The 2015 Clive Staples Award

The final winner will be decided by a panel of judges, so the award becomes a hybrid of “readers’ choice” and panel judging, which combines popularity and critical acclaim in the process.
on May 14, 2015 · 8 comments

RealmMakerslogoRealm Makers is excited to promote this year’s Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction. We will announce the winner as part of the Realm Makers Awards Dinner on August 7th.

Similar to last year, the final winner will be decided by a panel of judges, so the award becomes a hybrid of “readers’ choice” and panel judging, which combines popularity and critical acclaim in the process. We’re very excited to be able to recognize the book that earns this honor, and therefore, the Faith and Fantasy Alliance is once again committing sponsoring funds to the cash prize that will go to the winner.

The nomination period is upon us and will be conducted via an online poll. If you would like to nominate a book for this award, please read the guidelines below before jumping to the poll.

Nomination qualifications

Eligible books must be all of the following:

  • Containing themes consistent with a Christian worldview, whether implied, symbolic, or overt.
  • Published in English.
  • Published between January 1 and December 31 of the current contest’s year. (For example, for the Clive Staples Award held in 2015, entrants must have been published between, Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014.)
  • In the science fiction/fantasy/allegory/futuristic/supernatural/supernatural suspense/horror/time travel category, or any sub-genre or mashup of these.

Nomination guidelines

  • Authors, agents, and publishers may not nominate books with which they are affiliated. Likewise, book authors or affiliates may not campaign for votes on behalf of their books. A conservative number of social media posts to make readers aware of the voting process is welcome. The contest committee reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it is determined a book’s affiliates have campaigned for votes.
  • Readers may only nominate books they have actually read.
  • Ebooks and books in hard-copy print are both eligible

Nomination instructions

  • Add between 1 and 3 books you’d like to nominate. Please include the Title, Author, and Publisher (indicate “self-published” if that is the case.)
  • Submit your answers

After the nomination period is over, the award committee will tabulate the votes and declare the semi-finalists.

Readers’ Choice Semi-finalist 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

  • Quality writing style and mechanics
  • Believable and well-developed world-building
  • Depth of characterization
  • Well-structured, original, and interesting plot
  • Deftness of integration of the worldview into the story’s plot and characterizations

Contest time line:

5-15-15: Reader nomination period begins

5-29-15: Reader nominations close

6-1-15: Semi-Finalists announced; second round of Readers Choice voting begins

6-8-15: Readers Choice voting closes

6-15-15: Finalists announced

7-7-15: Winner announced at the Realm Makers Costumed Awards Dinner, cash prize awarded

Thank you for lending your voice to help us choose the best speculative fiction out there. Spread the word that the contest is open, and good luck to all you authors.

[The nomination poll is imbedded in the original of this post at the Clive Staples Award site.]

Rebecca P. Minor can't help but tell stories, whether that's in the form of animation, illustration, novels, or really long retellings of weird things that happened when she was a carriage driver. Her favorite stories, however, involve dragons, elves, sword fights, and magic, all of which you'll find in her two fantasy series, The Windrider Saga and The Risen Age Archive. Rebecca is also the cofounder of Realm Makers, an annual symposium for people of faith who write science fiction and fantasy. Rebecca resides outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and three sons, who have all happily bought into the geek pool alongside her.
  1. Sparksofember says:

    Too bad we can’t sort the library by publication date! Hmm, I’m off to think!

    • Sorting books in the Library (by order of addition or publication) was available for a while until something stopped the app/plugin from working.

      Fixing this option now becomes a higher priority.

  2. So this is open to self-published authors this year?

    • Yes, we’ve decided to open the award to self-published authors. I’d hoped we’d have an indie author division of the award, but we’re not in position to do that and not sure that’s even the direction we want to go. So this year we’ll put the books published by either of the two into the contest and see what happens. 😉

      Becky (not Minor)

  3. Celesta says:

    Does this include middle grade fiction? Is there a certain length that the book has to be?

  4. Celesta says:

    Also, what if the paperback came out at the end of 2013 but the kindle version came out in Jan. of 2014? Would that book be eligible?

  5. Just for moment of clarification/correction, the gathering interface for votes has changed a little, due to a technical oversight on my part, but no worries, none of the votes submitted right when things opened yesterday afternoon have been lost.

    To address a couple questions that have come up, the books need to be novel length (over 50,000 words) and can be written for Young Adult or Adult audiences, for the sake of maintaining an “Apples to Apples” comparison.

    With the rising prevalence of publishers releasing a book electronically first to determine whether a print run is profitably justified, the first release date on any format of a book will serve as its publication date. So, an ebook released in November of 2013, followed by a print edition in February of 2014 has a publication date of November 2013, and would thus be ineligible for this year’s award.

    We are allowing self-published works to join into the fun this year, and we’ll see how that goes. Because authors are not permitted to campaign for their books, there will be no labor gap between a “big published” author getting the vote out as opposed to an independently published author. These books compete in the retail marketplace without segregation, and so we have opted to try structuring the contest in the same sort of intermingled way.

    Best of luck to all you 2014 authors of speculative fiction!

What do you think?