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Ursa's Major Issue - Confident self-promotion vs humble passionate skill, and a voting system's favoritism

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UrsaVoting.jpgUrsa, we may have a problem. Or at least so it may seem. Over the past few years the number of people voting in the furry fandom’s popular choice awards appears to be dwindling once again, despite continual growth and booming attendance at our conventions - COVID aside - revealing the growing audience and community beneath this stagnation.

But if less people in proportion are voting, is there a reason for this? One option may be that the system may be lead to some strange victors based on popularity of a franchise or personality rather than other considerations. But is this just a coincidence or could it be how the system was inadvertently crafted?

This article’s goal is to highlight why the current system is so sensitive to favoring artists who self-promote or whose fans rally on their behalf, at the expense of voters that weigh more toward judging the quality of the pieces nominated without authorship considerations. It will then propose a small change to make it more fair to both types of voters and creators, without stifling out those who show up with a passion for their artist.

Be wary, this gets long and technical. But if you’re reading this up to this point, I’m sure you knew that’s what you were in for.

Good Furry Awards Live Presentation at BLFC

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The 4th Annual Good Furry Awards will be presented live for the first time on June 3 at Reno's Biggest Little Fur Con. The first three years of the awards were all done online, but the administrator of the awards, Grubbs Grizzly, felt it would be fun to do a live show this year.

The brief ceremony will be in the Ruby Room at 5pm on Friday night at the con. It will also be broadcast live on the Bearly Furcasting podcast.

This year there will also be a new Lifetime Achievement Award! This special award is selected by Uncle Bear Publishing and is in addition to our regular awards.

You can learn more by visiting the Ask Papabear website at https://www.askpapabear.com/

'Shine', 'Awoo!' take 2021 Ursa Major Awards by landslides; K. Garrison wins three

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The results of the 2021 Ursa Major Awards were announced this Sunday, with motivated fan-bases driving decisive voting in certain categories, while others were finely balanced.

Littlefur/adult baby slice-of-life comic Shine by UK artist Star ran off with Best Graphic Story; coming second was a remake of Found, another of her works under the name Toddlergirl. Both had seen strong support in last years' Ursa Major Awards.

'Awoo!: Volume 1' Likewise, AC Stuart's Awoo!: Volume 1 (on Amazon) stormed the opposition for Best Other Literary Work, with four more first-preference votes than the other four nominees put together.

Netting twice the points of the next nominee for Dramatic Short Work was Frank Behring's "Nobody Does It Better", derived from Best Comic Strip Carry On. Artist Kathy Kellogg (KD Nightstar) also took Best Published Illustration for "A World of Our Own" — beating all other nominees by 50%.

Every winner of the Best Animated Feature Oscar, ranked

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WhoAreYouWearing.jpgThough it’s the baby of Oscar categories, the Best Animated Feature Academy Award will turn 21 this Sunday, meaning it would be old enough to drink alcohol in America, if it could actually do that. Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Raya and the Last Dragon will compete to become the next recipient of the award.

First introduced in 2001, Best Animated Feature is the only “new” category to be introduced this century so far. Like many new categories, a few animated features had earned "Special Achievement" Oscars, starting with the original American made animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with another going to 1997’s Toy Story, as well as one to the live action/animated hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Other movie awards followed the Oscars, adding their own animated categories, though the Annies, which are for animation, had obviously been awarding Best Feature for a few years.

Since 2001, 20 movies have won the award, which is a nice round number for doing a countdown, worst to best. The following ranking is based on my opinions, and my opinions only. But, even if you think my rankings are horrible, no good, absolutely wrong, well, I’ve also included a lot of factoids and trivia, so that might be worth reading. Also, not all of the winners have been particularly furry, but most have something of interest to furries going on in them.

Voting is open for the 2021 Ursa Major Awards

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The Ursa Major Awards logo.The vote for the 2021 Ursa Major Awards is happening this month! Send them your e-mail address, and you can vote for any of the nominations in 14 categories. Voting closes on Thursday, March 31.

Links to the content in question are provided, some may be for mature audiences. Ursa's Twitter Feed also provides a summary of each of the nominees for the categories.

Spread the word - Please re-post this announcement if you're on an active furry message forum or social media site!

This year's nominees are...

Ursa Major Awards open for 2021 Nominations

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Ursa Majors Awards The annual Ursa Major Awards have opened for nominations for the best furry content for the 2021. You may enter your nominations here. The categories up for nomination this year are listed below. Be sure to get your entries in before February 12th.

  • Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Series
  • Best Anthropomorphic Novel
  • Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction
  • Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story
  • Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip
  • Best Anthropomorphic Magazine
  • Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration
  • Best Anthropomorphic Game
  • Best Anthropomorphic Website
  • Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit)

A large list of recommended items from each of these categories can be found here if you are looking for examples of work within each category. You may select content that is not listed on this recommended list as long as it was published or created in 2021. You may also only nominate work for categories you are familiar with and leave the rest without entries.

