Correction: Elinor Busby Was the First Woman To Win A Hugo

Elinor Busby. Photo by Earl Kemp, Corflu, Las Vegas, April 2008.

Elinor Busby made history as the first woman Hugo winner when Cry of the Nameless, which she co-edited, topped the Best Fanzine category in 1960.

  • Cry of the Nameless ed. by F. M. Busby, Elinor Busby, Burnett Toskey and Wally Weber

I’ve corrected my obituary for Pat Lupoff to reflect that she was second, as co-editor of the Best Amateur Magazine winner in 1963. (The category title varied as the rules changed in the early years of the Hugo.)

  • Xero ed. by Richard A. Lupoff and Pat Lupoff

Evidently this wasn’t the first time I’ve made this mistake either – see the note at the end of “Dark Carnival, a Science Fiction Landmark” from 2013.

Four women won fan Hugos – all in the Best Fanzine / Amateur Magazine category – before a woman won in any other category.

The third woman to win was Juanita Coulson, in 1965, co-editor of the fanzine Yandro.

  • Yandro ed. by Robert Coulson and Juanita Coulson

The fourth woman was Felice Rolfe, in 1967, co-editor of the fanzine Niekas.

  • Niekas ed. by Edmund R. Meskys and Felice Rolfe

The first woman to win a Hugo in a fiction category was Anne McCaffrey, whose Weyr Search tied with Philip Jose Farmer’s Riders of the Purple Wage for Best Novella in 1968.

5 thoughts on “Correction: Elinor Busby Was the First Woman To Win A Hugo

  1. And the first woman to win a Hugo that wasn’t shared with a man was Ursula K Le Guin for The Left Hand of Darkness.

  2. Mike Scott: Anne McCaffrey’s Hugo wasn’t shared with a man.

    Being tied for the win is not the same as being a collaborator on a work.

  3. Thanks for the correction, Mike. We in Seattle are proud of Elinor, and happy to have celebrated her 94th birthday with her only weeks ago.

  4. I hope that Elinor is still with us. She was very close friends with my mother, I just came across a letter from her dated 2002 (the year my mom passed)
    I would love to send her a card.

  5. Can someone put me in touch with Elinor? Does she still live in Seattle? I remember staying at their home when I was a child.
    Love to talk to her about my mom.
    My email is

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