Mickey and Jo Fothergill took it over and went in a different direction from what we originally talked about, but I remained a member and watched its activities with interest. Although it had over 600 members, the participation in the awards was never what I had hoped it would be. Winning an award is always nice, but I've been critical of the awards for not truly reflecting readers' opinions. In the last selection of outstanding book covers, only 47 votes were cast for 22 nominated covers. The highest vote getter only got 9 votes.
I would like to think that these awards failed because of some serious reform issues that have been pressed with Lambda and GCLS. There is still some room to improve both of them, but there have definitely been steps made in the right direction by each group. I still think there is a place for an award that reflects the average reader's choices, but people can't be forced to participate. With the closing of the LFRCA, it's more incumbent on us than ever to make sure that the awards that are given stand for something. I think that's something we can all work for.
The Lesbian Fiction Readers' Choice Awards were founded in order to provide a voice to lesbian fiction readers who often are left out of other award programs. We believed it to be important to give voice to this essential segment of the lesbian fiction community. However, during the past six years, while the LFRCA membership steadily increased, member participation, to nominate and vote, steadily decreased.
Consequently, we have reluctantly concluded this indicates that the LFRCA is no longer providing a relevant opportunity to the readers of lesbian fiction. Although, we continue to believe in the LFRCA and the readers of lesbian fiction, we simply can no longer justify the time required administering the LFRCA in view of this lack of member participation.
Therefore, we have, regretfully,decided to discontinue the Lesbian Fiction Readers' Choice Awards and will delete the Yahoo Group on November 5th.