Six years ago a group of Christian speculative writers started talking about creating an award for Christian speculative fiction, and the Clive Staples Award was born. For two years we operated as a readers’ choice award and had modest success. However, for various reasons, the award went dark after 2010. We at Spec Faith would like to see it continue, and even to see it grow.
The “growing” part is still largely in the dream stage–with the goal to acquire corporate sponsors willing to offer a significant monetary prize. We’d also like to add a second round of judging, bringing in professionals to make the final selection of the winner while still retaining the readers choice format to select the finalists. But all that’s down the road.
What’s in front of us today is a second start, this time hosted here at Spec Faith. Starting next week we’ll open up nominations, then readers will have a chance to read books they haven’t read yet, and in a month or so, vote for the winner.
There are some requirements, both for the books that are eligible and for the voters who can vote. Here’s what you need to know.
Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction
Recognizing the best in Christian Speculative Fiction
The books that are eligible must be all of the following:
- Christian—either overtly or because of a Christian worldview
- published in English
- published by a publisher which has no direct affiliation with the author and which pays a royalty (i.e. not self-published, even through any of the services offered by publishing companies)
- published between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012
- in the science fiction/fantasy/allegory/futuristic/supernatural/supernatural suspense/horror category
Readers will nominate and will vote on the books they believe to be the best in the category.
- Authors, agents, and publishers may not nominate books with which they are affiliated.
- Those wishing to nominate a book must leave a comment including the title, author, and publisher.
Readers’ Choice Voting
Voters will be eligible only if they have read two or more of the books nominated. We want this to be a selection by readers of Christian speculative fiction, not just the fans of particular authors.
Below are standards to consider.
Standards for Clive Staples Award books:
I. Writing Style/Mechanics
- Does the quality of the author’s prose (syntax, tone, voice, pacing etc.) enhance the story?
- Is there a both showing and telling?
- Are there errors in word use, spelling, grammar, paragraphing, and punctuation?
- Is the setting well established and realistic?
- Are the speculative elements believable and necessary to the story?
- Does the main character have clear internal and external goals?
- Are the characters complex, with both strengths and weaknesses?
- Are the characters believably and realistically motivated?
- Is dialogue natural?
- Does dialogue make each person seem unique?
- Is there logical and appropriate character development?
- Is the story structured with a clearly recognizable arc of conflict, crisis, and resolution?
- Does the narrative flow, or does it tend toward the disjointed?
- Are the obstacles to be overcome sufficiently challenging to the main character?
- Are the events in the plot unpredictable?
- Is the resolution something new or unexpected?
- Was it credible?
- Did it seem believable?
- Does the story contain a central or dominating idea?
- Does the theme arise from the characters and events of the story?
- Is the theme consistent with a Christian worldview?
- Does the theme overwhelm the story, or is it well integrated into the story?
Watch for the announcement about the special Clive Staples Award page where you will leave your nominations.