The Ecphorizer

The Ecphorizer Awards 1986

Issue #63 (February 1987)

The votes have been counted and the 1986 Ecphorizer Awards are out. Here are the results:

David Cramer gets $100 and a Grand Prize certificate for his two compelling narratives, "War Story" and "Another War Story."

Rita Laws gets $100 and a Grand Prize Certificate for her sympathetic story, "The Overdue Farewell."

Gareth Penn gets a Merit Award certificate for his many contributions, particularly those about his ingenious Zodiac researches.

Tod Wicks gets a Merit Award certificate for his fascinating narrative, "A Telephone Installer in China."

Dorey Evans gets a Merit Award certificate for her graceful cover art.

Burt Schmitz gets a Merit Award certificate for his entertaining covers and short stories.

Donald Altschul gets a Merit Award certificate for his creative set of poems, "Hungry Love."

Despite our promises to award a $200 top prize, it turned out that the heaviest voting was a dead heat (well, nearly; a half-vote in there led to some head-scratching). So we decided (with the concurrence of the two winners) to split the Grand Prize. The prose Merit Awards follow the lesser voting returns; the Merit Awards for art and poetry reflect the opinions of the Editor.

The most interesting thing about the voting was its diversity. Forty-eight articles and stories received at least one vote each. Some that we wouldn't have guessed were in contention collected votes, and not just from their authors. This tends to support our growing conviction that the Editor's taste doesn't count for much in a magazine like The Ecphorizer; it's the readers who really know best.

A number of voters took the time to write general comments about the magazine, all of which we found helpful. Even after five years, we're still feeling our way. Sometimes editing a magazine can be like raising a tank of tropical fish; the first hint of trouble comes when the whole thing dies. That's why we appreciate the feedback from our readers.

Except for scholarships, this may well be the first time that a Mensa activity has actually rewarded its participants in cash for their achievements. We're happy that we could afford the 1986 Awards, and hereby announce our intention to do the same thing for our contributors during 1987.

So send in your stuff — your "New Yorker rejects," as Gareth Penn calls his contributions. You could be cashing a check from us next year. 

A ballot listing all the items published during 1986 was published in Issue #61 (December 1986).  Then-current subscribers were encouraged to vote for their favorites, the results of which are presented to the left.

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