The British Fantasy Awards Constitution


This is the constitution of the British Fantasy Awards, following the AGM of 25 October 2015. The previous constitution can be seen here.

The Awards

The British Fantasy Society (BFS) and the British Fantasy Convention (FantasyCon) present the British Fantasy Awards (BFA) annually. The BFS and FantasyCon jointly finance the Awards, except for the “Best Newcomer Award”, and appoint a Committee (minimum of one person) to organise the voting arrangements. 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 ballot procedure is open to audit following prior notification.

The British Fantasy Society resolves that the BFS Awards shall ultimately be decided by a jury deliberating on a shortlist determined by the members of the Society. The Jury shall comprise individuals directly or indirectly related to the writing, publishing and bookselling genre fields. The Jury shall include at least one non-member of the Society. The Jury shall be appointed by the Awards Administrator, subject to approval by the BFS committee. The Jury shall deliberate on a shortlist of four nominations as determined by the membership by online or postal vote. The Jury shall also have oversight powers to add nominations where it identifies an egregious omission. In order to add such nominations the jury must make a unanimous decision. The addition of a nomination will be made in camera.

Notes on Eligibility

BFS and FantasyCon publications are ineligible, although their contents (e.g. individual stories, articles and pieces of artwork) are eligible. The “relevant year” throughout this constitution is the calendar year (January to December) preceding that in which the awards are presented. Eligible voters: members of the BFS (the vote of a member whose membership expires after the vote is cast remains valid), members of the previous FantasyCon, and those who have registered for the upcoming FantasyCon.

The Awards Administrator may not own or part-own any works shortlisted in any category. Where the Awards Administrator is associated (either by writing, publishing or editing) a work shortlisted in any category, the Awards Administrator will declare this association to the committee, who will independently verify the votes placed for that work, and that work’s eligibility to be shortlisted.

Where practicable, the awards administrator will allow and encourage members, publishers and other interested parties to contribute to a list of eligible items, to be made available online before voting begins.

Changes to This Constitution

Changes to this constitution may only be made by a vote at the AGM of the British Fantasy Society, taken according to the same rules of procedure outlined in the BFS constitution, with one exception: proposed amendments to the awards constitution must be put in writing and forwarded to the awards administrator rather than the chair. If a sponsor of the British Fantasy Awards withdraws from sponsoring one (or more) of the awards, the name of said sponsor will immediately be removed from that award. A committee vote may not be used to reverse a decision made at an AGM.


Fantasy Novel (The Robert Holdstock Award)

Eligibility: fiction over 40,000 words published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world in any format during the relevant year.

Horror Novel (The August Derleth Award)

Eligibility: fiction over 40,000 words published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world in any format during the relevant year.


Eligibility: fiction from 15,000 to 40,000 words published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world in any format during the relevant year.

Short Fiction

Eligibility: stories under 15,000 words published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world in any format during the relevant year.


Eligibility: a collection of work by various authors, published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world during the relevant year. BFS anthologies are not eligible for this award.


Eligibility: a collection of work by a single author, published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world during the relevant year.

Film/Television Production

Eligibility: a TV broadcast, film or electronic broadcast first released in the English language accessible in the United Kingdom during the relevant year. “Release” constitutes the work’s commercial availability, be it cinema release, release on DVD, Bluray or via video on demand or other online streaming, or broadcast in the case of television productions. It does not apply to festival, preview or trade screenings if these precede the commercial release date. Television seasons, miniseries or serials may be considered as a whole, if all written by one writer or the same team of writers. For multipart works eligible under this, the eligibility is for the calendar year of the broadcast or other distribution of the final episode. Awarded to the writer.


Eligibility: non-fiction and fiction magazines, print and online, that were active during the relevant year. BFS publications (such as Dark Horizons and Prism) are not eligible for this award.

Comic/Graphic Novel

Eligibility: comics and collections of comics, published for the first time in the English language in any part of the world during the relevant year. New collections of previously published comics are eligible.

Categories with special juries.

Independent Press

Eligibility: Independent presses active during the relevant year.


Eligibility: any artist who has produced work during the relevant year. This category covers artists who work in any format. Special jury to comprise at least one artist working within the genre.


Eligibility: items eligible for this Award include non-fiction books, chapbooks, magazine or online columns or single magazine or online articles. The non-fiction item must have been published in any format (book, magazine, small press or electronic) in any part of the world during the relevant year. Special jury drawn from bloggers, reviewers and commentators on the genre.

Special Award (The Karl Edward Wagner Award)

The British Fantasy Special Award is known as the Karl Edward Wagner Award. 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 or the Society throughout his/her lifetime; or it may go to the organisers of a special event or publication that took place in the relevant year. Recommendations for this Award will be sought from the membership. The BFS Committee will determine the winner of this award.

The Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award

The award is for a new fiction writer. 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 special panel of readers appointed by the BFS and will include representatives from the Bounds estate and the BFS.

(BFS Short Story Competition

The competition is subject to its own rules, which are at the discretion of the BFS Short Story Competition Administrator.)


Voting Schedule

The precise voting schedule each year will depend on the schedule of BFS mailings and the timing of FantasyCon.

Recommendations sought: Jan–March.

Jury work: April–July. Shortlist announced April.

Announcement of winners: usually September

Stage 1: Shortlist from the membership: Recommendations may be submitted online or by post.

Each member may put forward up to three Recommendations in any category, expressed in preferential order.

All Recommendations should ideally be accompanied with publication details: year of publication, publisher, and title of collection, magazine, editor, etc, if applicable. If the information supplied is insufficient for the BFA committee to establish eligibility the recommendations may be excluded from the ballot form.

Recommendations may not be made for the recommender’s own material. The British Fantasy Society discourages the practice of canvassing for votes.

The four titles or names with the highest number of recommendations will go forward to form the shortlist of nominations.

Stage 2: The Jury

A Jury of three or five readers shall have the power to add up to two further nominations if they so wish. The Jury shall decide a winner from the shortlist. The Jury’s decisions shall be final.

Stage 3: Announcement and Presentation

The Awards are presented at FantasyCon or at a suitable alternative event if FantasyCon is cancelled in any particular year.

The Awards will usually take the form of a statuette. The statuette should be abstract or genre-neutral in design, avoiding any preference for horror, fantasy etc.