Empire building

Russell B Farr has started a Google group to run a moderated discussion on amendments to the Ditmar Awards. I joined it today and then quit – I can’t afford to get involved in this debate any further as I’m likely to be burning bridges if I do. My whole and sole (and admittedly minor) involvement the Ditmar discussion was to correct what I perceived to be an injustice based in part on information I had provided.

In case anyone else asks me to put my money where my mouth is and help run the Ditmar Awards, I’ll ask you which activity I’ve been doing in the last 12 months that you’d like me to give up to accommodate this:

  • Aurealis Awards horror panel convenor.
  • Australian Shadows Award judge.
  • Australian Horror Writers Association volunteer (currently PR/marketing).
  • Mentor to an emerging writer (through the AHWA).
  • Editing (currently two anthologies in production).
  • Managing Editor (and reviewer) for HorrorScope fanzine.
  • Critiquing my peers’ work.
  • … and somewhere in there, I’m meant to be writing (enough that I’ve been nominated for an Aurealis and Ditmar this year, if that’s any measure).

If you really want me to be involved in all the speculative fiction awards in this country, just give me a holler. You know, it’s not like I won’t get accused of empire building.

I’d say I’ve earned the right to offer an opinion, be it constructive or exasperated, on the state of the Ditmar Awards (or any other Australian award for that matter) without being accused of not doing enough. I know it’s not exactly empirical, but at last count, I’d racked up 19 Ditmar, Aurealis, Tin Duck, and Australian Shadows Award nominations (including 2 Ditmar wins) – in both fan and professional categories – in the last three years (and this doesn’t include the Tin Ducks that will soon be announced). But if you feel I’m not contributing enough to fandom and Australian speculative fiction in general, please feel free to elaborate on exactly what area I’ve let you down in the comments section.

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