Papa Bear Awards 2017
Choosing the Best of Hogan's Heroes Fanfiction
Q: What is the purpose of the Papa Bear Awards?
A: The purpose of the Papa Bear Awards is to seek out and give recognition to quality writing, and to acquaint fellow authors and readers with the best work in the fandom of Hogan's Heroes.
Q: How does the PBA work?
A: First the authors and readers of Hogan's Heroes fanfiction nominate the works completed during 2016 that they consider to be of outstanding quality. All the nominated work goes to the voting round*, in which both authors and readers decide which works are really the very, very best of this past year.
* An exception is the category *best story of 2016*. See Q: How does the nomination for *best story of 2016* work?
Q: How do I know which stories are eligible?
A: You can find the complete listings here.
Q: Where do I send my nominations and votes?
A: You can send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively to Papa Bear Awards by ffnet PM.
Q: What exactly are those word counts?
A: Snapshots are stories of less than 1,000 words.
Short stories (comedy, drama, general) are between 1,000 and 5,000 words.
Long stories (comedy, drama, general) are those that have more than 5,000 words.
The other story categories do not have a division by word count.
Q: This story has 5100 words. Can I nominate it for short story?
A: No, you can’t. The division by word count in the categories drama, comedy, general and snapshot is very strict. No exceptions!
Q: This poem has only 400 words. Can I nominate it as a snapshot?
A: You could, but due to their special character, poems, filks and songfics should preferably be nominated in their own category, where they compete with works of a similar kind. PBA history has shown that they tend to stand little or no chance in ‘normal’ story categories. Unless of course you think it to be of such outstanding quality that it merits being nominated as *best story of 2016*!
Q: Where do I nominate a story that is listed as (for example) friendship/hurt-comfort? There is no category for those!
A: When there is no clear category assignment, the author has left the choice entirely up to you. So you may decide for yourself whether you think it would fit best as comedy, drama, general, unique etc.
Q: My favourite story is listed as drama, but I would like to nominate it in the general category. Can I do that?
A: Yes, you can. Drama, comedy and general stories are up to you to decide in which of those three categories you think they would fit best. However, snapshots, poetry and crossovers should be nominated in their own respective categories, and the stories that are eligible for the categories episode and challenge are given.
Note: this year we do have one slash story eligible in the episode category and one crossover story eligible in the challenge category. Their eligibility there is certainly legit; we’ll wait and see how they perform there!
Q: I notice that some of the eligible stories on the list are not marked *complete* on ffnet. How come they are in anyway?
A: Some authors have reported trouble: ffnet wouldn’t let them mark their story or stories as complete. Rest assured that the stories on the list that are not marked as *complete* on ffnet have been double checked with the authors, and are indeed supposed to be complete!
Q: What happened to the slash category?
A: The number of slash stories is so small this year, that the PBA committee has decided to let them all go straight to the voting round. So there will be no nominating slash stories this year, but they will participate in the voting round.
Q: What happened to the poetry and songfics category?
A: There is only one eligible poem in the election this year – that’s not very practical to have a category by itself. As has been done in previous editions, in circumstances like this, the poem will participate as a story and can be nominated for example as a snapshot. Practice has shown that its chances of winning an award when competing with ‘regular’ stories are very small, but we let it compete anyway. Next year, when we’ll hopefully have some more poems and songfics, the poem in question will be allowed to participate once more, then being eligible only in the poetry category where it will have more fair competition from works of a similar nature.
Q: This story is listed as comedy, general, challenge and episode. That’s great! Can I nominate this same story in all four of those categories?
A: No, you can’t. You may nominate one and the same story in only 1 story category. So if you nominate story A in the challenge category, you cannot nominate that same story in episode, general and comedy as well. You need to pick one!
The only category where you may nominate the same story for a second time is the category *best story of 2016*. See below for explanation.
Q: If I nominate my favourite story in (for example) the comedy section, can I still nominate characters, quotes and teasers from that story?
A: Yes, you can. The restriction of one nomination per story applies only to the story categories (e.g. drama, comedy, general, snapshot, challenge, episode, unique, poetry and crossover). If you like, you could even nominate the teaser and all your quotes and characters from one single story. However, with so many stories to choose from... :-)
Q: I have a story participating in the PBA this year. Is it okay for me to participate in the nominating and voting?
A: Yes, you are very welcome to participate in the nominating and voting. In fact, most people participating have eligible stories out there. Just make sure you don't nominate your own work!
Q: How do I nominate my favourite story?
A: You check the PBA homepage to see which stories are eligible this year. Once you've made your decision about what you want to nominate in which category, you can send an email listing your nominations to email@example.com. If you want to be sure you include all the necessary information, you can use the template.
Q: Do I have to read all the stories before I decide on my nominations?
A: No, you don't. Of course it's laudable to try and read all the stories before making your choice, but with the numbers we tend to have in the PBA these past years, it's hardly realistic. In the nomination round, it's perfectly okay to choose your nominations from among the stories you have read – whether they are 10 or 100.
Q: Do I have to nominate in every category?
A: No, you don’t. Feel free to skip the categories you’re not interested in.
Q: I’m not interested in crossovers – they tend to be about TV shows I have never seen. Do I have to nominate in that category?
