Surak Awards

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Name: Surak Awards
Date(s): 1986-1990
Associated Community:
Fandom: Star Trek
Surak award.gif
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The Surak Awards were created in 1986 when some Star Trek fans were upset that the Fan Q awards didn't seem to be paying enough attention to Star Trek as they used to.

The "Memory Alpha Award" was a subset, given to one fan a year for a "history of distinguished achievement."

description from the first year's form, click to read
form from first year, from Datazine #45, click to read

In 1989 and 1990, the Surak Awards were voted and announced at Koon-ut-Cali-Con, a K/S con, implying that relations must have been fairly good between the K/Sers and genners in Star Trek fandom at the time.

The 1990 awards were the last to be held. The editor of The LOC Connection proposed a new award, called the TLC Awards.

Some History

From Boldly Writing:

A couple of odd things happened in the Star Trek category in 1986. First, as reported earlier, Rosalie Blazej and Kin of the Same Womb Born got on the ballot, despite the fact that the story had been published in 1984 and was not eligible. Rosalie and her story were subsequently withdrawn. Second, No Award won for best Star Trek fanzine and best Star Trek poet. (Syn Ferguson won for best Star Trek writer for Courts of Honor, but hers was the only name on the ballot after Rosalie's was withdrawn; and Caren Parnes won for best Star Trek artist.) Kim Dyer, the Fan Q administrator, explained: "'Please make sure your readers know that if the guidelines for keeping a category were in force last year, there would have been NO Star Trek categories'. The Fan Q administrators made some changes because of these events. First, nominees were required to document their year of publication. Second, voters were explicitly informed that "No Award" meant "none of the nominees in this category are worthy of receiving an award." (Apparently many fans voted No Award because they felt they must vote in every category, and if they were not familiar with the category, they checked No Award instead of skipping the category and leaving it blank.) A group of fans responded to the lack of Star Trek nominations in the Fan Qs in a different way. These Star Trek fans created their own award, the Surak Award. The originators of this award discussed the idea with fans at several Star Trek conventions, including KC Con, where I attended an organizational meeting. Because they found a consensus among many Star Trek fanzine readers that such an award was needed, the Surak Award was formally announced at the end of 1986, and the first awards were given in 1987. The administrator was Kelly Tower of Southfield, Michigan, but there was an operating committee of 8 fans, and an advisory committee of 21.


printed in Interstat #109

From a flyer printed in Interstat #109:

In honor of the twentieth anniversary of Star Trek, it has been proposed that we establish a new series of awards, as a means of giving public recognition to people who have worked with distinction to sustain and advance Trek fandom. These awards would be presented annually, and they would be called the Surak Awards.

What would the Surak Awards be like? They would be given in a number of categories and would include a range of fandom activities; for example, writing, zine editing, zine design, art, filk musiccomposition, awards for best zines of different types, or perhaps special awards for other kinds of achievement such as excellence in putting on Star Trek cons. The awards would be international and would cover all of Trek fandom (for example, zine and writing awards would include genzine and "age statement required" categories). Nominations for awards, and voting on the awards, would be open to everyone in Trek fandom, and there would be national publicity in order to attract the widest possible participation. Results would be announced in Interstat, Universal Translator, Datazine, and other places.

How would the Surak Awards be administered? So that the awards will be truly representative, they should not be attached to any one con, or any one group within fandom. Each year, presentation of the awards would be rotated to a different con by region — east coast, mid-west, west coast. There would be a advisory committee which would act in an advisory capacity and would publicize the Surak Awards, but which would take no part in the actual balloting. This committee would include editors, writers, artists, etc., who are actively involved in fandom and who have a wide representation of interests, activities, and geographic locations. The actual administration of the awards process would be handled by an operating committee made up of people who are active in Trek, but whose activities do not fall into the awards categories — people who buy and read zines, for instance, but who do not write for zines or edit them. (This would mean that people on the operating committee would not be likely to have to disqualify themselves, because they would not be nominated for awards.)

It is important that as much of fandom as possible be made aware of the awards. The only way the awards can be successful is if everyone will participate. That is why we need your help as editors. If you are going to be doing a mailing (either flyers or zines) between now and the end of January 1987 and would be willing to include a nomination ballot with the mailing, please contact the committee at one of the addresses listed below. Please include the number of ballots needed and the approximate date of the mailing. Arrangements for getting the ballots to you will be worked out.

The Categories

The awards were evenly split between USA fanwork, and non-USA fanwork, then divided again between General and Age Statement Required fanwork. Awards were given, not best short story, or best long story, but best Writer. No award was given unless there were at least three nominations in the category. The awards were promoted in the adzine Communications Console.

