Tag Archives: writng

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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Vampires in the New Year

Well, I hope you didn’t expect some retrospective of last year or the hopes and fears for this year. Predictions about and it would be easiest to say some politician will be accused of a scandal, another politician will again say we need so investigation into gas prices and nothing will be done, Vancouver will bubble with the hype of the Olympics and its citizens’ taxes will/have already gone up to cover the deficits that they said wouldn’t happen, Harper and Campbell will ignore all protests and implement the HST, charging us more for what we should not have to pay for, a rock/movie star will suffer from drug overdose, more record-breaking climactic disasters will happen with a small camp of naysayers telling us that climate change isn’t happening, corporations will continue to use bailout money to give themselves exorbitant salaries while they lay off workers, a movie/sports star will leave/love/cheat on each other, etc. It might all sound like fiction but it’s so much of the same that happens every year that it’s not really worth speculating about.

However, in the world of possibilities, there is the genre of speculative fiction. Speculative fiction includes horror, fantasy, science fiction; basically anything that you might speculate about, which then means almost any fiction. Confusing? Yes, just another way that people try to parcel stories into little packages.

But in that vein is the anthology coming out through Edge Press. Edited by Nancy Kilpatrick Evolve contains 23 stories and one poem. This is dark fiction, stories about vampires but ones that have evolved. How each author handles that theme will be different but there are no vampires of the past, only a present or a future. For my own story, I dealt with an alternate history where vampires are the dominant mammal (homo vampirii) and homo sapiens is something…less.

Nancy Kilpatrick is a veteran author and editor. She delivers good dark fiction. The collection is of authors from across Canada with a presumably regional balance. There are four authors from BC, Rhea Rose, Mary Choo, Sandra Wickham (new author) and me. Every province is represented and it will be interesting to see if there is any regional flavor in the stories. Sometimes there is a “Canadian” flavor,whether in movies or stories. These influences often involves the environment/climate in some ways. Of course, once you have a vampire you will most certainly have some battle/avoidance of the environment in the way of sun, but it depends if all the stories involve vampires sensitive to sunlight.

There will probably be not sparkling vampires, or angels masquerading as vampires. They’ll probably all be a bit darker than this. The books are being released at the end of this month, with collector editions and signed trade paperback editions.  For a list of authors, their bios and more information, you can go to www.vampires-evolve.com/ to find something to sink your teeth into. I’m quite curious so see how other authors handled this theme.

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