Tag Archives: Sunburst Awards

Writing: Sunburst Awards & CZP

A little Friday update on some things Canadian and some things writerly.

The Sunburst Awards is Canada’s equivalent of a high end literary award but for speculative fiction. As with meny things, especially culture, which the federal government decided isn’t very important, they are hoping to continue giving this award but need donors. Here is a little youtube piece with excerpts by a few Canadian authors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQuBSrUkAo0

And Chizine Publications has a little animation up for People Still Live in Cashtown Corners, by Tony Burgess, which is receiving good reviews. I find the little bear creatures somewhat disturbing, but then I get that way when things are too cutesy. Gah, death by sugar coating. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hfVFkjUwZU

Chizine Publications http://chizine.com/chizinepub/ is going strong and watch for a new web design for the online magazine Chizine in the new year. Other than that, rewriting continues and slush reading. A note to the wise; don’t slur the intelligence or the nationality (and get it wrong) of your slush reader. You’re bound to be banned from ever submitting again. Just sayin’.

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Writing: Sunburst Awards Needs Help

The Sunburst Awards is a Canadian award for speculative fiction, which is judged by a panel as opposed to fans. They have only been going a few years and were named after Phyllis Gotlieb’s book by the same name. Two prizes are awarded annually, one for adult and one for young adult SF. It seems they are running into monetary issues for funding the prize. Below is the letter I received, so that if anyone wants to support the Sunburst, they can contact the organization. http://www.sunburstaward.org/

As a Canadian writer I can say I support and like Canadian speculative fiction for many reasons. We are small in population compared to the US. In fact our population could fit into California so we have many hurdles to the publishing industry. It still costs the same in production to make a book but if you’re selling to a percentage of 36 million people, it’s a much smaller group than the same percentage of the US population. Hence why we’ve often needed funding to keep various arts afloat, that the US doesn’t need.

Our writers are as unique as anyone else. Canadian themes can often include the landscape because it is such a large part of the nation’s psyche. We’re the second largest country on Earth after Russia, and we have a whole lot of space. Not only that, but most of our population is along our southern border because a lot of Canada is harsh and cold in winter.

If you are an editor, author, publisher or reader of the speculative community, then you can show your support by donating or by make a short video as outlined in the letter:

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a juried award based on excellence of writing in two categories: adult and young adult. The awards are presented annually to Canadian writers with a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection of speculative fiction published any time during the previous calendar year.

Unfortunately, the Sunburst Awards have run into a hiccup.  They do not have enough operating capital to keep going as they currently stand. This sad news comes at a particularly critical juncture in the award’s life–the operating committee is in the process of getting the Sunburst organization registered as a non-profit, and getting it “national arts organization” status.

As part of a fundraising drive to shepherd the Sunburst through this change of status and structure, we’d like to ask writers, editors, readers, and publishers from the speculative fiction community at large to record short (30 second to 2 minutes) videos that say what they think about Canadian speculative fiction. These can address a variety of topics: where the field has been; the state of field today; where the future might lie; favourite authors, etc. These will be posted individually on a YouTube channel (sunburstaward), but will also be edited in order to create a series of short videos to promote awareness of the fundraising campaign. A longer video will be shown at the opening remarks to the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium (http://specfic-colloquium.com).

To participate, send your name, contact information, video and a short release statement giving us permission to use the video to sunburstvideo@gmail.com by September 15, 2010.

For more information on the Sunburst Awards, visit http://www.sunburstaward.org/ or contact secretary.sunburst@bell.net.

To donate directly, visit
http://www.sunburstaward.org/content/levels-sponsorship.

Sincerely,
Helen Marshall
Sunburst Award Volunteer
Co-Organizer of the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium

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World Fantasy Convention 2008: Calgary

World Fantasy took place in Calgary’s downtown at the Hyatt Regency this last weekend. Although the hotel had an exceptional collection of paintings and heavily focused ungulate statuary everywhere, it was still a very expensive hotel. I haven’t been in a hotel in the US in the past five years that charged for internet and $1 for local calls. Internet cost $14 a day, an exorbitant fee, and the hotel price was high even at convention rates. We found Calgary pricey for food but cheap for alcohol, if you were buying it in stores but comparably priced to Vancouver in the hotel.

The con hospitality suites were smaller than I have seen at other cons and the air conditioning (hardly needed in Oct. in Calgary) was on high for most of the convention. The dealers room and art show were also small. From one discussion with a Seattle antiquarian dealer, the hoops and paperwork besides shipping costs are prohibitive and discourage international exchanges. The dealers room did have an interesting array of publishers. Some of them were Redjack, Fitzhenry/Red Deer Press, Tachyon, Edge, Talebones/Fairwood Press, OnSpec, Electric Velocipede, SFC table of members’ work, Sunburst awards, used and new booksellers, and other dealers that I don’t remember off hand.

 The dealers room used to feature books and some jewellery. This is a professional convention of editors, publishers and authors (and some fans as well) and fan paraphernalia is not allowed. The books are still there but the jewellery is not. It seems the WFC board has put a stop to it after so many years because it is a “serious” convention. I let them know that quite a few of us “pros” enjoyed buying our piece of con jewellery over the years and that we missed it. Does serious mean no fun? After all, the jewellery could be juried to fit certain criteria as well.

As often is the case with these cons, I get to few or no panels. I went to one on Friday and then left halfway through to see another. Unfortunately both were clunky, with no real flow and very short to no answers by the pros on the panel.

Saturday, I missed half of one, which had George R.R. Martin, Tad Williams and Steve Erickson talking about killing significant characters in a novel. They may have been more focused in the first half but it wasn’t bad for flow and was funny. Tad Williams, one of the special guests and emcee for the World Fantasy awards is a very funny guy.

The other panel I attended was “Why do we write dark fiction?” with Graham Joyce, Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell. It was moderated well by Nancy and thought provoking. Very interesting panel that had many of us thinking of their childhoods and surreal experiences.

Because this is long, I’ll continue tomorrow with more on WFC.

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