News:Last week for Ursa Major 2006 nominations
February 21, 2007
The Ursa Major Awards, furry fandom's closest equivalent to the Hugos, are entering their final week of nominations. All members of the fandom may participate by suggesting their favourite works. Voting starts on March 10.
The objective of the Awards is to find the year's best anthropomorphic material and promote it to the fandom. Nominations are taken in several categories: comic book, comic strip, published illustration, motion picture, dramatic series, novel, short fiction piece, fanzine, and other literary works. Winners typically receive a certificate, although an engraved plaque was awarded in 2002.
The 2005 awards were presented at Rocket City FurMeet last May. Winners included The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, There She Is!! Step 2, Volle, "In His Own Country", Tales of the Questor, Usagi Yojimbo, Faux Pas, South Fur Lands and Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, as well as an illustration by Stephanie Stone. 
The Awards also maintains a Recommended Reading List, listing reader suggestions made throughout the year. Inclusion on the list does not imply nomination for the year's Awards.
Originally run by the The ConFurence Group, the Awards were transferred to the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association in 2003. In recent months, the ALAA has attempted to diversify by soliciting representatives from each furry convention to serve on its board. To date, Anthrocon, Califur, Midwest FurFest and Morphicon have taken them up on their offer.
The Awards have been criticized in the past for potential conflicts of interests - Fred Patten, Bernard Doove and Gene Breshears have all won awards while on the Awards Committee - and for a lack of notability or prominence among furry fans.
|Arguing over who won the Ursa Major this year, what does it matter if nobody knows about it? I was last year's winner and still, nobody had heard of me. People were impressed when I showed off my award, but they had never heard of it before.|
Supporters contend that Committee members win because they produce some of the fandom's best work, and cite restricted finances, fandom apathy, and the awards' youth as limiting factors.
- Ursa Major Awards - 2005 Winners
- Criticism of Ursa Major Awards, Flayrah and Ursa Major Award Nominees are chosen, and it's not a good sign, alt.fan.furry - Lizardman et. al. (April 3, 2004)
- Some General Thoughts, Charles Matthias, Furry-Nebula (July 7, 2006)
- Apathy, disinterest, or procrastination? - Bernard Doove, alt.fan.furry (March 12, 2004)