2013 Natcon BM agenda

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This article details the Agenda for the Business Meeting of the 52nd National Australian SF Convention (the Natcon in 2012) to take place at Conflux 9 in Canberra, in Executive Room 2 of the Rydges Capital Hill, at 12.00pm, 28 April 2013.

Agenda

1. Confirmation of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

2. Business Arising from the Previous Meeting

a. Continued work on a "[m]ore efficient calendar for Ditmar running"
b. Consideration of "linking [the] eligibility list and nomination system[s]"
c. Continued publication of the eligibility and other decisions of the sub-committee
d. Continued work on "a document detailing all cultural baggage and natcon traditions"
e. Consideration of whether we "make a permanent page for the ditmars or for the natcon (rather than the actual convention)"
f. Consideration of "some kind of voters pack" for the Ditmars, specifically: "[I]nvestigat[ing] the possibility of lia[i]sing with publishers and authors to obtain samples or full [copies] of [D]itmar nominated works, in order to promote more informed voting."

3. Natcon Standing Committee Report

4. Site Selection for the 2015 National Convention

a. Swancon 2015

5. Ditmar sub-committee report

6. Convention Reports

a. 2012 – Continuum 8
b. 2013 – Conflux 9
c. 2014 – Continuum 10

7. Selection of the Standing Committee

8. Motions on Notice

  • Motion
That an additional paragraph, 1.2, be added to the rules, to read:
1.2 Finalists and Winners are determined by a popular vote. Finalists are nominated by Australian fandom in general, and winners are voted on by members of the National SF Convention, where the awards are traditionally presented.
Proposed: Jeremy Byrne
Discussion:
Based on enquiries to the Ditmar Subcommittee, the Rules as they currently stand do not provide a clear picture of the Awards. This small addition attempts to cover some basic knowledge which fans take for granted.
  • Motion
That 3.8 of the rules be amended to read:
3.8 Artwork: An artwork is a single work or series of related works of art in any medium other than text.
Proposed: Jeremy Byrne
Discussion:
This is a simple change to the heading for the rule (removing "Best") for consistency.
  • Motion
That 3.10 of the rules be amended to read:
3.10 Fan Publication in any Medium: This award is for a work in any medium first published, released, or made available for public viewing in the eligible calendar year. The writer or artist must have received no payment. Eligible works include, but are not limited to, a periodical, journal, fanzine, ezine or webzine.
Proposed: Jeremy Byrne
Discussion:
This involves the addition of "a" before "work" to ensure that it is clear the award is for a single work (ie. "a publication").
  • Motion
That 3.11 of the rules be amended to read:
3.11 Best New Talent: The Best New Talent award recognises excellence of achievement in any field of the genre by an individual who has not been nominated for a recognised award three or more years before the year the award is held. Recognised awards include but are not limited to: Australian SF ("Ditmar") Awards, Aurealis, Hugo and Nebula Awards. An individual is only eligible for two consecutive years.
Proposed: Terri Sellen
Discussion:
The removal of the specific mention of the WA awards is consistent with the absence of other smaller awards from the list, the Chronos, the Vogel, the Ledger etc. However, this does not preclude the Ditmar subcommittee from deciding that a Best New Talent nominee is ineligible because of having received three Tin Duck and two Chronos Award nominations over the last three years, for example.
  • Motion
That 3.11 of the rules be amended to read:
3.11 New Talent: This award recognises excellence of achievement in any field of the genre by an individual who has never been nominated for a recognised award, or has only been nominated for a recognised award in one or both of the two calendar years prior to the year for which they are a Best New Talent nominee. Recognised awards include but are not limited to: Australian SF ("Ditmar"), Aurealis, Hugo and Nebula Awards. Once nominated, an individual may only be nominated once more, in the year following the first nomination.
Proposed: Jeremy Byrne
Discussion:
This is simply an attempt to make the language of the rule less convoluted, to change the heading for the rule (removing "Best") for consistency, and to change the beginning of the rule explanation, to remove redundancy. (Note that this suggested wording presumes the removal of the reference to the Tin Ducks per Terri's motion, but this motion is not intended to re-address that issue, should the preceding motion fail.)
  • Motion
That 5.1 of the rules be amended to read:
5.1 Number of finalists: Normally, the five nominees receiving the most nominations shall appear on the final ballot. In the event of ties amongst these first five nominees, up to seven may appear. However, if such ties would result in more than seven nominees appearing, none of the nominees involved in the tie will appear.
Proposed: Jeremy Byrne
Discussion:
This is an attempt to generalise the language relating to ties in the nomination count. Note that even this wording does not consider the possibility of a tied vote for the top eight nominees (which would result in the elimination of the category), but such extraordinary circumstances could be dealt with at the discretion of the subcommittee.
  • Motion
That 5.3 of the rules be amended to read:
5.3 Minimum finalists for categories: In order to appear on the ballot, a category requires at least one nominee. At the subcommittee’s discretion, in the event that there are fewer than four finalists in the Novella or Novelette and Short Story categories, these categories may be merged into a single category called Short Fiction.
Proposed: Jeremy Byrne
Discussion:
The addition of the first sentence simply makes clear that a single nominee, plus "No Award", is sufficient to include the category (as has happened twice in "Best Fan Artist" in recent history).
  • Motion
Given the proliferation of electronic publications, that a separate Ditmar be given in each category for electronically published and hard-copy published texts.
Proposed: Ian Nichols
  • Motion
Given the proliferation of electronic publishing, that separate William Atheling Awards be given to electronically published and hard-copy published works.
Proposed: Ian Nichols
  • Motion
That the rules for the Atheling Award be amended to make it clear that a body of work can be several works by the same author published in the same year in the same journal/magazine/newspaper, etc.
Proposed: Ian Nichols
  • Motion
That the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review henceforth be considered a Ditmar Award for all purposes.
Proposed: Jeremy Byrne
Seconded: Donna Hanson
Discussion:
The "William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review" has historically been regarded as "not a Ditmar". I, personally, think the time for this distinction has passed, particularly as it's not represented in the current rules (nor even in the wikipedia article for the Atheling), and the distinction has long since lost meaning to all but a few.
  • Motion
That all references to the William Atheling Jr. Award in the Ditmar rules be changed to use the preceding format.
Proposed: Jeremy Byrne
Seconded: Donna Hanson
Discussion:
I'd like to see the "Jr" officially changed to "Jr." (the Ditmar rules appear to be the only place on the internet where that's not already the case), because I'm a pedant, and the descriptive subtitle removed from the one place it appears in the rules, because it's redundant. This motion, should it pass, will simply result in the dropping of "for Criticism or Review" in 2.3, and the addition of a dot after the "Jr" in 2.3, 3.12 and 5.2.

9. General Business

  • Gillian Polack volunteers her time in a "grunt labour" capacity
  • Consider trackback functionality to alert wiki editors to online publications of Ditmar-eligible material. (Note that Mediawiki 1.19 removed trackbacks from core, but the code could be retrieved and bundled into an extension.)

10. Additional information

  • All bids for the 2015 National Australian Science Fiction Convention should be received by the Business Meeting chair (David Cake) before the start of the meeting, and representatives of the bid should be prepared to address the meeting.
  • All positions on the Standing Committee of the Natcon Business Meeting will be up for re-election by the meeting.