Science Fiction Awards Watch

Geffen Awards

Presented by

The Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy and named for Amos Geffen, an early editor and translator of SF in Israel.


Selection methods are determined each year by a three person committee, the members appointed by the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Typically, selection and voting take place in two rounds. During the first round, members of the Society nominate five works in each category (allowing a sixth for ties). During the second round, the members and the general public vote for the nominees to select a winner.

(The rules are online, but they are in Hebrew). A translation is provided at the end of this article.


Works must be published in Hebrew. The year of eligibility is changed over the years.
Until 2001, the year of eligibility had been the previous Hebrew year.
From 2002 to 2008, the year of eligibility was the one which ended on the last day of the last Hebrew Book Week (an event held each June by The Book Publishers Association of Israel) and began immediately after the one before it.
Since 2009, the year of eligibility has been the previous Gregorian year.

(Note that the original book category was originally bi-annual. Also note that in 2003, the year on which the award was given in the original book category for the first time, books from earlier years were eligible in this category. Some of the books eligible in this category for that year had been published as early as 1997.)


  • Translated SF Book
  • Translated Fantasy Book
  • Original Short Story
  • Novel or Short Fiction Collection

Note that “Book” may refer to a novel, a novella or an anthology

Note that the names of the categories are somewhat misleading: the definition of a work as original seems to be based not on whether it was originally published in Hebrew but rather on whether the writer is Israeli. For example, Lavie Tidhar and Nir Yaniv’s The Tel Aviv Dossier, originally written in English and published in Canada, was nominated as an original book in 2011. The last category was originally bi-annual, but it has been an annual category just like the others since 2008.

In 2008, there were two additional categories which had not existed in previous years and have not existed since. One was a category for books for children and young adults. Original books were not included in this category. Works included in this category were ineligible for the two oldest categories. The other additional category was for Hebrew translations of science fiction and fantasy books – an award given to the translator rather than the author. The award in this category was presented jointly by the Society and the Israel Translators Association. Members of both organizations could nominate works in this category.

Winner receives

Determined each year by the appointed committee

Submissions method

The award committee makes a list of eligible works in each category, and the lists are approved by the board. Books which form a series and have been published in Hebrew in the same year are sometimes treated as a single work.


(Updated 12/29/11 with information provided by Zeevi Iosub)

Rules for the Award in English translation:
(Zeevi Iosub has provided a full English translation of the Geffen Awards process)

1. General
I. The Geffen Award, named for Amos Geffen, is given once a year by the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy (henceforward – the Society) and is intended to promote high-quality publications in the speculative fiction genre.
II. The award is given to select publications in the speculative fiction genre that have been published in Hebrew over the past year and to their authors.
2. The award committee
I. The Geffen Award committee shall consist of three Society members: a chairperson and two members.
II. The Society board shall appoint the Geffen Award committee chairperson for that year. The appointment of the award committee chairperson shall be made not later than 30 November preceding the award presentation.
III. The committee chairperson shall have the authority to appoint the two other committee members, with the approval of the Society board, no later than 1 January following his or her appointment.
IV. The award committee shall hold office until the appointment of a new award committee.
V. The following persons, even if they are Society members, cannot be members of the award committee:
1. Whoever authored, translated, edited, published or was otherwise involved in the publication of an eligible work for that year.
2. The chairperson of the Society.
VI. The decisions regarding all award proceedings, including determining the eligible works, determining the criteria for eligibility, the voting procedure, the vote count, determining the method of voting and any other determination, shall be made by the award committee, subject to approval by the Society board.
3. Eligibility for the award
I. The award shall be given to the best works of speculative fiction published between January and December in the year preceding the award presentation.
II. The award committee shall advise the Society board on the categories in which the award shall be given in a given year.
III. The award committee shall determine which works are eligible for the award in each category.
IV. If in a certain year there are less than 5 works in a certain category, that category shall be postponed for the next year.
V. A reissue of a work shall be ineligible. If a short story has also appeared in an anthology, their eligibility shall be determined by the award committee.
VI. The award committee may unify books belonging to a single series and present them as a single eligible work.
VII. Original works must have undergone professional editing to be eligible to the award. The award committee has the authority to decline works due to an insufficient level of production or editing.
VIII. Once a publication becomes a candidate in any stage of the vote, an announcement on the candidacy shall be sent to the publishing body and the author.
IX. The author has the right to withdraw his or her work from candidacy in any stage of the vote, as long as this is done at least 7 days before voting begins.
X. The award committee may, with the approval of the Society board, determine the form of the award.
4. The voting procedure
I. The voting procedure shall be determined by the award committee with the approval of the Society board.
II. The voting procedure shall be announced each year as an appendix to the rules, no later than 30 May in that year.
III. The declaration on the final list of candidates shall be given no later than 10 August of that year.
IV. The votes in each stage of the voting shall be counted by the award committee.
5. The presentation of the award
I. The Geffen Award shall be presented at the ICon festival.
II. The authors, representatives of the publishing houses and representatives of the magazines responsible for publishing the candidates shall be invited to the presentation ceremony.
III. Notwithstanding article 5(I), if the ICon festival is not held in a given year, the award committee may, together with the Society board, set another date for the presentation of the award, as long as this date precedes the end of the Gregorian year.
IV. The award for literary works shall be given to their author unless the author requests otherwise. If the author has not requested otherwise and was not present at the presentation ceremony, the award shall be given to a representative of the publishing house and/or the publication where the story was published, who will receive the award on behalf of the author.
6. After the winners are announced
The Geffen Award committee chairperson shall send an announcement to the authors of the award-winning works. If they were not present at the award presentation ceremony, the award certificate shall be appended to the announcement. A copy of the certificate shall be given to the publishing house and/or the magazine where the winning work was published.
7. Changing the Geffen Award rules
The Society board may change the rules.

Leave a Question