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Leo Awards shuts down due to lack of judges

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Leo Awards.jpgOn March 3rd, the Leo Awards announced that they would be retiring its writer's award. This award started in 2018 by Thurston Howl Publishing and its founding was written about by Fred Patten that year. Thurston had announced their consolidation with another furry publisher, Fenris Publishing, in December of 2023.

The announcement listed several reasons for making this decision which included: lack of judges and lack of interest in the awards outside of the writers themselves.

Their full statement can be read below the fold and on social media.


We have decided to retire the Leo Awards. This is unrelated to the recent AI controversy, but something we've been considering for many years. Every year, nobody volunteers to be a judge--this year, only one person did. There's just way more furry writers than readers, and that's the core problem.

The number of awards in the community isn't reflective of furry lit's reach. Some books stand a chance of winning more awards than the number of reviews they'll receive.

In the case of the Leo's, the nominations have always felt incestuous and superficial, with people nominating their relatives or their best friend in nomination-for-nomination schemes. Every year, the same small circuit of writers get nominated, and the only people interested are the people nominated. We kept it going regardless because we wanted to give exposure to writing, but the awards ceremonies get around five viewers.

Ultimately, we think the furry lit community needs to address its supply/demand problem and one of the ways to do that is by reducing the redundancy in the number of awards there are, making the ones that remain feel more exciting and authoritative.

As a final note, let us clarify our stance against AI is that we oppose it. Mary's novels, nominated by several FWG members, were allowed to go in only after fact-checking that they were written years before the AI writing engines were being used; finally, their covers weren't considered for any categories.


Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Not the awards post I was expecting today.

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