In my previous post, I mourned the death of the Ham-Sized Fist Award. Truth is, it's not quite dead yet.
I blame myself for the failure of the award this year. There just weren't enough nominations, for one thing. I wanted at least 50 before I could justify shelling out $800 of my own money (technically, $790) in prizes for the winner of a very small field. 50 was the bare minimum. I received fewer than 26 online nominations, plus a few more mailed in hardcopy. It was close to 50, but no cigar.
There were other issues. I had hoped to attract some judges, but no one seemed keen. I had hoped to attract a co-sponsor of the award, but no one seemed keen. Quite a few people were bothered by the name of the award. One said he wouldn't want a Ham-Sized Fist on his resume, as it sounded like an award for poor writing. One author asked to have his story removed from nomination. Some suspected I was up to no good, with some kind of nefarious scheme to rip off the authors, since what sane person would offer up a significant prize with no obvious personal benefit to himself? I'm not sure what the scheme might have entailed. Maybe they thought I intended to award my friends, but if I wanted to do that, I'd just give them the money without going through the charade of an award. Besides, all my friends have more money than me. They should create fake awards for me to win!
But seriously folks, the award is not dead. It just needs tweeking. See The Rules for new information.
As I mentioned above, many people were bothered by the name of the award. Others loved it. Although I like the name, I can understand the misgivings many may feel about it. Therefore, I am opening this up to you, the readers and participants. What should it be called? Or should it remain the Ham-Sized Fist? Send me your suggestions, either in comments, email, or by Twitter. I will pick the best ones and post a poll and let the votes decide.
I've received a couple of suggestions - The Hyborian, The Sorcerer's Guild Award. Think along those lines. Try to avoid copyrighted or otherwise proprietary material - Triwizards Cup, Robert E Howard Award, stuff like that.