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Ditmars (Withdrawal Letter)

So, the second Australian Award, The Ditmars, have been released. I've picked up a nomination, but since I decided a while back that I wouldn't be taking part of the Australian Awards for a while, I've sent an email to withdraw the nomination. The email is down below. My plan had been to just withdraw my eligibility in the future on the quiet and not make an issue out of it, but I figure with the nomination I'll just be upfront and take the step out the door here. Anyway, I suppose people are going to have opinions about this, right or wrong, and that's people for you, opinions all through.

Email sent to Conjure Awards people:

To Whom It May Concern--

I am writing to request that my nomination of the 2005 Snapshot in the William Atheling Jnr Award be withdrawn from eligibility. At the current time, due to my public opinions of awards and my issues concerning how they are organised, I believe that it is a double standard to allow my work to be part of these awards. I would greatly appreciate it if my nomination could be removed, thank you.

If, for some reason, my request will not be honoured, I would greatly appreciate it if the nomination was changed to reflect David Carroll's involvement. David has kept the forty three interviews and images upon his website at his own cost in time and money and I believe that he should receive some recognition for this.

Yours,

Ben Peek


Nominations here.

Comments

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simplykathryn
Feb. 27th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
(completely unrelated to your post...)

So you like the CYHSY album?
benpeek
Feb. 27th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
yep. tis cool.
(no subject) - bodhichitta0 - Feb. 27th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Feb. 28th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bodhichitta0 - Feb. 28th, 2006 12:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Feb. 28th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bodhichitta0 - Feb. 28th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Feb. 28th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bodhichitta0 - Feb. 28th, 2006 12:52 am (UTC) - Expand
lonewolf23
Feb. 27th, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
Are you sure you're not Greg Egan? *g*
benpeek
Feb. 27th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
i decided you were right about it being my least controversial thing, so i needed to spice it up some ;)
punkrocker1991
Feb. 27th, 2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
Dear Ben,

Bollocks. Enough people obviously thought this was worthy of nomination and have therefore nominated it. It ain't up to you to knock this off the ballot unless you can demonstrate clearly that the work is ineligible. "I don't want to play" doesn't cut it, my friend.

However, if your piece does get enough votes to win the award, you are well within your rights to refuse to accept it.

Russell
benpeek
Feb. 27th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
i don't know, man. it's an old debate the whole can/should you withdraw and i've always come down on the side that it's my work, and i have the moral right to decide where my work goes, and does not go. it's where i come from on it.

i tend to think the whole allowing the work to stay and then simply not accepting it is a suspect position. you can argue that you get the best of both worlds: the win *and* the removal of yourself. i figure it's just easier to remove myself.
(no subject) - punkrocker1991 - Feb. 27th, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Feb. 27th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Feb. 28th, 2006 07:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Feb. 28th, 2006 10:25 am (UTC) - Expand
girliejones
Feb. 28th, 2006 01:38 am (UTC)
I agree with Russell - by all means refuse the award if you win but I don't think its up to you to decide if it can be nominated - once art is out in the public, its not yours anymore. It's a conversation you don't get to participate in.
benpeek
Feb. 28th, 2006 01:52 am (UTC)
i disagree that my work stops being mine when it is in the public. it is always mine. you cannot remove my authorship from it just because it has been read by some people. that it enters a conversation is fine, and if people wish to talk about it and use it, that is fine, also, but an award is a different thing. it is not a conversation--it is, rather, the reward, the thumbs up, of your peers, and it comes back to you, the author (which in this case is me).

and in relation to myself, i have the right to decide where my work will be placed. put it this way: you wouldn't reprint the work without asking me first, yes? this is because i am the author, the owner, of it. why then is this no longer the case when it comes to giving the work and i an award? am i to give up my rights to decide what can and cannot be done with my work? if so, when and where do this rights begin and end?
(no subject) - girliejones - Feb. 28th, 2006 01:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Feb. 28th, 2006 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ataxi - Feb. 28th, 2006 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Feb. 28th, 2006 08:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Feb. 28th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Feb. 28th, 2006 09:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Feb. 28th, 2006 08:08 am (UTC) - Expand
angriest
Feb. 28th, 2006 02:11 am (UTC)
Ben, you're actually unable to withdraw your work from nomination unless it is ineligible. You can, however, decline to receive the award. This happened in 2000 (Mk2) when Egan refused his Best Novel Ditmar.
benpeek
Feb. 28th, 2006 02:20 am (UTC)
hmm. i knew i should've done something about this earlier. well, fair enough, then.
(no subject) - benpeek - Feb. 28th, 2006 02:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - strangedave - Feb. 28th, 2006 05:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angriest - Mar. 1st, 2006 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
ex_benpayne119
Feb. 28th, 2006 07:54 am (UTC)
Would you allow your work to be reviewed by a newspaper whose organisation you didn't respect?

