It’s Hugo and Nebula Awards eligibility season, and I’m excited to say that all of the stories I published in 2023 qualify for consideration!
What are the Nebulas?
The Nebula Awards are conferred by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA). Each year the organization recognizes the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States. There are four categories based on length (Novel, novella, novelette, and short story), a category for Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, a category for game writing, and a category for motion pictures, television, Internet, radio, audio, and stage productions. Awards eligibility is based on having had a story published in a paying market.
What are the Hugos?
The Hugo Awards are given out to the best science fiction or fantasy stories of the previous year and are given out at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). There are a bunch of different awards (19) all of which fall into three main categories:
- Individual Works
- Serial Publications
Each sub category has it’s own awards eligibility criteria.
How Are Stories Nominated for a Nebula or a Hugo?
Prior to this year, I never really paid much attention to anything beyond the awards ceremonies themselves. The nomination process was a complete mystery to me. I hadn’t published anything in a qualifying market, after all. I had no skin in the game, so to speak.
This year is different. This year, I’ve got stories that qualify for both the Nebulas and the Hugos. So this year, I looked into how my stories might get a nomination. Here’s what I found out:
An author doesn’t need to be a member of the SFWA to have their story nominated for a Nebula. However, only full and associate members of the SFWA can nominate stories (no, they can’t nominate their own stuff). Likewise, only full and associate members can vote (yes, they can vote for their own stuff).
I had to do a bit of digging to find out about this process. The very long and somewhat daunting official constitution of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) maps it out. According to that document: “Each member of the administering Worldcon or the immediately preceding Worldcon” gets to nominate works, people, or serial publications for consideration. Now, I don’t know what a member of the administering Worldcon is (it wasn’t explained anywhere that I could find), but I think they’re members of the WSFS.
Based on my engagement in online SFF writing communities, it does seem like imperfect systems underpin both the Nebulas and the Hugos. That said, I don’t think there are any perfect systems in existence. One thing is clear, though. If you’re good at promoting your stuff, then your stuff is more likely to get nominated. So…
My Eligible Stories
2023 was a banner year for me. Four of my stories saw their way into print in qualifying markets. In order of date of publication, there are:
A Wielder Does Not Know Regret. (Metaphorosis. August, 2023)
Between the Mountain and the Sea. (MetaStellar. August, 2023)
The Colony Ship’s Companion. (Radon Journal. September, 2023)
The Portal in Andrea’s Dryer. (Uncharted Magazine. November, 2023)
I can’t say which one is my “best” story. They’re all very different from each other, and I put a lot of time and effort into each one. I’ll let you be the judge. Let me know which you like best in the comments.
Thanks for stopping by and as always, happy writing to you!