Call for New World Fantasy Award Design

The World Fantasy Convention has invited artists to submit designs for a new World Fantasy Award that will replace the traditional Lovecraft bust. The new design will not represent any historic or living person.

The Administration has decided that it is time to change the trophy for the World Fantasy Awards. We appreciate Gahan Wilson’s design in use for more than four decades and his contributions to the World Fantasy Convention and the Awards.

Between now and April 2, 2016 the World Fantasy Awards Administration will welcome submissions from artists within the arts community proficient in the three-dimensional form, for a new physical trophy for the World Fantasy Award. The ideal design will represent both fantasy and horror, without bearing any physical resemblance to any person, living or dead.

Interested artists should send inquiries to the WFA administration at: [email protected].

25 thoughts on “Call for New World Fantasy Award Design

  1. Tasha, The World Fantasy Award has always been for horror and fantasy, since it’s inception.

  2. I’m not sure why combine fantasy and horror as the awards are for fantasy only if I’m reading this right

    “All Fantasy is eligible, High fantasy, horror, sword & sorcery, supernatural, children’s and YA books, and beyond.”

    Horror’s included. I would assume they mean supernatural horror (say, DRACULA), which is a subset of fantasy, as opposed to psychological horror (say, PSYCHO), which is not.

    But World Fantasy Con has recognized horror as part of fantasy all along, and the con was (I’m told) founded by horror fans who used the term “fantasy” to separate their favored supernatural horror from gore horror. That’s why Lovecraft was chosen for the award in the first place.

  3. @Ellen & @Kurt Obviously I need my eyes checked. Thanks for correcting me on Horror. Some days one should keep their mouth shut… Or not type on the net as your stupidity is exposed to the world.

  4. I hope this is a case of “they haven’t done this in so long, someone didn’t use their brain and just forgot to mention payment.” But with WF, who knows.

  5. There is so much anger in the art and design world over widespread demands for free submissions of prototypes (reputable businesses pay for proposals), that very little presumption of goodwill remains.

    If no pay is mentioned it is reasonable to presume that there is no pay.

  6. Robert Whitaker Sirignano on November 25, 2015 at 3:51 am said:
    What did Gahan Wilson receive for his efforts?

    What is the relevance to this situation?

  7. @Robert Whitaker Sirignano:

    I would earnestly hope that the practices of fandom in 1975 are not held to be the standard that today’s people must meet.

  8. To put it another way (not knowing the actual history): Just because someone did it for free once doesn’t mean everyone has to do it for free for ever after.

  9. To put it a third way:

    Why on earth wouldn’t the venerable World Fantasy Convention wish to do right by its artists?

    Would it ask potential hosting hotels to offer free samples of their rooms and restaurants? And expect them to cheerfully comply?

    How professional an award is it looking for?

  10. I’m a bit surprised that the WFA didn’t decide on a Kickstarter style campaign to fund the cost of decent compensation for the winning design and, of course, the production of the actual prototype.

  11. Ok, this is going to be complicated, and probably, in part, wrong, as I’ve never been high-level staff running a World Fantasy Con.

    My understanding is that the WFC is a franchise owned by a Board, and that it is, or can be, a for-profit enterprise for the franchisee. The franchisee is suggested, but not required, to pass funds forward to future WFCs. I remember hearing from a WFC concom member a couple of decades ago that they got some pushback from the Board for NOT trying to make a profit, but rather rolling funds into making a better experience for the convention. This may have changed since then; like I said, this was many years ago, and second hand at that.

    I know that organizations who wish to put on a WFC “bid” to the Board for the privilege; I do NOT know if that bid includes money or profit shares, or if it’s just “Here’s our hotel and our operational plans”.

    I don’t know if the Board gets paid anything, or if WFC as an organization actually “has” any money to pay for the design of artwork. I do know that the individual WFCs are required to purchase their own instances of the WFA artwork; I don’t know if they purchase them from the Board or go directly to the company or person who owns or holds the Lovecraft mold.

