Rahul Sharma (Editor)

World Fantasy Special Award—Non professional

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First awarded  1975
Awarded for  The best non-professional work not covered by other World Fantasy Award categories
Presented by  World Fantasy Convention
Currently held by  John O'Neill (for Black Gate)
Official website  worldfantasy.org/awards/

The World Fantasy Awards are given each year by the World Fantasy Convention for the best fantasy fiction and art published in English during the preceding calendar year. The awards have been described by sources such as The Guardian as a "prestigious fantasy prize", and as one of the three most renowned speculative fiction awards, along with the Hugo and Nebula Awards (which cover both fantasy and science fiction). The World Fantasy Special Award—Non-professional is given each year to individuals for their non-professional work in the preceding calendar year in fields related to fantasy that are not covered by other World Fantasy Award categories. These have included editors of magazines and novels, publishers, and authors of non-fiction works. Occasionally some publishing companies have been nominated along with individual editors and publishers. The nomination reasons have sometimes not been specified beyond "contributions to the genre". Individuals are also eligible for the Special Award—Professional category for their professional work. The World Fantasy Special Award—Non-professional has been awarded annually since 1975.

World Fantasy Award nominees and winners are decided by attendees and judges at the annual World Fantasy Convention. A ballot is posted in June for attendees of the current and previous two conferences to determine two of the finalists, and a panel of five judges adds three or more nominees before voting on the overall winner. The panel of judges is typically made up of fantasy authors and is chosen each year by the World Fantasy Awards Administration, which has the power to break ties. The final results are presented at the World Fantasy Convention at the end of October. Through 2015, winners were presented with a statuette of H. P. Lovecraft, but at the 2015 ceremony it was announced that the award would not be made in future years. No reason was given, but many complaints have been made that Lovecraft is an unsuitable symbol in view of his racism. No announcement was made about a replacement award.

During the 42 nomination years, 242 individuals and 3 organizations have been nominated; 48 people and 2 organizations have won, including ties and co-nominees. The organizations that have been nominated are: The British Fantasy Society, with one winning nomination; The Friends of Arthur Machen, with one unsuccessful nomination; and Fedogan & Bremer, with one win out of three nominations. Stuart David Schiff has received the most awards at four wins out of six nominations, for his work at Whispers magazine and Whispers Press. R. B. Russell has won four times out of eight nominations, and Rosalie Parker four out of seven, for their work at Tartarus Press. Three other individuals have won twice: Paul C. Allen out of three nominations for Fantasy Newsletter, Richard Chizmar out of seven for Cemetery Dance and Cemetery Dance Publications, and W. Paul Ganley out of ten for Weirdbook and Weirdbook Press. Ganley's ten nominations are the most of anyone, followed by Stephen Jones with nine, winning once, for Fantasy Tales and other work, and David Sutton with one win out of seven nominations for Fantasy Tales. They are followed by Harry O. Morris with five for his work at Nyctalops, the most nominations without winning.

Winners and nominees

In the following table, the years correspond to the date of the ceremony, rather than when the work was performed. The table includes the stated reason the individual (or company) was nominated, which may not have been the only fantasy-related non-professional work they did during the previous calendar year. "N/A" in the reason column represents a nomination where no reason was given. Entries with a blue background and an asterisk (*) next to the individual's name have won the award; those with a white background are the other nominees on the shortlist.

  *   Winners


World Fantasy Special Award—Non-professional Wikipedia