Festival of the Imagination 1996 – April 1995* Newsletter – Awards

In theory, the last of our posts from this particular newsletter. Previous posts can be found by clicking the relevant tags, and having a bit of a hunt.

(*)The actual newsletter says 1996 but this is a “known” typo and therefore the title here has been changed to protect the overworked/underpaid/sleep deprived author.


An important and traditional part of an event such as the Festival of the Imagination is the presentation of awards for recognition of excellence and achievement in various fields. At the 1996 Festival of the Imagination, two sets of awards will be presented.

The Australian Science Fiction “Ditmar” Awards

The idea of a national literary science fiction award was developed during 1968 when a committee of fans and authors, including Ditmar Jensen and Lee Harding, struggled to decide on such matters as the form of the trophy, the rules, and the name. Despairing of ever reaching agreement it was proposed, half in desperation and half in jest, to use Jensen’s name for the award. The rest is history. The awards were first presented in 1969, and have been pressed at each national science fiction convention since then, which will make the 1996 awards the twenty-seventh time the awards have been presented. They recognise fannish and professional endeavours and, like the Hugo Awards, are presented for work published in the year prior to the convention at which they are presented, and are voted upon by the members of that convention.

The Australasian Science Fiction Media Awards

The ASFMAs were originally conceived as a way of giving a form of acknowledgement to those in the media side of fandom, in much the same way that the Ditmar pays tribute to its literary aspects. They were first awarded in 1984 at Medtrek, and are now awarded at the annual National Australasian Science Fiction Media Convention. 1996 will be the first time the ASFMAs (which, at one point in their brief but venerable history were known simply as ‘Robbies’) have been awarded in Western Australia. The awards themselves are made out of glass by Peter Lupinski, and are fashioned to look impressive sitting on a mantelpiece, as well as to be a fairly deadly weapon in close combat.

The Ditmar Awards will be presented in the following categories: The categories for the Australasian Science Fiction Media Awards are:
  • Best Long Fiction
  • Best Short Fiction
  • Best Publication (Periodical)
  • Best Artwork
  • Best Non-professional Writer
  • Bets Non-professional Artist.

In addition, the William Atheling Jnr Award for Criticism will be awarded.

  • Best Fan Writer
  • Best Fan Artist
  • Best Newsletter
  • Best Fan Fiction Zine
  • Best Amateur Audiovisual Production

Eligible entries for the awards will have been published or produced between January 1st and December 31st in 1995, and be the work of Australian (or, in the case of the ASFMAs, Australasian) residents during that period. More details on the criteria for the award categories will be printed in subsequent Newsletters. For more information, or to nominate works for either set of awards, write to the convention address, marking clearly which award you are nominating for. Nominations should be received no later than January 31st 1996.

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