This was the constitution of the British Fantasy Awards as it stood following the 2008 Annual General Meeting of the British Fantasy Society. It is provided here for reference only, and has now been superseded by an updated version. Changes to the procedure made by the awards administrator for the 2009 awards are shown as footnotes.
Novel (The August Derleth Fantasy Award)
The British Fantasy Award for Best Novel is known as the August Derleth Fantasy Award. Eligibility: the novel must be first published in the English language in the year preceding that in which the Award is presented (i.e. a novel first published in 2007 is only eligible for the award in 2008). A work is deemed a novel if 40,000 or more words in length.
Novella & Short Fiction
Eligibility: the novella and short fiction category must first be published in any format (book, magazine, small press or electronic) in the English language in any part of the world in the year preceding that in which is the Award is presented (i.e. a short story first published in 2007 is only eligible for the award in 2008). A work is deemed a short story if 10,000 words or under in length. A work deemed to be a novella is 10,000 – 40,000 words in length.
Anthology & Collection
Eligibility: as for Novel.
Items eligible for this Award include magazines and chapbooks and other one-off or serial publications, and the Press itself. Individual titles such as anthologies, collections or novels, may also be eligible for the British Fantasy Awards in the other categories specific for Novel, Collection or Anthology, etc. Eligibility: the small press category must first be published in any format (book, magazine, or electronic) in any part of the world in the year preceding that in which is the Award is presented (i.e. a small press item first published in 2007 is only eligible for the award in 2008).
This category covers artists who work in any format. Eligibility: this Award is for any artist who has produced a single piece of artwork, or a body of work, in the year previous to that in which the Award is presented.
Items eligible for this Award include non-fiction books, chapbooks, magazine or on-line columns or single magazine or on-line articles. Eligibility: the non-fiction item must first be published in any format (book, magazine, small press or electronic) in any part of the world in the year preceding that in which is the Award is presented (i.e. a non-fiction item first published in 2007 is only eligible for the award in 2008)
Special Award (The Karl Edward Wagner Award)
The British Fantasy Special Award is known as the Karl Edward Wagner Award. This category covers all areas and aspects of the genre that are not necessarily catered for in the preceding categories. The Award may be presented to individuals or organisations. Eligibility: this Award is not necessarily restricted to an activity in the year prior to that in which the Award is presented. The Award may go to someone who has made an important contribution to the genre throughout his/her lifetime; or it may go to the organisers of a special event or publication that took place in the year prior to that in which the Award is presented. Recommendations for this Award will be sought from the membership. The BFS, FantasyCon and BFAwards Committees will determine the winner of this award.
The Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award
The award is for a new fiction writer who has produced previously unpublished work in the eligible year (must first be published in any print format (book, magazine, small press) in any part of the world in the English language in the year preceding that in which is the Award is presented (i.e. a short story first published in 2006 is only eligible for the award in 2007). The recommendations can be for a single work or more than one, provided they meet the eligibility criteria set out above. Recommendations for this award are sought from the BFS membership. Eligibility also requires that copies of the work(s) be provided to the voting panel by the appropriate author, editor or publisher. This award is sponsored and funded by the estate of Sydney J. Bounds and the winner will receive a cheque for £100. The winner is decided by a panel of readers. This judging panel will include representatives from the Bounds estate and the BFS, and will be announced in Prism and via the BFS Newsfeed.
The British Fantasy Society (BFS) and the British Fantasy Convention (FantasyCon) present the British Fantasy Awards (BFA) annually, as voted upon by the members of the BFS and FantasyCon. The BFS and FantasyCon jointly finance the Awards, except for the ‘Best Newcomer Award’. In the event of the demise of either the BFS or FantasyCon, the remaining organisation will continue to present awards for as long as is practical. The Awards are presented at FantasyCon or at a suitable alternative event if FantasyCon is cancelled in any particular year. The BFS and FantasyCon appoint a Committee (minimum of one person) to organise the voting arrangements.
The Awards take the form of a statuette. If for any reason there are insufficient funds to allow the manufacture of the statuettes, the Awards may take another format, which will be decided upon jointly by the BFS and FantasyCon Committees.
Recommendations for titles/names to be included on the Awards ballot form will be invited as early as possible in the year from all those eligible to make recommendations.3 Any number of items may be recommended in any category. Recommendations may not be made for the recommender’s own material. All recommendations must be accompanied with publication details: year of publication, publisher, and title of collection, magazine, editor, etc, if applicable. Recommendations for the Artist and Special Awards must contain a brief description of their eligibility. If any of this information is not provided the recommendations may be excluded from the ballot form.
BFS and FantasyCon publications are ineligible from the recommendation/voting process.
The BFA Committee will collate the recommendations and draw up a ballot form. The Committee will liaise with experts in the genre to ensure that, as far as is possible, only eligible items appear on the ballot form. If necessary and at the Committee’s discretion, some recommendations may be counted together as one item for the ballot paper. The Committee will also act as an oversight committee and add items to the ballot paper in any category as deemed appropriate. The decision by the Committee is final.
A ballot form will be issued later in the year listing recommended titles, names etc. BFS and FantasyCon members may then vote for up to three items in each category (except for the Special Award – see above). Voters do not have to vote in all the categories if they feel they are unable to do so.
First placed items receive three votes, second placed two, third placed one. The winners in each category will be determined by a majority of votes received.4 In the event of a tie, the BFS, FantasyCon and Awards Committees will consult with experts to determine final placings. The top recommendations in each category (excluding the Special Award) will be published as the British Fantasy Award nominations. The ballot procedure is open to audit following prior notification.
- For the 2009 awards four new categories are introduced: Magazine/Periodical, Television, Film and Comic. Graphic novels or trade paperbacks collecting work published in previous years are eligible.
- For the 2009 awards this is divided into two categories: Best Small Press and Best Magazine.
- Recommendations will now be accepted throughout the year of eligibility – for example, you can nominate a book published this month as soon as you’ve finished reading it.
- For the 2009 awards these votes will determine the nominations, but not the winners; the nominations list will be published and then members will vote upon that shortlist.