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The STIFfies were started in 1992 by Mary Urhausen to fill a void that existed in slash fandom. Although there was Mediawest's FanQ awards that were open to all fannish works, many fans felt the slash material was not given the same consideration as the non-slash material. Since the only other alternatives were specific-fandom slash awards, Mary decided it was time to create an award that recognized all aspects of slash fandom.
In addition to the awards given for published material, STIFfie Awards were presented in the categories of Artist, Author, Poet and Publisher of the Year to those outstanding individuals who helped to further the endeavor of slash fandom.
More Specific Information on Individual Years
Controversies: Slash, MediaWest and the idea of fandom-wide awards
The STIFfie Awards Ceremony was held annually on the Sunday preceding Memorial Day at MediaWest Convention in Lansing, Michigan. Although the STIFfie Awards presentation was held annually at MediaWest*Con, they were not in any way affiliated with MediaWest*Con.
Since, technically, slash stories, vids and zines were eligible for Fan Qs and not (apparently) winning ones they should have, this led to conversation throughout fandom about how slash-friendly MediaWest was or wasn't. Then, in the 1997 Progress Report, MediaWest announced that "Due to complains last year, any "slash" themed videos will be scheduled separately; as such, they cannot be considered for the general fannish video competition; however "slash" awards will be considered if there are enough entries to compete. Not surprisingly, slashers did not send their entries in sufficient quantities to compete.
Sadly, in some people's view the STIFfies invalidated the FanQs, without actually validating the STIFfies. Mary Urhausen, while liked, wasn't well enough known, and didn't have the personal charisma and history in fandom to pull off something as big as a fandom-wide award structure. Most fans didn't have any faith that nominations were very wide spread, so there was no real faith in the awards. In many fans' eyes, the STIFies made entire idea of fannish awards lose more credibility.
[from a fan in 1994]:
I had very mixed feelings. The nomination forms (and process) are not well thought out, and neither is the voting procedure. The awards seem to go to the best known name regardless of the quality of the story or art. On the other hand, when you first get into a fandom, buying award winning zines isone way of trying to make sure you aren't buying TOTAL dreck. Sigh. Anyone who has seen one of the nominating forms and is willing to think about how they can be written more intellegently, I'd love some help on them. 
The STIFfie Award winners
The STIFfie Awards ran from 1992 through 2000. After they ended, the Screwz awards were created to take their place (2002-2005).
Award information from earlier years is sketchy. If you have information, please feel free to add. Until then....
1993 --Oh, C'mon, Buckwheat! - Best Wiseguy Info Zine
- 1994 Award Nominees and Winners
- 1995 Award Nominees and Winners
- 1996 Award Nominees and Winners
- 1997 Award Nominees and Winners
- 1998 Award Nominees and Winners
- 1999 Award Nominees and Winners
- 2000 Award Nominees and Winners
ballot for 1995, printed in Media Monitor #10, click to read