December 2, 2014 by phicks2012
As I’ve mentioned previously in my BLOG, I’ve been participating with The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) since 1988, and I’ve been the Chronicler for my SCA Shire from day one. I’ve been producing a monthly newsletter “The Equinox” for twenty-five years (starting with July 1989) and have always enjoyed it. That’s why I’ve gone on publishing the newsletter (which for years has averaged between 32-44 pages), and why I’ve allowed my Shire to get away with saying things like “You don’t understand. You have this job for LIFE!”
Just doing a good job, and entertaining and informing the readers has always been enough of a reward — that and taking a certain amount of egotistic pride in my longevity in office and being able to have fun with the April Fool’s Issue — but in the year 2000, with the start of the new century, the SCA decided to create Society-wide (meaning world-wide) publishing awards called The William Blackfox Awards in honor of a very special individual who had sadly passed away.
There were categories for:
Best Overall Newsletter – this does not necessarily mean the best-looking newsletter, but rather the newsletter which best meets the needs of the local group or guild for which it is published. It should accurately reflect the status of the group and be a valuable tool for growth and promotion of the SCA goals and ideals. This title is awarded to the newsletter and the Chronicler.
Best Layout and Design – for the best looking newsletter in balance and style. Awarded to the newsletter and the Chronicler.
Best Artwork – for artwork on cover or interior of the newsletter. Awarded to the newsletter and the artist.
Best Special Edition – for Arts & Sciences issues, or other limited-focus issues of a geographic group (Canton, Shire, Barony, etc.). Awarded to the newsletter and the Chronicler.
Best Special Interest Newsletter – this category recognizes guild newsletters, research newsletters, and Arts & Science focus newsletters (such as lace-making). Awarded to the newsletter and the Chronicler.
Best Regular Feature – for those cartoons, articles, columns, etc. which appear regularly in the particular newsletter. Awarded to the creator or feature writer and the newsletter.
Best Article – recognizes excellence in articles appearing in a local newsletter. Awarded to the writer and the newsletter.
Best Poetry or Short Fiction – recognizes the author of an outstanding poem or piece of short fiction. Awarded to the writer and the newsletter.
In 2007 the award was extended to recognize SCA Websites.
In the year 2000, the first year of presentation, the William Blackfox Award for ‘Best Special Interest Newsletter’ went to “Penfeathers”, a newsletter for the Children of our Kingdom of Meridies, which I published but which was envisioned, and inspired, and mostly created by my Protege (now a Companion of the Pelican) Mistress Molli Rose Kekilpenny. She received the award, as did the newsletter, and I was very pleased and proud of her efforts.
“The Eqinox”, by contrast, was nominated every year (when the Meridian Kingdom Chronicler actually sent in nominations — there were a few times when this didn’t happen) in one or more categories, but never quite won, and I always hoped that eventually it also might earn recognition.
Then, in 2012, much to my surprise, I was presented with my own William Blackfox Award for “Special Achievement”. This isn’t a regular category, obviously, but they apparently figured it wouldn’t hurt to recognize sheer persistence and perserverence, and I found that very moving and gratifying. However, I did continue to hope that one day our Newsletter itself might finally win one of these awards.
Then, the other day, one of my housemates was reading the Meridian Kingdom Newsletter (Popular Chivalry) and turned to me asking if I knew that “The Equinox” (and also myself as Chronicler and Artist) had won the most recent William Blackfox Award for “Best Regular Feature”. The answer was “No, I didn’t know”, but it brought me a lot of pleasure. The winning feature was my ongoing comic Strip “Shire! Shire!” and I was finally going to be able to say that the newsletter itself was a Blackfox Award winner!!!
So it delights me to announce that “The Equinox”, the monthly newsletter for the SCA Shire of Sol Haven, is the winner of the A.S. XLVIII William Blackfox Award for “Best Regular Feature” (the “Shire! Shire!” comic strip), and also gained Honorable Mention for “Best Overall Newsletter”.
Am I allowed to be proud?