Monday, March 22, 2010

The Harper's Pen Award Finalists

I've just announced the finalists for The Harper's Pen Award (formerly the Ham-Sized Fist Award) for 2009 over at The Sorcerer's Guild. Please pop on over.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


In preparation for retiring the name "Ham-Sized Fist Award," I've begun moving the contents of this blog over to a new blog called The Sorcerer's Guild. That is where I'll post the finalists of the newly-titled award (to be announced tomorrow - March 21!!). I'll continue to cross-post here for a while, just to make sure no one gets lost on the way.

If you've signed up as a friend of this blog, I hope you'll head on over and be friends with the Sorcerer's Guild. I've also created a new Twitter account for the Guild - I hope you'll sign up there as well.

Friday, March 19, 2010

and so I was like well whatever

As you may have noticed, I am making some changes to the site in preparation for changes in the way the award is administered. Hopefully, you will like these changes and find them exciting.

One of the things I want to do here is to provide more Sword and Sorcery related content, especially content pertaining to fiction, both short and long, as well as movies, podcasts, whatever you like. This will include announcements of the publication of new novels and anthologies, and new issues of magazines, webzines and blogzines, as well as information about new Sword and Sorcery magazines as they are birthed from the splashing foam. I hope to have reviews, interviews, and all the usual stuff.

The name of this site will also change, and possibly the name of the award. I'll be posting more about this in the future.

Meanwhile, I would like to apologize once more for canceling the award this year, and to announce that I am reinstating it. I will be announcing finalists in a few days, and the winner shortly after that. I've reduced the amount of the prize money, so there will be money for next year's prize, but this year will still offer a substantial reward.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i don't want to go on the cart

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.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

frankly, my dear

Due to a lack of interest, paucity of nominations, and my inability to find anyone willing to participate in this, I regret to announce the Ham-Sized Fist Award has been cancelled. I'm very sorry, but the fact that not one person has written to ask about the status of the award, even though I said I would announce the winner right about now, tells me that no one gives a damn.

Next time I will try to do better.