Annie Award Nominations for 2021

ASIFA-Hollywood just announced the nominations for the 2021 Annie Awards — known far and wide as “the Oscars of animation”. As has increasingly been the case the last few years, more and more anthropomorphic stuff has made its way to the top of the animation list! And 2021 was no exception. No less than three anthro films are up for Best Animated Feature, including Raya and the Last Dragon, Luca, and the recently released Sing 2. In fact Raya is one of the most honored films of the year, with nominations in Character Animation, Character Design, Effects Animation, Voice Acting, Music, Production Design, Storyboarding, Writing, and Editing also (whew!). Luca is not far behind, with nominations in Character Animation, Character Design, Music, Voice Acting, Writing, Editing, and Directing. Vivo has five nominations in various categories, while Wish Dragon and Spirit Untamed have one each (for Character Animation and Storyboarding, respectively). Over in the TV and Streaming categories, it’s more of a mixed bag. Best TV Show For Preschool includes Odo, Stillwater, and Muppet Babies (which is also up for Writing). Amphibia is up for Best TV Show For Children (as well as for Directing and Editing), while Tuca and Bertie is nominated for Best General Audience TV Show (and also for Writing). Arlo the Alligator Boy scored noms for Production Design, Voice Acting, and Editing, and Centaur World has one nomination for Voice Acting. In Sponsored Production (the new way of saying Best Commercial) there’s Featherweight (the music video by Fleet Foxes) and Tiptoe and the Flying Machine (from Macy’s).

2020 Leo Awards winners announced

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The 2020 Leo Awards winners have been announced by Furry Book Review! (Their URL recently changed from furrybookreview.wixsite.com/blog to leoliteraryawards.wixsite.com/blog . This link, and many of the ones below, contain mature content.)

These literary awards are determined by a group of judges who can vote for multiple titles in each category, so it's possible for several works in each category to win.

The winner(s) and nominees are...

2020 Cóyotl Awards winners announced

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The Coyotl Awards logo.The Cóyotl Awards are awarded annually by the Furry Writers' Guild to recognize excellence in anthropomorphic literature. This year there's a new award category! "Other Work", for things that exemplify the best in furry writing in a way that doesn't fit into the other categories.

The winners and nominees for 2020, who were announced on May 8 on Twitch, are...

Winners of the 2020 Ursa Major Awards

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The Ursa Major Awards logo.The winners of the 2020 Ursa Major Awards have been announced on YouTube!

Nominations for the best work involving anthropomorphic animals in 2020 were taken this February, and the top five in each of fourteen categories were voted on during March.

This year's winners are…

Voting open for the 2021 Good Furry Award

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Good Furry Award logo Voting is open for the 2021 Good Furry Award! Now in its third year, the award is our appreciation of the fans who show our fandom's community spirit. Last year's winner was Ash Coyote, and the 2019 prize went to the late Tony "Dogbomb" Barrett.

This year, over thirty furries have been nominated by their peers. Voting will continue through the end of May, and the winners (one first prize, and three honorable mentions) will be announced in June by Grubbs Grizzly on his "Ask Papabear" advice column website.

The winner will receive a handsome trophy, as well as $500. To cast your vote, go to https://www.askpapabear.com/2021-voting.html. If you're not familiar with some of the nominees, scroll down the page to find a description of who they are!

Voting opens for the 2020 Ursa Major Awards

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The Ursa Major Awards logo. The 2020 Ursa Major Awards vote is ready to go! Send them your e-mail address, and you can vote for any of the nominations in 14 categories. (Last year's "Dramatic Series or Short Work" has been split into two separate categories.) Voting closes on Wednesday, March 31.

Please re-post this announcement if you're on an active furry message forum or social media site!

This year's nominees are... [Update (2 May): the winners have been announced!]

AlectorFencer wins Rudolph Dirks Award for her comic 'Haunter of Dreams'

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AlectorFencer (Claudya Schmidt) was recently awarded the Best Artist prize for Artwork in the 2020 Rudolph Dirks Award, named after German-American cartoonist Rudolph Dirks, for her comic Haunter of Dreams.

Haunter of Dreams - released at Eurofurence 25, where she was Guest of Honour - is just one of several comics and illustrations set in the world of Yria which have earned AlectorFencer honours. She received a Rudolph Dirks Award in 2018 for her work on MYRE - Chronicles of Yria Volume 1. Earlier this year, she won a silver Spectrum Award in the comic category for her illustration Flora, depicting a mythical being from Yria.

Winners of the 2019 Ursa Major Awards!

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Ursa Majors Awards.jpgThe Ursa Majors have announced their winners for 2019, celebrating excellence in the furry arts! Due to Covid-19, there was no formal ceremony at a furry convention this year; instead the results were announced on May 23, 2020 in a YouTube video.

Determined by popular vote, two categories were excluded this year due to not getting enough nominations (Fursuits and Non-Fiction).

The winners and runners-up are...

Winners of the 2019 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards

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Commission for SammyTheTanuki, by Ira-ArnThe winners of the 2019 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards have been announced! There are too many wonderful pieces to show here, so if you have the time, check out the complete list in their Google doc. (Some mild NSFW content.)

The judge's choice winner for 2019 is "Commission for SammyTheTanuki" by Ira-Arn!

And the people's choice winner, which beat the other contenders by a wide margin, is
"Painters" by BubbleWolf.

The other two finalists were "Wildflower" by Neonhorns, and "Adventure awaits!" by Hitmore. There were four runners-up to this category, and over twenty contenders on top of those! A special merit award was given to "Courage on Two Wheels", in honor of Dogbomb.