Pete Crowther and PS Publishing have decided to withdraw from the Small Press category of the British Fantasy Awards. This follows a string of award wins -- all deserved. However, I applaud this decision, which echoes Stephen Jones and David Sutton's similar decision with Fantasy Tales way back when. Besides, there is no other press in the UK that stands even close to PS. Pete and crew are, in addition, offering a financial prize to the winners of this award. Here is their press release:
For the past eight years PS Publishing has won the BFS Best Small Press award every year bar one (2005, when Elastic Press saw their hard work commended). Now, as the company reaches its tenth anniversary, Pete Crowther, PS founder and editor-in-chief has come to a decision: the company will no longer be eligible in the category.
“It wasn’t a decision made lightly,” he explains, “nor would I want anyone to think it represents an attitude of complacency on our part. When we started we published four books in a year; now that number is closer to forty. With the best will in the world, that’s not so small anymore! The support of the BFS membership has meant a great deal to us over those ten years but the time has come to stand to one side and instead help to acknowledge the great work being done by other imprints.”
With that in mind the BFS is joining forces with PS to rework the award. The PS Best Small Press Award will, as before, be voted on by the membership of the BFS and FantasyCon with the winner receiving not only their award but also a prize of £250 donated by PS.
“Running a small press can be a thankless and expensive task,” Pete comments. “Indeed, there have been many times for us when an extra £250 towards ever-increasing bills would have been a godsend. If our contribution helps in some albeit small way to maintain and promote the valuable work done by independent presses, then it will be money well-spent.”