The full set of categories included, each awarded for US and Other Than USA:

  • Best Writer, Short Story
  • Best Writer, Long Story
  • Best Writer, Novel
  • Best Artist, Portraiture
  • Best Artist, Action
  • Best Poet
  • Best Filksong
  • Best Fanzine Design
  • Best Fanzine Novel


  • Best Fanzine Editing
  • Best Fanzine Anthology

For a sample of fanzines and stories that won the Surak Awards across the years click here.

1986 Surak Award Winners (given in 1987)

General Category

Other than USA

  • Best Writer, Long Story: Claudia Crawford
  • Best Writer, Novel: Helen Morgan
  • Best Artist, Portraiture: Lana Brown
  • Best Artist, Action: Lana Brown
  • Best Fanzine Design: Enter-comm 8
  • Best Fanzine Editing: Nome 3/5, 3/6, 3/7, 3/8


  • Best Writer, Short Story: Bev Volker
  • Best Writer, Long Story: Ginna LaCroix
  • Best Writer, Novel: Betsy Fisher
  • Best Filksong: Larry Warner/Joey Shoji
  • Best Poet: Beverly Volker
  • Best Artist, Portraiture: Suzan Lovett
  • Best Artist, Action: Suzan Lovett
  • Best Fanzine Design: Mind Meld 3
  • Best Fanzine Editing: Mind Meld 3
  • Best Fanzine Anthology: Mind Meld 3
  • Best Fanzine Novel: Whisper of the Wind

Age Statment Required Category

Other than USA

  • Best Writer, Short Story: Vivian Gates
  • Best Writer, Long Story: Frances Rowes
  • Best Artist, Portraiture: Caryl Sibbett
  • Best Fanzine Editing: In the Wilderness
  • Best Fanzine Anthology: In the Wilderness
  • Best Fanzine Novel: Bigot! Brother! Bondmate!


  • Best Writer, Short Story: Vivian Gates
  • Best Writer, Long Story: Elwyn Conway
  • Best Writer, Novel: Mary Suskind Lansing
  • Best Poet: Flora Poste
  • Best Artist, Action: Suzan Lovett
  • Best Fanzine Editing: Nome 9
  • Best Fanzine Anthology: Nome 9

1987 Surak Award Winners (given in 1988)

SURAK AWARDS results for gen fanzines:


  • Best Writer, short story: Laurel Ridener/Lynn Syck; "A Cacophony of Silence" (MIND MELD IV) "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"; (GALACTIC DISCOURSE 5)
  • BestWriter,long story: Ginna LaCroix "The Turning Point" (MIND MELD IV) "When Eagles Cry" (WHALESONG)
  • Best Writer, novel: Jane Land, DEMETER
  • Best Humorist: Rayelle Roe "The Universal Insanity Bomb"; (GALACTIC DISCOURSE 5)
  • Best Filksong: [April Valentine] "Your Eyes" (WHALESONG) "How Do You Feel?" (WHALESONG)
  • Best Poet: Marion McChesney "Raison d'Etre" (WHALESONG)
  • Best Artist, portrait: Chris Soto(MINDMELDIV)
  • Best artist, action illo: Caren Parnes (VAULT OF TOMORROW 12, MIND MELD IV, GALACTIC DISCOURSE 5)
  • Best Zine Design: MIND MELD IV
  • Best ZineGraphics: MIND MELD IV
  • Best Zine Editing: GALACTIC DISCOURSE 5 (Laurie Huff)
  • Best Letter/information Zine: DATAZINE #47, #48
  • Best Zine, anthology: GALACTIC DISCOURSE 5
  • Best Zine, novel: DEMETER
  • Federation Class of Excellence (TIE): INTERPHASE, CONTACT
  • Memory Alpha: Leslie Fish

Other than USA:

  • Best Writer, short story: Helen Ross "Extra Curricular Activity" (KATRA VI)
  • Best Artist, portrait: Lana Brown (KATRA VI,VII)
  • Best Zine Editing: KATRA VI, VII (Lana Brown)
  • Federation Class of Excellence: VARIATIONS ON A THEME

SURAK AWARDS results for age-statement fanzines:


