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What Can Writers Do for Awards Season? (And Best of the Year Anthologies)

tldr; Make an awards eligibility post on your website/blog. Post a thread of your publications this year on social media. Don’t forget to pay the cat pictures tax. 😉

You can call it an awards eligibility post, or an end of year post, or you can just say “This is what I got published this year.” If self-promotion makes you uncomfortable, think of this as an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this year and what you’re happy about. John Wiswell’s post is a great example of this (and his stories are also good! go read them!): With each story include the link (if available), the wordcount, the date published, and a quick description of what the story is about and why someone might want to read it.

Keep an eye on social media for people who are keeping lists of awards eligibility posts. Don’t be shy in sharing yours! And after you’ve made your eligibility post, remember that this is also a great time to talk about stories that you’ve really enjoyed reading that were first published this year. A rising tide, etc.

Okay, you say, but what else can a writer do? That’s where it gets more complicated. There is definitely a decreasing return on investment at this point. But yes, for many awards, there are other things you can do to increase your story’s visibility.

This is not true of all awards. Notable awards where authors can not offer their work for consideration include the Arthur C. Clarke Award (unless you’re a UK self-publisher), the British Fantasy Award, the BSFA Awards, the Locus Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, the Mythopoeic Awards, and the Shirley Jackson Award.

For a list of awards (and Best of the Year anthologies), click to view the full-size table of award info and the rest of the market list updates:

This post is best viewed on a wide screen to allow for viewing tables.

NameDEADLINEWhat they wantFSFH/DFWebsiteNotes and ProcessBest or Award?
Otherwise Award (FKA Tiptree Award)12/08/2022Science fiction or fantasy of all lengths that explores gender conceptsYYN due 12/08, winners chosen by jury. To do: submit recommendation.Award
Bram Stoker Award12/30/2022Horror and dark fantasy. Categories: anthology, collection, first novel, graphic novel, long fiction, nonfiction, novel, poetry, screenplay, short fiction, short nonfiction, YA novel.NNY TWO SUBMISSION PERIODS: 1/1 - 11/30 and 12/1 - 12/30 for work published in those windows. To do: submit to Bram Stoker Award jury. SUBMIT EARLY!! HWA members have additional publicity options.Award
Stabby Award (StabbyCon)01/21/2023Fantasy, all lengthsYNN 1st - Jan 21st nominations open, self-nominations welcome, must have been a member of r/Fantasy for at least 4 months prior Award
Nebula Award02/28/2023SF and Fantasy reprints. Lengths: short stories through novels, game writing, and dramatic presentation.YYN self-nominate. To do: 1) add to SFWA Nebula Awards/SFWA Fiction thread, and 2) make awards eligibility post. SFWA members nominate and vote 11/15-2/28Award
Hugo Award03/15/2023SF, Fantasy, and Horror. Fiction lengths: novel, novella, novelette, short story, series, related work.YYY Worldcon members nominate 1/16-3/15 (estimated), including self-nominations. Must have registered membership by 12/31. To do: not much if not member. Make awards eligibility post. Self-nominating is not very effective. Current Worldcon members vote.Award
Ursula K. LeGuin Prize for Fiction06/01/2023Book-length speculative fiction that offers real grounds for hopeYYN Anyone can nominate. 2023 details will be announced “early 2023.” Shown deadline is a placeholder.Award
World Fantasy Award06/01/2023Fantasy and dark fantasy. Fiction categories: Best Novel; Best Novella (10,001 to 40,000 words); Best Short Story; Best Anthology; and Best Collection.YNY must be sent to judges by June 1. Earlier is better, so they have time to read it! Check Locus in Jan/Feb to find judges' information.Award
Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, The 12/31/2022Science fiction, fantasy, and horror with elements of the aforementioned, previously published in anthology year by an American or Canadian authorYYY only. Please do not wait until the end of year to submit.Best
Best of Utopian Speculative Fiction (Android Press)12/31/2022Utopian speculative fiction reprints first published in the current yearYYY
We're Here: The Best Queer Speculative Fiction (Neon Hemlock)12/31/2022Queer speculative fictionYYY
Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, The12/31/2022Horror and dark fantasyNNY galleys or manuscripts of forthcoming work, to help with reading before the deadline. No deadline listed?Best
Year's Best Fantasy, The (Pyr Books)12/31/2022FantasyYNN galleys or manuscripts of forthcoming work, to help with reading before the deadline. No deadline listed?Best
Best Science Fiction of the Year, The ANTHOLOGY - DUE 11/1511/15/2023SFNYN only. Print materials due by 11/1, electronic by 11/15. To do: check with original publisher to avoid duplicate submissions.Best
Best Horror of the Year 12/01/2023HorrorNNY not wait until the last minute to submit. Prefers paper.Best

Wait, how do I submit to Best of the Year anthologies?

