Pulpfest Creates the Rusty Award

Pulpfest, the pulp magazine convention held annually in Columbus, Ohio, has renamed its service award — formerly called the Munsey — in honor of Rusty Hevelin. Hevelin died December 27. Writes Jack Cullers, one of the organizers of Pulpfest:

The Munsey is a prestigious award given each year at PulpFest to the person deemed most worthy by the majority of his or her peers. It recognizes the efforts and ongoing involvement of the recipient in the improvement, elevation, and continuance of keeping the pulps alive and well. As a result of the recent death of one of the organizers and stalwarts of the hobby, PulpFest is announcing that henceforth the award will be called The Rusty Hevelin Service Award, or, in short, the Rusty. Hopefully, this will be accepted as a tribute and memory to a man who was influential in making PulpFest and its predecessors as successful as they are today.

I’m not sure how Rusty would receive this development, though I mean only that I’m not sure. Today’s PulpFest was launched a few years ago after a division among the conrunners who used to put on Pulpcon. Two rival groups announced events for 2009 both named Pulpcon. Litigation resulted in the newer – and now, only surviving – one being renamed PulpFest. Rusty, to my knowledge, had a stronger bond with the people whose attorney prevented the offshoot group from using the Pulpcon name (but whose event did not survive).

However, it’s self-evident that the honoree of a memorial award isn’t around to have an opinion. A better question is what will fans think of renaming the award for Hevelin? My guess is they will be pleased that Rusty’s memory will be honored at an important event in the specialized field which held his interest for a lifetime.

Pulpfest will be held August 9-12 at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

3 thoughts on “Pulpfest Creates the Rusty Award

  1. Yes, but who was poor old Munsey, and what happens to his memory? Will they give him a posthumous Rusty for lifetime acheivement?

  2. Munsey was Frank Munsey, a magazine publisher who lived from 1854-1925. He essentially created the pulp magazine and built a publishing empire that included Munsey’s Magazine and, more famously Argosy (in all its different iterations).

    He also owned several newspapers, including the Washington Times, New York Daily News, NY Herald, NY Sun, NY Globe, Boston Journal, and about eleven more, making him a smaller version of William Randolph Heart.

  3. PulpFest was extremely fortunate to have Rusty attend the 2011 convention when he helped the pulp community celebrate its fortieth annual summer pulp con. Last year, when Rusty first entered the dealers’ room, he was greeted by a standing ovation.

    In 2008-9, Rusty’s concern with PulpFest was that the organizing committee (of which I am a member) was attempting to substantially change Pulpcon, the event that he had run for many years. That was never our intention and Rusty was able to witness that firsthand when he attended PulpFest 2011. Last year, when I said good-by to him, he told me that we had done a good job.

    When Jack Cullers, Barry Traylor, Ed Hulse, and I decided to create PulpFest, it was our hope to build upon the foundation Rusty had nurtured for many years during his tenure as Pulpcon chairperson, and grow the convention, reversing a trend of drastically reduced attendance at the last Pulpcons.

    In 2008, the attendance at the last Pulpcon was announced as 130-135. Attendance at PulpFest 2011 stood at 435, more than triple the last Pulpcon’s attendance.

    PulpFest was created to assure the survival of a summer pulp con.

    For more details on Rusty Hevelin and PulpFest:


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