  • Best Writer, short story: Dovya Blacque "Tango" (FIRST TIME 14)
  • Best Writer, long story (TIE): Charlotte Frost, "The Healing" (FIRST TIME 14) "Convalescing" (AS I DO THEE 8) Deborah Cumnins, "Brotherly Love, parts 1 & 2" (NAKED TIMES 15 & 16) "A Shadow from the Past" (DARING ATTEMPT 9)
  • Best Writer, novel: Alexis Fegan Black YEAR OF THE RAM, DAYBREAK: DREAM COME TRUE
  • Best Humorist: Jenny Starr, "Voyeur" (KSX), "Odds and Abbs" (ALIEN BROTHERS)
  • Best Poet: Robin Hood, "Touchstone" (AS I ID THEE 9)
  • Best Artist. portrait: Chris Soto (FIRST TIME 9, 15; AS I DO THEE 9)
  • Best Artist, action illo: The Southern Cross (FIRST TIME 14)
  • Best Zine Design: KSX
  • Best Zine Graphics: KSX
  • Best Zine Editing: NOME 10 (Victoria H. Clark, Barbara L. B. Storey)
  • Best Letter /information zine: ON THE DOUBLE #3, #4
  • Best Zine, anthology: AS I DO THEE 8, 9
  • Best Zine, novel: YEAR OF THE RAM
  • Federation-Class of Excellence: COURTS OF HONOR

Other than USA:

  • Best Writer, short story: Eva Stuart "Shield and Defender" (VOICE 5) "Progress" (VOICE 5)
  • Best Writer, novel: Rowena Smythe "A New Future, The Sequel" (DUET XV)
  • Federation Class of Excellence: K/S Zine

1988 Surak Award Winners (given in 1989)

  • Best Writer: Short Story -- General: Lynn Syck/Laurel Ridener, "Betrayed" in Mind Meld V
  • Best Writer: Short Story -- Age Statement: Vivian Gates, "A Human Thing to Do" (KSX)
  • Best Writer: Long Story -- General: Sharon Pillsbury, "Strange Alliances" (More Missions, More Myths, 'Mind Cannibals" (Mind Meld), and "Impasse" (Vault of Tomorrow #13)
  • Best Long Story -- Age Statement: Barbara Storey, "Just as the Twig is Bent" (Nome #11)
  • Best Writer: Novel -- General: Claire Gabriel, Simple Gifts
  • Best Writer: Novel -- Age Statement: Jenny Starr, Fetish
  • Best Humorist -- General: Carol Hart/Caroline Nixon, "The Best of Times..." (Vault of Tomorrow #13)
  • Best Humorist -- Age Statement: Kay Wells, “The Souvenir” First Time #18 06/1988
  • Best Poet -- General: Ginna LaCroix, "Friends" (Mind Meld #5) and "Truth" (Mind Meld #5)
  • Best Poet -- Age Statement: Leslie Fish, "Trolls" (Before the Glory)
  • Best Artist: Portrait -- General: Caren Parnes, back cover of Mind Meld #5 and page 116 of Mind Meld #5
  • Best Artist: Portrait -- Age Statement: Chris Soto, covers of First Time #20, cover of First Time #16 and art in Within the Mirror and Fetish
  • Best Artist: Action: General: Chris Soto, page 18 (Mind Meld #5) and cover of Vault of Tomorrow #13
  • Best Zine Graphics (borders, designs) -- General: Mind Meld #5, Sandy Zier
  • Best Zine Graphics -- Age Statement: Sojourns
  • Best Zine Design -- General: Mind Meld #5
  • Best Zine Design -- Age Statement: Sojourns
  • Best Zine Editing -- General: Mind Meld #5
  • Best Zine Editing -- Age Statement: Naked Times #19 and #20
  • Best Letter/Information Zine -- General Interstat #131/132
  • Best Letter/Information Zine -- Age Statement: On the Double #7/8, #9
  • Best Anthology -- General: Mind Meld #5
  • Best Anthology -- Age Statement: First Time #19, #20
  • Best Zine Novel -- General: Simple Gifts
  • Best Zine Novel -- Age Statement: Fetish
  • Federation Class of Excellence ("a special award for the recognition of "classic works" prior to 1987. It may be on entire zine series (now out of print), a zine,

a piece of art, a story ..... etc.") -- General: Home is the Hunter, novel by Nancy Kippax and Beverly Volker, 1979

  • Federation Class of Excellence: Age Statement: Broken Images, a novel by Beverly Sutherland, 1983
  • Federation Class of Excellence -- Other Than U.S. -- General: Alnitah series
  • Federation Class of Excellence -- Other Than U.S. -- Age Statement: T'Zad'U
  • Memory Alpha ("a special award for a history of distinguished achievement by a fan"): Connie Faddis

1989 Surak Award Winners (given in 1990)