HEADS UP: The nomination process takes about 90 minutes. Please give careful thought to the questions below.
- Is this a popularity contest? NO. Stories are judged double-blind by a panel of judges who each have a specialty—storytelling, mythology, and editing. A numerical grading rubric is used to judge each story, similar to what judges use in the Olympics.
- What are you looking for in a nomination? Originality. Passion. Purpose. We’re looking for brave new stories — ones that defy expectations, break ground for new genres, and are brilliantly told.
- My story is bizarre. Does that count? It’s not enough to be different–the differences have to matter. Does the story create an appetite for a pattern? Did it impact your life? Why is this story the BEST?
- Can I nominate myself? Sure, you are allowed to nominate yourself. Just be transparent with us about it.
- Are short stories eligible? Novels and shorts are judged separately and awarded separately. So yes, shorts are eligible. Just be aware that they are held to a much higher standard.
- Anything you’re NOT looking for? We want to encourage stories that elevate humanity and have universal appeal. Therefore, hate literature, slasher stories, stories that obsess over sex or rape, and stuff that’s pointlessly depressing… that’s the first stuff we weed out. Personal anecdotes are boring as hell. Religious and heavily political stuff won’t go far with us either. Non-fiction, ghostwritten works, translations of other people’s writings, and poetry are not eligible. ON THE OTHER HAND: Stuff that’s sad with purpose (like the Horror novels of Stephen King) would totally be welcome. Just don’t come to us with an agenda or stories that lack soul.