Monday, March 22, 2010

The Harper's Pen Award (2009) Finalists

The time has come, the walrus said, to announce the eight finalists for The Harper's Pen Award (2009). This has been an emotional two weeks, beginning with my decision to delay the award a year in order to enlarge the pool of nominations, followed by my decision not to delay the award but to change its name to The Harper's Pen Award, followed by my decision to migrate the award to a new site and establish an organization to administer and distribute the award - The Sorcerer's Guild.

From the nominations I received, and also from stories I found on my own, I chose eight tales that I believe best represent the tradition as well as the future of Heroic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. These stories were published by a variety of publishers - from legendary print magazines to new webzines to anthologies by small, independent publishers. Some of these stories include links, so you can read them yourself if you haven't already (you should!).

Here they are, alphabetized by publisher:
Congratulations to the finalists! I will announce the winner in a week or so.

The winner of the The Harper's Pen Award (2009) will receive:

  • Publisher - $200 and a handsome certificate of recognition
  • Author - $200, a handsome certificate, and this handmade pen by Syzygy Pens, engraved in recognition of the award


  1. Thanks so much for the nod to "Where Virtue Lives" -- and for putting this together in the first place. Even should my story fall 'neath the blades of the valiant competition, heroic fantasy shall emerge victorious!

  2. Best surprise I've had in a long time, congrats to my co-finalists, their editors, and publishers. It's great to be in the company of some writers whose work I've long enjoyed, and it's especially nice to see the work of often overlooked venues being honored.

  3. Wow! Nice surprise is right. Thank you, Jeff, for all the work you've poured into establishing this award. While I miss the edginess inherent in the previous title, 'The Harper's Pen' delivers both class and easy recognition to the merits of the short heroic genres you're seeking to reward.

    I'm proud that a tale from Rage of the Behemoth made the cut, joining some mighty fine publications/publishers and authors. Carl will be equally thrilled to find his name here as well.

  4. I am quite honored that my name is on this list!

  5. Thanks for considering my story, and for standing up for Sword & Sorcery.

    John Hocking

  6. I am both humbled and delighted (although probably more delighted, if I'm honest).

  7. Thanks for keeping the award going, and getting a prize for 2009 out!

    -Adrian Simmons

  8. I'm thrilled to be in this list,

    Sara Genge