Rules and timetable

What are the BSFA Awards?

The BSFA awards are presented annually by the British Science Fiction Association, based on a vote of BSFA members and – in recent years – members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon. They are fan awards that not only seek to honour the most worthy examples in each category, but also to promote the genre of science fiction, and get people reading, talking about, and enjoying all that contemporary science fiction has to offer.

Eligibility

You must be a member of the BSFA in order to take part in award nominations and voting. If you are not currently a member, you can join here.

The awards are fan awards and we do not accept publisher submissions. More generally, you may not nominate or vote for your own work. This includes work for which you were the author, artist, editor, publisher, agent, or otherwise directy involved in creation/publication. Nominations/votes for your own work will be discarded during counting.

Works published by the BSFA, or in association with the BSFA, are ineligible for a BSFA award.

The process

There are three rounds: longlist, shortlist, final vote.

  • Longlist nominations are open from mid-September until 31 December. BSFA members may submit up to 4 nominations in each category.
  • Shortlist voting is open from early January until 31 January. BSFA members may vote for up to 4 nominations in each category to proceed to the shortlist.
  • The final vote takes place once the shortlists have been announced. Voting opens in early February and closes at noon on the day of the awards ceremony. BSFA and Eastercon members are eligible to vote, and the awards ceremony takes place at Eastercon.

Award categories

The Best Novel award is open to any novel-length work of science fiction or fantasy first published in the year of eligibility. (Note that a rule change in 2018 means that works no longer need to have been published in the UK or ROI; works are eligible regardless of publication location.) Serialised novels are eligible, provided that the publication date of the concluding part is in the year of eligibility. Where a novel was first published in the UK or Ireland in the year of eligibility, it may also be included in the longlist, at the discretion of the Awards Administrator.

The Best Short Fiction award is open to any shorter work of science fiction or fantasy, up to and including novellas (40,000 words or under), first published in the year of eligibility (in a magazine, in a book, in audio format, or any electronic or web-based format).

The Best Artwork award is open to any science fictional or fantastic artwork that first appeared in the year of eligibility.

The Best Non-Fiction award is open to any written work about science fiction and/or fantasy which appeared in its current form in the year of eligibility. Whole collections comprised entirely of unrevised work that has been published elsewhere previous to the year of eligibility are ineligible.

Not sure if the work you want to nominate fits the above criteria? Don’t worry, the definitions are kept as open as possible to allow for multifarious multimedia interpretation … if you’re not sure, just ask!

Longlists and shortlists

The longlists consist of all works nominated by at least one BSFA member.

The shortlists normally comprise the five works in each category that receive the most shortlisting votes by the deadline. In the event of a tie for fifth place, the number of shortlisted works may be reduced to four or increased to six or more, at the discretion of the Awards Administrator.

How are the votes counted?

We employ the Alternative Voting System which we believe is the fairest method of counting.

How can I find out who has won?

If you are a member of Eastercon, you are invited to come along to the award ceremony. If you are not able to attend, follow #bsfaawards on Twitter for the live results, and check the BSFA website shortly after.