The British Fantasy Society Forum

British Fantasy Society => BFS Events => Topic started by: jared on September 14, 2012, 09:56:31 am

Title: AGM?
Post by: jared on September 14, 2012, 09:56:31 am
Random question - but does the BFS AGM take place at FantasyCon?
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on September 14, 2012, 10:00:46 am
Yes, usually on Sunday morning.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on September 14, 2012, 10:03:29 am
They've allowed two hours for it this year (10 am to noon), so should be a good one!

(Updated time below.)
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: jared on September 14, 2012, 10:24:16 am
Thanks!
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on September 26, 2012, 07:58:34 pm
Just noticed, thanks to Martin's email out about Shelflings and the AGM, that the AGM this year is now going to start at 9.30am.

Really will be an epic..!
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Allen on September 27, 2012, 10:41:22 am
Can we bring our breakfast in with us?
On recent experience, even with two and a half hours allocated, we will probably still run over time.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on September 27, 2012, 11:22:35 am
Don't get my hopes up, Allen!
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: CarolineC on September 27, 2012, 11:49:18 am
I think you're looking forward to the AGM more than any other part of FCon, aren't you Stephen?  :D

Anyway, for any member who hasn't got the email they sent out yesterday, here's the info copied from that email - and don't forget only BFS members can attend the AGM:

Please note that the Annual General Meeting for the British Fantasy Society is at 9.30am on Sunday September 30th.
 
We will be asking for volunteers to serve on the BFS committee for the next year.
 
Roles to be filled are:
 
Chair
Membership Secretary
BFS Journal Editor
Fiction Editor
Features Editor
Web Administrator
Stockholder
Events Organiser
Treasurer
Publicity
Awards Administrator
 
Remember - the British Fantasy Society is a volunteer organisation, and cannot survive without volunteers. Please consider standing for one of the roles - you'll need someone to nominate you, and someone to second, but that is never usually a problem. If you can't make it to the AGM, please ask someone to nominate you in your absence.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on September 27, 2012, 02:52:34 pm
They're the reason I started going... and I've grown to love them. Great theatre. It's like the Roman senate once they get going. I've really proud of having got two proposals past them.

Martin's email gave me a fright for a moment, making me think the whole committee had resigned en masse, but it seems to be just the usual thing of them stepping down to be reappointed if no one else stands against them. I haven't heard about anyone resigning.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: CarolineC on September 27, 2012, 08:58:11 pm
Martin's email gave me a fright for a moment, making me think the whole committee had resigned en masse, but it seems to be just the usual thing of them stepping down to be reappointed if no one else stands against them. I haven't heard about anyone resigning.

Tee-hee, me too! But, no, I think it's just standard procedure. I haven't heard anything either.  ;)
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on September 27, 2012, 09:45:05 pm
Standard procedure, except for the publication editors and web admin - they're left out of the standing down and re-electing (4.3 of the constitution).

While checking that I noticed under 5.2 that editors of publications are supposed to give a progress report! I thought I'd be free of all that, not being on the committee. I doubt they'll need me to say anything, but I'll write a sentence to sum it up on the train tomorrow just in case....

"Shelflings is your new god!"
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: CarolineC on September 28, 2012, 12:29:08 am
 :D
Enjoy yourself at the AGM, Stephen (and the rest of the weekend)!
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Des Lewis on September 28, 2012, 07:57:04 am
:D
Enjoy yourself at the AGM, Stephen (and the rest of the weekend)!

Seconded. And everybody else at the convention.
des
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on October 01, 2012, 11:24:19 am
Yeah, it was fun!

Minutes were being taken, but in brief:

Marion Pitman offered apologies for getting into a fix with membership management this year, and stood down. Helen Hopley volunteered to replace her.

Lizzie Barrett stood down as publicity officer, no one volunteered to replace her.

Sarah Ann Watts stood down as awards admin, I returned to the post.

The BFS is planning to publish two invite-only hardback anthologies of fiction exclusively for members over the next year, one horror edited by Johnny Mains, one fantasy by Juliet McKenna. Authors will be paid a flat, nominal fee, no royalties.

No accounts were ready, and the treasurer wasn't present. There had been problems accessing the BFS bank account. A short EGM will be held at the next open night to present the accounts, which are also intended to appear in the December journal. The special publications bank account still exists, but has a zero balance.

FantasyCon 2011 made a good profit, half of which as agreed came to the BFS and has been paid into the FantasyCon account, which is looking very healthy in readiness for FantasyCon 2014.

80 entries in the BFS short story competition this year. Allen agreed to run it again next year.

The BFS Journal would have been out last week but was held up by a query over a low res image. The journal is now being sent out directly to members by the printers, and the additional costs of that were said to be minimal. (And the time savings for committee members considerable.) Submission guidelines for the journal would be going up within a week or so.

No FantasyCon next year, but the BFS Awards will be presented at World Fantasy Con.

We currently have 372 paying members, which was said to be an increase in membership because the figure of 450 given at the EGM last year included freebies.

The best novel category at the awards was split into two entirely separate categories for best horror and best fantasy, following Ramsey Campbell's proposal.

Allen Ashley proposed that an eligibility list be provided for members, but decided not to put it to the vote yet while we chat about the practicalities of it.

There were other interesting ideas and discussions, but these are the things I noted down.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: desktopdespot on October 01, 2012, 11:59:46 am
Thanks Stephen -- this was really helpful as I only stayed for the first 30 minutes before ducking out to attend the 10am panel. (I was the newbie sticking his hand up to offer some feedback -- hope I didn't come across as a whinger, but felt that in the spirit of sincere feedback I might be able to offer some constructive comments)

Delighted to have joined the BFS . . . looking for ways to be a little more involved. Any thoughts folks?
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: CarolineC on October 01, 2012, 12:17:16 pm
Interesting stuff, Stephen - thanks for that.  :)

. . . looking for ways to be a little more involved. Any thoughts folks?

Well, Mr Despot, I believe that Phil Lunt, the News Editor (which I used to be, but not any more), will be looking for people to help out with website content, news editing, events, that kind of thing. I'm sticking around to help out here, but I think he'll be looking for other people too. That might be something you'd like to get involved with?
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Peter Coleborn on October 01, 2012, 12:24:31 pm

The best novel category at the awards was split into two entirely separate categories for best horror and best fantasy, following Ramsey Campbell's proposal.


Note quite. It was agreed to create two separate shortlists -- the two categories already exist.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on October 01, 2012, 12:34:39 pm
No, Peter - there were previously two awards made out of one category:

"In the category of Best Novel there shall be one award for Best Fantasy Novel and one award for Best Horror Novel."

Now there are two categories.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: David A. Riley on October 01, 2012, 01:30:57 pm
"No accounts were ready, and the treasurer wasn't present. There had been problems accessing the BFS bank account. A short EGM will be held at the next open night to present the accounts, which are also intended to appear in the December journal. The special publications bank account still exists, but has a zero balance."

Well I did volunteer for the post earlier this year when the current treasurer temporarily stepped down, only to retract her resignation later and decide to stay on.

That offer is still there if the treasurer does decide to relinquish the post. I have had over 40 years of experience in finance and am currently the accounts manager for a firm of solicitors. As always, I am ready to help the BFS in any way I can.

Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Peter Coleborn on October 01, 2012, 01:47:00 pm
No, Peter - there were previously two awards made out of one category:

"In the category of Best Novel there shall be one award for Best Fantasy Novel and one award for Best Horror Novel."

Now there are two categories.

Then why didn't you challenge Ramsey when he distinguished category from shortlist?
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on October 01, 2012, 02:21:08 pm
Then why didn't you challenge Ramsey when he distinguished category from shortlist?

I think I did, but there was a bit of a clamour at that point. It's not as if it makes a difference: he was slightly wrong about the current rules, but that doesn't affect what the rule actually was, and it's clear what he proposed as the new rule.

The proposal on the agenda had it right: "To expand the current Best Novel awards category (from which 2 winners are chosen) to two separate categories - one for Horror, one for Fantasy".
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on October 01, 2012, 05:15:47 pm
I was just reading the current awards constitution, and a bit of a problem has come up. I hadn't realised there was now such a wide-ranging rule against the awards admin's involvement with nominees:

Quote
The Awards Administrator may not be associated (either by writing, publishing or editing) with work nominated in any category.

