://www.ursamajorawards.org/

The awards are selected through a two-stage process of nomination and voting. Members of the public send in up to five nominations in each of the twelve categories. The top nominations in each category are then presented for a public vote.

Award categories:

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What’s Yiffin’? – August 2017 edition of syndicated furry news.

by André Kon

For a good many of us, summer vacation is almost over and it’s time to return to the reality of classes, or just another day at work if you’re no longer in school. This past summer has been home to a number of controversial events at conventions and in the fandom alike.  We’ve got four more to round things out before all is said and done. Mercifully, there’s no convention drama this month… well, not unless you count Pokemon GO Fest as a “convention”. There’s a lot of things we’d call that disaster, but “con” isn’t one of them (unless you mean “con” as in “to trick”). Anyways, on with the news!

2016 FURRY OSCARS

It’s that time of year again, Oscar season! Not the actual Oscars, mind you, but the fandom’s equivalent of them: the Ursa Major Awards. Awarded to people and projects who go above and beyond in the name of anthropomorphic entertainment, the Ursa Major Awards are community-driven, with initial nominations and ultimately voting open to the fandom. This past month the winners for 2016’s Ursas were announced. The results were full of emotions, ranging from surprise to “ugh, not again”.

First off, the big daddy title of Best Motion Picture went to Zootopia… to the surprise of literally no one. If there’s such a thing as “Ursa Bait”, this was it; in the past decade there’s probably not been such an obvious shoe-in winner since The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Right behind Nick & Judy’s furry fling was Pixar’s Finding Dory, which, while this was a great movie in its own right, stood no chance against Disney’s powerhouse. The results of the Ursas are posted in order of who received the most votes, and coming in dead last was The Secret Life of Pets, a godawful CGI movie. In what we imagine must have been a three-way tie for last place, Sing and Kung Fu Panda 3 also made the bottom of the list.

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A welcome new category for the Ursa Major Awards: Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction.

by Patch O'Furr

WHY DON’T FURRIES RECOGNIZE GOOD JOURNALISM?

 

This topic has come up before: “Bay Area Furs find out why there should be a Furry award for Best Journalism(see some good articles within) – and – “VICE looks back on the Midwest Furfest attack, earning kudos for thoughtful journalism.”

The simplistic answer is – back around 2001, this little fan group was mistreated by Vanity Fair, MTV and CSI.  Forevermore, “The Media” was a thing to hate.

But it’s not so simple. In a chicken-or-egg way, “The Media” deserves some credit for creating furries. (It’s a FANdom!)  That usually means fiction media, but there’s much more than that. There’s the “science” part of science fiction; transhumanism, animals and nature, and anything about growing a self-defined subculture. There’s info coming from the Anthropomorphic Research Project.  A top selling nonfiction book (from Thurston Howl publishers) is the fandom-essay collection Furries Among Us.

Nonfiction is a big deal in fandom for anthropomorphic animals.

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On Jan 15, the Ursa Major Awards nominations open for 2014’s best furry works.

by Patch O'Furr

UMAweb1_2a

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

For fans of anthropomorphic/furry fiction:  2014 has rolled over to 2015!  Are you ready?

If you’re wondering what you may have missed in 2014, go to the Ursa Major Awards website.

The 2014 Recommended Anthropomorphics Reading List has just been closed out.  It contains all of the works first published or released during the January–December 2014 calendar year that have been recommended by furry fans, in eleven categories:

  • Motion Picture
  • Dramatic Short Works or Series
  • Novels
  • Short Fiction
  • Other Literary Works
  • Graphic Novels
  • Comic Strips
  • Magazines
  • Websites
  • Published Illustrations
  • Games

Recommendations for 2015 are now being taken, although the first compilation of 2015 recommendations will not be published for several weeks.

The 2014 Ursa Major Awards nominations open on January 15, 2015, and are open through the end of February.  Go to the UMA website to nominate your choices for the Best Anthropomorphics of 2014 in the above eleven categories. Voting for the Awards is open from March 15 through April 15, 2015 on the UMA website. Nominations and voting are open to all. Instructions are on the UMA website.

Voting for the 2014 Ursa Major Awards will open on March 15, 2015 and close on April 15.  Go to the UMA website to nominate and to vote. The presentations of the 2014 Ursa Major Awards will be made at Morphicon 2015, in Columbus, Ohio on April 30-May 3, 2015.

– Fred Patten