girliejones
Feb. 28th, 2006 08:54 am (UTC)
Are they communists?
(no subject) - ex_benpayne119 - Feb. 28th, 2006 09:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - girliejones - Feb. 28th, 2006 10:29 am (UTC) - Expand
strangedave
Feb. 28th, 2006 10:51 am (UTC)
BTW I also quite disagree with the request, however well meant, to add David Carroll. The Ditmar is explicitly for an author, asking for the web site host to be added is equivalent to adding the printer of a printed book.

FWIW I provide hosting for Ticonderoga at my own cost in time and money, and I don't think I deserve any recognition for their achievements (though I happily accept the free advertising they give me), and I'm quite happy with it that way.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 28th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)
Awards
I think that Ben can do whatever the fuck he wants re his fiction and a nomination for an award and people should respect his decision to do so even if they disagree with it.

JeffV
(Anonymous)
Mar. 1st, 2006 04:24 am (UTC)
Ditmar (Withdrawal Letter)
I should state up front that I'm a member of the committee discussing the current state of the Ditmars, as the 2007 Natcon representative.

I agree completely with you that you should be able to withdraw your nomination from the Ditmar ballot. If you don't want to be involved in the process then that's your decision. But I was in the minority on the committee and also told my arguments were "bollocks".

I wasn't involved when the previous problems occurred with the Ditmars - as I read it Greg Egan wanted to withdraw his work which prompted all the others in a category to do likewise. So what? If no award had been presented that year I doubt it would have happened two years in a row. But people panicked and now some fans are adamant that works cannot be withdrawn. No-one has yet come up with an argument that convinces me that an author doesn't own their work and can decide what happens to it. Yes, it is in the public forum but that doesn't mean anyone can copy, change, publish or promote it without the author's permission. If you accept that then it follows that awards are the next step. A step that is still under the author's control.

I wonder what people will think when an author wins an award after asking for their nomination to be deleted, then mounts the stage, and delivers a tirade against the award committee. If they thought that a withdrawal would be bad for the award then they are in for a surprise.

Not that I want to put thoughts into your head Ben.

Perry Middlemiss
angriest
Mar. 1st, 2006 07:48 am (UTC)
Re: Ditmar (Withdrawal Letter)
Elaborating on I said above, if an author removes a work from nomination it's unfair on all the other nominees. It automatically - intentionally or not (usually not) - put the withdrawing author up on some pedestal above the rest of the field. You can no longer win the Ditmar for Best Novel, for example - just the "Best Novel that wasn't written by Author X".

In 2000, Greg Egan was nominated for Best Novel for Teranesia (I think), and we informed him that he had been nominated and that he was perfectly free to refuse the award if he won - which he did, very politely as well.

I don't see the problem with this system as it stands. I don't think it tramples on the rights of the author at all - if you don't want the award then you are free to refuse it at the appropriate time.
Re: Ditmar (Withdrawal Letter) - girliejones - Mar. 3rd, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Mar. 1st, 2006 10:47 am (UTC)
Ditmars (Withdrawal Letter)
Angriest wrote (no idea who this is):
Elaborating on I said above, if an author removes a work from nomination it's unfair on all the other nominees. It automatically - intentionally or not (usually not) - put the withdrawing author up on some pedestal above the rest of the field. You can no longer win the Ditmar for Best Novel, for example - just the "Best Novel that wasn't written by Author X".

I reply:
So when an athlete wins the 100 metres in the upcoming Commonwealth Games after a competitor decided to withdraw for personal reasons I'll look out for the announcement that they won the "100 Metres that X didn't run in" event.

Doesn't hold up. If the resultant winner wants to think that then that's their problem. You take what you can get. You sometimes hear sports-people say that their win was cheapened because a certain person wasn't involved. It's rare, but it does happen. I never see them give the award back though.

The author owns the work. What happens to the work is up to the author. End of story.

Perry Middlemiss
benpeek
Mar. 1st, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Ditmars (Withdrawal Letter)
Angriest wrote (no idea who this is):

grant watson.

like you, i'm with the whole what the author wants to do with the work is up to the author. i find this whole idea that i can't rather stupid, actually. it wouldn't surprise me if one day a disgruntled person got up and ripped the shit out of people for it, but, really, that won't be me. i don't go to awards ceremonies.
Re: Ditmars (Withdrawal Letter) - girliejones - Mar. 3rd, 2006 12:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
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