So that means, now I'm awards admin, Interzone, Black Static and TTA Press are all ineligible for next year's awards. And any magazine, anthology or small press that ever publishes my writing will also automatically become ineligible. That'll look good on submission letters...
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on October 01, 2012, 06:27:55 pm
I've emailed Lee to ask for advice. Maybe I could propose an amendment to make it "significantly involved with" instead of "associated", or something like that, so I won't panic just yet. Quitting after one day would be a record even for me...
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Phillip Spencer on October 01, 2012, 06:56:55 pm
... now I'm awards admin, Interzone, Black Static and TTA Press are all ineligible for next year's awards. And any magazine, anthology or small press that ever publishes my writing will also automatically become ineligible. That'll look good on submission letters...
Stephen,
My (admittedly non-expert) view on this is that for magazines like Interzone, it would depend on the extent of your editorial involvement. For other magazines where you are not editorially involved I would see it that your own stories would be ineligible for an award but other stories would not be. If you had just one story in an anthology you did not edit it would be unreasonable to exclude the anthology or other stories from being nominated.
Just my two-pennies-worth. I'm just pleased you stepped into the role yesterday.
Cheers
Phillip
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: @mangozoid on October 04, 2012, 10:59:17 am

There were other interesting ideas and discussions, but these are the things I noted down.

Indeed, an excellent summary, although I'd like to add that there was some discussion about supporting new writers either with their own publication (New Voices?) or through articles, essays, masterclasses, lectures, etc. from respected authors like Ramsey Campbell, etc. at future events and/or standalone locales. The general suggestion was that the BFS is relatively flush, and authors could be paid for this kind of stuff at a reasonable rate?

I took up the point afterwards in conversation with Graham Joyce, Sarah Pinborough, and Joe Abercrombie, and both the latter were happy to do masterclasses for a reasonable fee (the former creative writing, the latter dancing classes... lol) -- And I should add that I supported Graham Joyce's view that BFS members shouldn't have to pay for this kind of thing if they've already paid a membership fee, whereas non-BFS members would probably be willing to pay a reasonable fee to listen to 'famous authors' talk about writing/teaching/process. There was also a valid point made that this sort of thing deserves larger audiences than the nominal 10-12 people that were allowed to register for individual masterclasses this year -- My own opinion? Give them a room of 60-80 people to preach to (all pre-registered), and you will have yourself some very special lectures indeed (which could, feasibly, be transcribed/published at a later date as part of a potential series of advisory podcasts/workbooks).

Alex (Twitter: @mangozoid)
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: CarolineC on October 04, 2012, 11:22:32 am
Brilliant idea, Alex. I hope they move forward with something like this.  :)
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on October 04, 2012, 11:40:41 am
Phillip - I think that may well be what was intended, but I have to go by what's written in the rules... I've left it with Lee and we'll see what happens. There's going to be an EGM at the Xmas open night so a change could be proposed there. If it comes down to it I'd have to choose Interzone over the BFS job, just because of the unfairness to them, but I hope it won't come to that.

Alex - there's an excellent venue in the centre of Birmingham which would be perfect for that kind of talk, The Priory Rooms (http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/). I'm not sure of costs but small presses like Nine Arches Press hold readings and launches there, so presumably it's not outrageously expensive.

With regard to the New Voices idea, it sounded to me like the kind of project that would be perfect as a BFS ebook or member-led project. As people said, the journal is open to members and new writers, but there's a good argument for having a publication that is *only* open to submissions from members. Like anything with the BFS, I'm sure it could happen if someone cares enough to make it happen.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on October 04, 2012, 11:54:20 am
Having had another read of them, the new awards rules say changes can *only* be made at an AGM, so changing them at an EGM isn't an option...
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: @mangozoid on October 04, 2012, 01:04:46 pm

Alex - there's an excellent venue in the centre of Birmingham which would be perfect for that kind of talk, The Priory Rooms (http://www.theprioryrooms.co.uk/). I'm not sure of costs but small presses like Nine Arches Press hold readings and launches there, so presumably it's not outrageously expensive.

