Ursa Major Awards

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Ursa Major Awards logo by Foxenawolf

The Annual Anthropomorphic Literature & Arts Awards, primarily advertised/better known as the Ursa Major Awards, are intended to be the furry fandom award for outstanding achievement in anthropomorphic and furry arts, equivalent to the science fiction fandom's Hugo Awards.

History[edit]

The awards were first presented in 2001 at ConFurence 12. Due to the early misconception that the awards were intended for the ConFurence alone (as with its spiritual successor, the Golden Sydney Award), in 2003 it was decided that the awards would be presented at as many furry conventions as possible.

To that end, the UMA's were presented at C-ACE in 2004, at Anthrocon 2005, at Rocket City FurMeet 2006, at Califur in 2007, at Morphicon in 2008, at All Fur Fun 2009, and at FA: United 3 in 2010. Since then, the awards have cycled between past hosts, in part due to schedule restrictions.

In 2020 the awards were presented online[1] for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]

The UMA's were originally administered by The ConFurence Group. In 2003, the administration was passed to the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), which expanded to include representatives from many popular conventions throughout 2007.

The UMA trophy consists of a framed certificate containing an illustration of the award logo designed by Heather Bruton, with the name of the winner. A plaque has also been awarded on occasion.

In 2012 the ALAA's Choice Award was introduced to recognize any "outstanding anthropomorphic work". While not considered an Ursa Major Award, as it is voted directly by ALAA members, it is presented concurrently with them.

Nomination process[edit]

At the beginning of each year, nominations for each category are solicited for works published/released in the previous year and may be made either electronically via the website or email, or by postal mail. Those who wish to vote for the awards must register at this time and receive their ballot number.

At the end of the nominating period, the submissions are tabulated and the works receiving the highest number of submissions (usually the top 5, though ties or the like may mandate a few more or less) become the nominees for the year's awards. Registered voters may then vote. Any person, furry or not, who wishes may register to vote for them - it is meant as a fandom-wide award, also open to non-furs interested in the subculture.

Categories[edit]

Ursa Major Awards (image by Heather Bruton)

The Ursa Major Award categories have changed and evolved somewhat since their inception. Since the year 2005, the categories include:

  • Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work (merged with Series until 2020)
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Series (merged with Short Work until 2020)
  • Best Anthropomorphic Novel
  • Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction
  • Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book
  • Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip
  • Best Anthropomorphic Fanzine
  • Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration
  • Best Anthropomorphic Game
  • Best Anthropomorphic Miscellany (since 2006)
  • Best Website (since 2011)
  • Best Anthropomorphic Non Fiction Work (since 2016)
  • Best Anthropomorphic Music (since 2022)

New categories such as fursuits (also covered by the Fandom's Favorite Fursuit Fracas) and websites are occasionally considered.[3]

The "Best Anthropomorphic Music" category for 2023 was removed from its 2024 ceremony due to American musician Cassidy Civet having double nominations for both Cruel Oasis (album) and Hullabaloo (single) on it,[citation needed] as well as the category itself being "irreparably compromised" due to, according to the UMA:

   
Ursa Major Awards
(The) relentless infighting and refusal to allow impartial and unbiased management of the nominations and voting.[clarify][4]
   
Ursa Major Awards

Eligibility[edit]

From the UMA website: ((q|To be eligible, a work must have been released between January 1 and December 31 of the calendar year for that award and must include a non-human being given human attributes (anthropomorphic), which can be mental and/or physical (for example the intelligent rabbits in Watership Down for the former, and Bugs Bunny for the latter.) Simply including an animal character is not sufficient to qualify.}} Starting in 2009 further restrictions were set in place that nominations cannot be:

   
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(O)bscene, libelous, or otherwise detrimental to the integrity and good standing of the Ursa Major Awards and the anthropomorphics fandom.
   
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This definition includes

   
Ursa Major Awards
(W)orks of a predominantly sexual nature, or which include explicit sexual situations involving characters which may be underage or non-anthropomorphic animals.
   
Ursa Major Awards

This was perceived as being in response to the 2008s nomination of two controversial works, Softpaw Magazine #3-4, and its spinoff, Finding Avalon, for "Best Magazine" and "Best Comic Book", which are considered to be cub porn.[citation needed]

Ursa Major Award winners[edit]

Main article: Ursa Major Awards winners

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. "The results of the Ursa Major Award voting are now live!" Twitter. Dated May 23, 2020. Retrieved May 23, 2020
  2. "Due to the current COVID-19 crisis..." Twitter. Dated March 28, 2020. Retrieved May 23, 2020
  3. Contribution for Apa L, 2239nd Distribution - Fred Patten (10 April 2008)
  4. Because the Music category has been irreparably compromised(..." post on the Ursa Major Awards' X account. Retrieved March 6, 2024.

External links[edit]


Awards
Ongoing
ALAA Hall of Fame  · Cóyotl Awards  · Good Furry Award  · Ursa Major Awards
Defunct
Suggested