The Numismatic Literary Guild Announces 2014 Writers' Competition and Award Ceremony, 8/7
Winners wanted. That's the theme of the 2014 NLG Writers' Competition, which is now under way.
As it has done for more than four decades, the Guild is preparing to honor the best books, articles, newsletters, auction catalogs, online publications and other works created in the realm of coins during the last year.
The entry deadline this year is June 17. That's somewhat earlier than usual, but it was necessitated by the relatively early dates of the World's Fair of Money, where awards are presented each year at the NLG Bash.
The 2014 ANA convention will take place Aug. 5-9 in Rosemont, Ill., and the Bash will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7, in a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare, the main hotel for this year's convention. The exact ballroom is yet to be determined.
The program will open with a sumptuous hot buffet, so Bashgoers are advised not to have dinner before the show. The buffet will be followed by the evening's entertainment - skits, songs and satire - and the award ceremony, topped by presentation of the Guild's highest honor, the Clemy Award.
It would be hard to imagine a more deserving Clemy recipient than last year's honoree, Michael R. Fuljenz. Besides being a leading coin dealer and market maker, especially in the area of U.S. gold coinage, Mike, a former teacher and school board president, has been a prolific author and dedicated champion of numismatic education. Over the years, he has led dozens of ANA seminars and forums designed to promote the hobby. He also has fought hard to protect collectors' interests in the legal and legislative arenas. Recently, he helped win passage of legislation eliminating sales taxes on coins in Texas and Louisiana.
Mike has been a major patron of the Smithsonian Institution. He and his wife, Karen, made a generous donation to help finance establishment of an expanded exhibit area for coins from the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection.
As a writer, Mike has demonstrated not only great talent but also tremendous versatility. He has received NLG awards in more categories than almost any other writer and speaker, winning recognition for books, newspaper and magazine columns and articles, newsletters and online writings, as well as for forum presentations and television and radio programs. In 2013, he and Maurice Rosen were co-winners of the James L. Miller Award for best article in any medium, including both print and electronic.
Mike has been a supporter of the NLG for many years, and in recent years he has been, quite literally, the founder of the feast - for he has underwritten the cost of the lavish buffets provided at Bashes. He also has made his superb marketing director, Amy Powell, available as Bash coordinator.
In presenting the Clemy to Fuljenz, 2012 co-winner Jim Halperin described him as "a great advocate of the hobby and professional numismatics for decades" as well as "a great expert and researcher of many areas of numismatics, especially gold, and somebody who is responsible for attracting a lot of new collectors to the hobby."
"But really," Halperin said, "he's just a really, really good guy and a great friend."
In his acceptance remarks, Fuljenz expressed thanks to "the editors who have been very good to me over the years" and the professionals whose expertise has contributed to the success of his on-air appearances and video presentations.
"Your editors may not do the column, but they make it better, and they've been very special in helping," he remarked. "There are a lot of people who make these things happen. They say it takes a village, and it does.
"And," he added, "I appreciate what this means. I appreciate looking at the long list of people that have won this award and how special they are. They really are."
Halperin and Steve Ivy, who are co-chairmen of Heritage Auctions, were joint winners of the 2012 Clemy. They chose Fuljenz as the 2013 honoree from a list of nominees supplied by the NLG Board of Directors. Similarly, Fuljenz will select this year's recipient from a list prepared by the Board.
Wendell Wolka will serve again as host of this year's Bash and Scott Travers will be presenter-in-chief of the awards. Scott is coordinator of the annual Writers' Competition, with able assistance from Maurice Rosen, who helps him each year organize the hundreds of entries and distribute them to the judges.
An unsung hero in this labor-intensive process is Sal Germano, a coin dealer in Hawthorne, N.J., who graciously makes a storeroom available each year as reception point for the avalanche of entries sent by writers, editors and publishers.
The NLG Symposium will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, the same day as the Bash, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center - and a very special program is being planned. Based on the theme "The Great Ones," the Symposium will feature a discussion of long-term trends in numismatic journalism and numismatic literature by a panel of distinguished experts. Tentatively scheduled to participate are Q. David Bowers, Harvey Stack and Larry Stack.
Anyone seeking further information about either the Bash or Symposium, or needing Bash tickets, should contact Scott Travers, Maurice Rosen or me at the convention or beforehand.
In addition to Heritage Auctions and Universal Coin & Bullion, the Beaumont, Texas, company headed by Mike Fuljenz, two other valued sponsors also are providing financial support for the year's Bash. They are the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of Sarasota, Fla., and the Certified Acceptance Corp. of Bedminster, N.J. Another good friend of the Guild, Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers of Los Angeles, regularly provides significant support for ongoing NLG programs.
The financial contributions furnished by these sponsors have helped us maintain the Bash as a highlight of each midsummer ANA convention and also provide other services to members without any increase in dues.