You can only submit stories that have been published in this year (or will be published in this year). Pay attention to the deadlines. A lot of Best of the Year anthologies close before the end of the year.

There are a few ways that Best-of anthologies are different from submitting to a regular anthology:

1) Most publishers will allow you to submit to a Best-of anthology even if your publishing contract says you’re still within the period of exclusivity. Most contracts have an exclusion written in; if not, ask your original publisher.

2) Your original publisher may already be submitting your story! Some do, some don’t. It depends on the award and the publisher. You may need to ask your publisher about this.

3) Simultaneously submit away!

4) Many Best-of anthologies do not list a pay rate. The standard is $.01/word, but you won’t really know unless they say in their guidelines or after you’re accepted and looking at the contract (congrats!).

5) Don’t expect a rejection letter. 

For next year, remember that a lot of these Best-of anthologies prefer to get submissions early to avoid the end-of-year rush. As soon as you get something published, consider submitting it to the appropriate Best-of anthology! This won’t limit your other options for reprint publications.

(Do you have a writing question? Send it to me, either by replying to this email or by using the contact form on my website, and it may get answered in the next newsletter.)

What I’ve been up to lately, writing-wise:

Between the holidays, the kids’ school stuff, and various minor crises, I’ve been kept pretty busy with non-writing stuff. This is not the first year that I’ve ended up doing a Nov/Dec market list newsletter; I should really just make that the annual plan!

But! On Sunday, I wrote the highest number of words in a day that I’ve managed so far on my current SF work-in-progress. Why? Well, I had a critique group submission deadline and I wanted to finish the chapter and submit it. Who says critique groups aren’t useful?!?

And I should share my own awards eligibility post! I had one new short story published this year, “Beck’s Pest Control and the Case of the Drag Show Downer.”  Beck has an unconventional pest control service, a client struggling with a fame-hungry poltergeist, and a daughter having trouble finding friends at her new Deaf school. It’s just another day in the life of a single mom.

“Beck’s Pest Control and the Case of the Drag Show Downer”

“Entertaining” – Locus
“Genuinely exactly what I needed after a stressful month-and-change.” – E. Taft

Published in PodCastle on June 21, 2022, 6,090 words, available in audio and print.

Things Shiny or Useful

Archive of all shiny or useful links:

Reimagining Conflict:

5 Survival Tips for the Holidays:

Writer Conference Pitch Pro Tips:

NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” editing workbook:

Writing the Science Right:

Maximizing Your Sales for the Holidays:

Jumpstart Your Writing:

Never Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story:

Getting Unstuck:

Step Up Your Character Game: Character Building Through Repeated Actions:

Upcoming Virtual Conventions/Workshops

(Any registration fees are noted.)

The Nebula Conference is over for 2022, but purchasing a membership now ($75) still gets access to recorded panels and year-round special events:

The Orange County Library System has many upcoming, free virtual writing talks:

Featured Market

The Deadlands wants death-themed speculative novellas (one-time novella submission period opens in January 2023!!!), short fiction, and poetry, pays $.10/word

The Deadlands exists in liminal spaces between life, death, and elsewhere. We are looking for fiction that concerns itself with death—but also everything death may involve.

A ghost in a shadowed wood. An afterlife discovered through a rusted door. An abandoned house in the middle of a haunted field. A skeletal figure moving with intent toward something unseen. Death personified. Burials in troubled lands. A raised scythe against a clouded sky. Memento mori. The rivers of the dead. The sprawling underworlds beneath our feet. The Deadlands would love to see stories from a worldwide perspective, different cultures, different approaches to death. We welcome stories from everyone, everywhere. We are particularly interested in works by writers from historically marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds.

Stories that feature characters impacted by someone passing away and processing the event of death are fair game, but will likely be a hard sell unless they also do something else. Stories about related subjects—zombies, demons, vampires, apocalypses, and the various undead—are not for us. An apocalypse may be your setting, but it isn’t your story. We are absolutely not interested in seeing weird West stories, steampunk tales, or military fiction. We are not interested in stories involving Lovecraft’s mythos. Humor will be a harder sell than heartbreaking. If your story begins with someone waking up, it is not for us.

Novella submissions will open in January 2023, stay tuned!

The Deadlands

Basics: themed speculative fiction and poetry, up to 5,000 words for short stories, pays $.10/word, reprints paid $.01/word, will reopen 1/2/2023. Novella submissions will also open in January, details coming soon!


Market List Updates

To see all the details about these new listings and what they're looking for, as well as hundreds of other listings, go to Aswiebe's Market List and download the latest version of the spreadsheet. Note: going forward, limited demographic market listings will be italicized.
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Keep writing, keep submitting, and good luck!

Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Keeper of Lists

Feel free to share this blog post/newsletter with others by whatever means you like, as long as you include all of it.
The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be after 1/15/2023. If you don’t want to miss an update, subscribe to the Aswiebe’s Market List newsletter: