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11119the 2012 MEFAs are coming - and we want your help

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  • Marta
    Jun 16, 2012
      Hey guys,

      Over the last few months I've been discussing with several MEFA
      volunteers how we can improve the awards for the upcoming year. And
      we've finally gotten through all that. I'll make another announcement
      later tonight about the changes, but the big thing to know is that the
      2012 MEFAs are coming, and soon! Specifically, here’s the schedule for
      the 2012 awards:

      --- (1) July 1-31: Nominations season
      (After this, new pieces cannot be nominated for the awards.)

      --- (2) August 7: Deadline for authors to finalize any nominations
      (After this, any nominations that are not finalized will be withdrawn
      from the awards and will need to be renominated in future years.)

      --- (3) August 23-31: Check ballot season
      (After this, pieces usually aren’t moved to new categories or
      subcategories. The only exception is if the author finishes a WIP
      story.)

      --- (4) September 1: First reviews are displayed at the mefawards.org website.
      (After this, all final reviews will be displayed at the website and
      cannot be edited. Reviewers should use the “hidden” or “notes”
      [previously draft] status if they need to edit reviews.)

      --- (5) October 1: Deadline to enter a reviewing goal.
      --- (6) January 31 (2013): Last day of voting.
      (After this, no new votes can be entered. Any reviews with the notes
      status will not be counted unless they are given a final or hidden
      status before this date.)

      The most important thing is this: the MEFAs will start accepting
      nominations in just under two weeks. And that’s coming quickly.

      *********************

      So just what can you do to help out?

      NOMINATORS: Now is the time to work out just what you want to
      nominate. Basically, you can edit anything that hasn’t competed in the
      past (or that was a WIP at the end of the awards in which it
      competed), provided it meets our eligibility requirement, is at a
      publicly-available link, and meets other eligibility requirements. You
      can find the pieces nominated in 2011 at http://www.mefawards.org/,
      and past years’ nominations are listed at
      http://archive.mefawards.org/ . You’ll need the title, author’s name,
      author’s email address, and link where the piece is available.

      AUTHORS: You can help us out most by keeping an eye on whatever email
      address you use for fandom websites and listservs. If you’ve changed
      this in the last year, you should make sure your MEFA account is up to
      date at www.mefawards.org. (If you need help doing that you can email
      me at mefasupportATgmailDOTcom.) Also, if you decide you don’t want to
      compete this year, you should email me and let me know so I can put
      you on our don’t-nominate list.

      Then there are more formal volunteers, the members who help me doing
      specific work behind the scenes. Specifically:

      LIAISIONS: We need volunteers to help guide authors through the
      process of getting their stories ready to compete. This involves
      contacting authors and answering any questions they have about the
      MEFAs (you can ask me if you don’t know the answer), and making sure
      forms describing the stories are filled out correctly. You need to be
      around regularly (ideally, at least once a day) between July 1 and
      August 7. It also helps to have participated in the awards for at
      least a year, and to have a generally positive and helpful attitude.

      PROMOTERS: Want to help spread the word about the MEFAs? Promoters
      post announcements at other Tolkien-centric websites, forums, and
      listservs. You also need to keep an eye on those forums for MEFA
      questions and relay them back to me if any seem to need an official
      answer. The main thing is you need to know a place that would welcome
      our announcements, where you can promote the MEFAs. You also need to
      check your email regularly, between now and January 31. (Even if
      someone promoted there last time, please feel free to volunteer;
      there’s always a chance that person might not volunteer again.)

      BANNER-MAKERS: Have an interest in graphic design? We’re always
      looking for people to make banners and icons to recognize nominated
      stories, people who meet their reviewing goals, and of course the
      eventual winners. This can take as much or as little time as you are
      willing to give to it, but obviously

      RATINGS PANEL: Often authors aren’t sure what rating to give a story,
      or readers will question whether the rating listed is appropriate.
      When that happens I rely on the ratings panel, a group of MEFA members
      who read the stories involved and tell me what rating they think the
      story should have. I’ll give them official guidelines for what each
      rating should cover. They will then read the stories and decide which
      rating is more appropriate. You need to be able to read stories fairly
      quickly and see where they fit in our guidelines. Most of the work is
      July 1-August 15, but occasionally I also need your help later in the
      awards as well.)

      (Actually, the use of “rating” is inappropriate. The MEFAs is moving
      to something called content advisories – which is basically one rating
      for sex, another for violence, and a third for other mature themes.
      I’ll say more about this when I post the PM results later tonight, but
      the goal is to give more information to readers who might have no
      problem with any kind of sexual content but prefer to avoid violence –
      or vice versa. In any event the ratings panel will be looking at
      whether those content advisories are appropriate.)

      So: if any of those sound like your cup of Earl Grey, please send me
      an email at mefasupportATgmailDOTcom. Even if you’re not sure you can
      handle it, drop me a line and I’ll be glad to tell you more about what
      we need.

      *****************

      One other way to help is with your wallet. The MEFA website relies on
      having a website, and the company that provides it does like to be
      paid occasionally. This costs around $10 a month and is our only
      expense; the rest of the awards run on our volunteer’s talents and
      elbow grease. I realize that money can be tight these days, and you
      are certainly free to participate without contributing $$$ toward that
      particular bill, but we certainly appreciate every donation – if only
      because every contribution means it’s that much longer before I have
      to be here again with my hand out. :-)

      You can donate at http://bit.ly/KR1EsU. I also accept checks and cash
      if you can’t use PayPal for some point; email me at
      mefasupportATgmailDOTcom and I’ll email you my postal address.

      Looking forward to working (and playing) with you all in the 2012 MEFAs.

      Marta
      (MEFA Admin.)
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