With regard to the New Voices idea, it sounded to me like the kind of project that would be perfect as a BFS ebook or member-led project. As people said, the journal is open to members and new writers, but there's a good argument for having a publication that is *only* open to submissions from members. Like anything with the BFS, I'm sure it could happen if someone cares enough to make it happen.

Thank you Stephen, alas I am currently committed to redesigning and repackaging the BSFA's Forum magazine for writers, and along with doing BFS book reviews and my own writing efforts, so I don't think I'd be the best man to take up this idea, although it'd be nice to see it reaching a wider audience (via the BFS Journal for example) in the hopes that somebody would take up the baton. I will support them as much as possible, and probably be willing to do the layout, etc. if it came to compiling something of this sort.

I do believe there is potential in the idea of a New Voices BFS publication, open exclusively to BFS Members who haven't been published before, but I do have to say that the quality may be suspect, and bottom-line: "If it's good enough for a New Voices anthology, why isn't it good enough for a spot in the BFS Journal?" would seem to be a valid argument for the naysayers...

Alex Bardy (Twitter: @mangozoid)
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: @mangozoid on October 04, 2012, 01:05:27 pm
You will note that I have managed to change my forum name to @mangozoid, this works very well for me... lol... ;-)
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Wayne Mook on November 05, 2012, 12:30:26 am
Crikey I miss my first AGM in ages and it seems to have been a busy one.

I seem to remember in the past things have been changed at EGMs anf then ratified at the AGM.

I hope your able to stay on board Stephen.

Wayne.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on November 05, 2012, 08:31:25 am
I hope so too! I love the job and was very disappointed to have to step down last time. What I might do is ask for a question to be put to the EGM (or if that's not practical, the BFS committee) along the lines of, is Stephen applying this rule too strictly?

If the answer's yes, stop being an idiot, this isn't what we wanted! we can put Interzone, Black Static and TTA Press back in the running and carry on without a change to the rule being needed (although I would propose a formal change at the AGM to tidy things up).

If it's no, this is what we wanted, no conflict of interest is allowed! the BFS would know this is the rule they have to work with. No one's said that to me so far, but I remember that when the rule was introduced people were going so far as to suggest the job be done by accountants.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Allen on November 05, 2012, 01:55:22 pm
Stephen, you know my feelings on this but I’ll reiterate them on the public boards:
We need to apply a level of common sense regarding the Awards Administrator’s connections with titles nominated for awards. Off the top of my head, here’s a few pointers:
If the Awards Administrator has written some reviews, a story, a poem, an article or illustrated an eligible title, the title should still be eligible.
If the Awards Administrator has reviewed a title – on a website, in print, etc – either favourably or unfavourably, the title should still be eligible.
The Awards Administrator will accept that all their individual work – stories, illustrations, poems, non-fiction, editorial work, etc – will be ineligible for a British Fantasy Award.
If the Awards Administrator has published a complete title with a small press publisher – e.g. a book as author, co-author or editor – that publisher should be ineligible for the “Best Small Press” award for that given year.

I hope these are helpful… and provoke some further discussion, which is always useful.

Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Peter Coleborn on November 05, 2012, 04:16:26 pm
Seems sensible to me, Allen
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on November 05, 2012, 05:03:43 pm
Yeah, that's pretty much what I think the rule should be too. But can the current rule be read in that way?

I'll be happy to take a sensible view on things in other places where the rules are a bit sketchy. The problematic factor here is my own self-interest...

Would love to hear further views on this matter.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: CarolineC on November 05, 2012, 06:26:07 pm
What have the committee said about it, Stephen? Surely they will be the best ones to guide you on how the rules should be interpreted.
Title: Re: AGM?
Post by: Rolnikov on November 05, 2012, 07:11:29 pm
I am talking to Lee, but it's about what action to take, if any, rather than how the rule should be read... That bit is pretty clear, when you read it, without very much room for interpretation.

What I'm interested in here is whether the current rule is what members want the rule to be, whether this is how they expected it to work, whether this is an unintended consequence.