A: No, you don't have to nominate in every category. You are free to limit yourself to the categories you're interested in.
Q: How many nominations are needed to go to the voting round?
A: One nomination is sufficient for a story, character, teaser or quote to go to the voting round. The only exception to this rule is the category *best story of 2016* - see below.
Q: How does the nomination for *best story of 2016* work?
A: You can nominate 1 story in our most prestigious category: the *best story of 2016*. This can be a story you nominated in another story category as well – mind you, this is the only category where you are allowed to do that!
However, this is also the only category where your nomination does not automatically let the story go to the voting round. That depends on the overall number of nominations the story receives.
In short, to go to the voting round in the category *best story of 2016*, a story must:
- receive at least 1 nomination in the category *best story of 2016*.
- and it must receive nominations from other people in the story and/or character categories.
Only the stories that have been nominated by the most people will go on to the voting round for *best story of 2016* - we tend to aim at approximately 7 to 10 stories in this category in the voting round.
I know it sounds complicated. Rest assured that the complication is limited to our tabulating the nominations. All you need to do is to nominate your absolute favourite story!
Q: I don't know whether character A was originally a guest character, or whether the author just made him up. Where do I nominate him?
A: To be on the safe side, you can ask the author, alternatively the PBA staff.
Q: Can I nominate quotes from my own stories, like we did a few years ago?
A: No, you can't. That option has been dropped this year. No nominations of your own work are allowed in any category.
Q: Where do I find good quotes without rereading every story?
A: An option is to browse through the reviews. Many reviewers mention a particularly good quote from a chapter in their review.
Q: I’m an author, and I’ve been contacted that my story has been nominated in three different story categories. And now I have to reject one of them. Why can’t my story compete in all three?
A: In order to prevent having one (or a few) stories dominating the entire PBA like we’ve had in the past, we now have a rule that a story can only go to the voting round in 2 story categories. (Not counting the *best story of 2016*, so if your story got to the voting round there, too, you might still be competing in three categories!)
Continued from the past years is that the categories for drama, comedy and general stories will be exclusive. No matter if a story got nominated in all three, a story can only compete in *either* drama, *or* comedy, *or* general story. And if they got nominated in for example both comedy and drama, then the author will have to choose, even if that means the story will only go to the voting round in one story category.
Combinations of for example drama with challenge, or comedy with unique, or even challenge with unique are certainly permitted. But not drama plus comedy, or comedy plus general, or general plus drama.
Q: I'm missing a few stories that have been completed this year. Why aren't they eligible?
A: Three possible reasons.
1) The story has been newly edited and reposted, but has already participated in a previous edition of the PBA.
2) The author has decided to withdraw this particular story from participation in the PBA.
3) If the story has only been published outside ffnet and AO3, we may simply have missed it. If that is the case, please let us know ASAP!
Q: I don't have an ffnet account, but I enjoy reading Hogan's Heroes fanfiction. Can I participate in the nominating and voting of the PBA?
A: Yes, you can.
Q: How do I vote?
A: Once it is time to vote, you will find the instructions here.
Q: Where do I send my votes?
A: You can send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively by ffnet PM to Papa Bear Awards. You will always receive a confirmation once your votes have been registered. This could take a few days though, so don’t worry if you don’t get an instant confirmation.
Q: I heard it was possible to vote in an online survey as well. Where can I find that survey?
A: Once the voting round starts, the link will be posted here. Make sure though that you have made up your mind about your choices before you start the survey!
Q: Do I have to vote in every category?
A: No, you don't have to vote in every category. If you are pressed for time, or if some categories simply don't interest you, it's perfectly okay to limit yourself to voting in only a few categories. Or even only one.
Q: My favourite story has been nominated in two categories. Can I vote for that story in both categories?
A: Yes, you can.
Q: My own story/character/teaser/quote has been nominated. Am I allowed to vote for it now?
A: Yes, you can vote for your own work, if you are indeed convinced that your work is the best in that category. But be honest about it!
Q: Do I have to read everything before casting my vote?
A: In order to make a fair and well–considered decision, it is certainly advisable to have read everything in a category before deciding on your vote in that category.
Q: Why can't slash stories and crossovers qualify for “best story of the year”?
A: The “best story of the year” should be accessible and comprehensible for everyone who enjoys Hogan's Heroes – period. We know (and their authors know) by experience that these two genres have a very limited audience.
Slash stories have the disadvantage that many HH readers (at
least according to the posts on the forum and the reviews for slash stories)
are not happy with this type of alteration of the canon characters, and they
simply refuse to read this type of story.
And to understand a crossover, you have to be acquainted with another TV-show, movie, book etc. in order to even begin to comprehend the story.
Therefore, we do not consider stories from these genres suitable to perhaps end up being “the best Hogan's Heroes story that every HHfan should read”, no matter how good they are.
As a side note: in none of the past editions of the PBA have stories from these categories made it to the “best of the year” category – not even when it was done by direct nomination.
Q: I would like to help with the PBA organization. Is there anything I can do?
A:All jobs have been filled for this year, but if you’re interested, just drop us a line and we’d be happy to keep your interest on ice for next year’s PBA!
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
Enjoy your reading!
Kind regards from your Chief Librarian,
Closing date for sending in your nominations:
April 7th, 2017