    I do hope someone who knows (and has information more recent than mumble years ago!) will chime in. It’s understandable (if regrettable) for an organization which is purely non-profit and all-volunteer like a Worldcon to beg artists to supply art designs for a relative pittance; it’s not so understandable for an organization that actually intends to make a profit. And, I repeat, I don’t actually know where WFC stands on that spectrum.

  12. @Peace: Ah, I was referring to producing the actual award each year, hoping the lack of mention of payment info for that was an oversight. Hmm, I don’t see where Worldcon says it pays for entries, and unlike WFA (very light on details), Worldcon says it prefers an actual sample over a drawing – but only mentions payment for producing actual bases for the actual award. Where’s the annual outrage over Worldcon’s contest?

    Really, the WFA page has almost no info, so there’re a lot of assumptions. I hope an interested-but-concerned artist will ask for official, public clarification. They’re practically begging for questions, given the lack of useful info except an e-mail address to get more info.

  13. BTW @Peace: “reputable businesses pay for proposals” – say what now? Do you just mean specifically art-based proposals?

  14. @Kendall:

    I wasn’t happy about the World Con terms either.

    If I protested every example of asking artists for free work on spec I wouldn’t have any time to make art.

  15. Also yes, art and design proposals. I was sloppy with terminology, which I shouldn’t have been.

  16. I have no problem with people working for free to give people stuff for free, asking other people to work for free.

  17. @cally, in the US, the organizations that run WFC are non profits fan groups. We are not required to send pass along funds to other WFC organizations. (I should add, I am the current co-chair of the 2017 WFC and the past co-chair of the 2006 WFC.) I do not recall us getting any funds from previous WFCs. WFC in the us is non-profit and volunteer run. (I can’t speak to how it’s been run outside of the US, and of course, the laws are different.)

    The WFC board does not have any funds of their own, and despite John’s assertion that WFC has assets, that’s not entirely correct. Each organization that runs WFC assumes all financial risk for doing so. The WFC board doesn’t give any money to any group running one, and they do not collect any money. The board has no assets at all. It’s entirely hopeful and possible each group running WFC will have some surplus after all the bills are paid, and such surplus being used to support the programs of that particular 501(c)(3), but there’s also no guarantee, and that can change from year to year.

    You are correct that each convention must pay for production of the award. Currently that means we order them from the producer in NY that has the mold, and if there are any leftovers from previous WFCs, often those can be purchased.

    Whatever form the new award takes, the production cost will be born by the 3 current seated WFCs – Columbus, San Antonio and Baltimore. I can speak for SA and say we don’t have a lot of assets right now, because we’ve only started selling memberships. I doubt Baltimore has much on hand at all. It’s possible a previous WFC, if they have money leftover, will help defray the costs, but that remains to be seen.

    But I also know that the World Fantasy board in no way intended to just soak the artists and get work for free. However, as with the World Con base contest, compensation doesn’t necessarily mean the artist gets a check.

  18. As far as I can see, there is no requirement that individual World Fantasy Conventions be run by or as non-profit organizations. As I recall, at least one past WFC was explicitly run as a profit-making enterprise by the winning bid, with the organizers keeping the profits for themselves.

    Bids to hold the WFC do not include payments of money. It’s not like bidding in an auction, where you offer so much money to purchase stuff. It’s just like bidding for a Worldcon or a Westercon, except that the electorate that makes the decision is much smaller (the Board of the World Fantasy Convention).

    Incidentally, bids for a convention (WFC, Worldcon, Westercon, Eastercon, and other “bidded” conventions) are expected to at their own expense put together proposals for what they expect to do, and the bids not selected aren’t compensated for their time and effort spent creating those proposals.

    The WFC Board is not a corporate entity, as far as I know. That puts it in approximately the same legal status as the World Science Fiction Society: an unincorporated association.

  19. Thank you, Renee and Kevin, for the information! The person I talked to was almost certainly involved in one of the “for profit” WFCs.

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