Science Fiction Awards Watch

World Fantasy Awards

The Administrators of the World Fantasy Awards have informed us that our description of their awards below contains material that is “inaccurate or misleading”. Due to other commitments they have been unable to make time to explain to us exactly what we have got wrong. We therefore note that what follows is our best understanding of how their awards work. If anyone can see any obvious mistakes, please let us know. As is the case with all other awards listed here, the official award web site should always be taken as the final word as to exactly how a given set of awards works.

Presented by

The World Fantasy Convention (WFC).


A combination of popular vote and jury. Two nominees each year are selected by popular vote of WFC members from the current and past two years’ conventions. The other three nominees are selected by a jury appointed by the awards administration committee of the World Fantasy Board (currently Peter D. Pautz, John R. Douglas, Jo Fletcher, David G. Hartwell, and Rodger Turner). The winners are selected by the jury. The Lifetime achievement winners are selected solely by the jury without a public nomination stage, though WFC members are allowed to suggest candidates.


Works may be in any language and from any country, but must be “fantasy” (which the judges probably get to decide upon). Fiction category nominees must be written – stories in comics are specifically excluded, but comics are eligible for the Special Award: Professional category (thereby presumably allowing the artists to share in the award).


See below for a list of categories. Note that, unlike the Hugos, Nebulas and Locus awards, World Fantasy has only two short fiction categories. The dividing line between short stories and novellas is 10,000 words. As with the other major awards, novels are 40,000 words and above.

Nominees in the Special Award: Non-professional category are generally people who are professional but do not work full time in that role. Typically the winners run small presses, though many other types of work are honored. The category thus appears to have more in common with the the Semiprozine category in the Hugos than with fan awards.

Winner receives

A trophy in the form of a stylized bust of H.P. Lovecraft. The trophy was designed by Gahan Wilson.

Submissions method

Publishers are invited to sent copies of eligible books to the judges, whose names and addresses are generally published on the WFC web site.


Name Active
Novel Yes
Novella Yes
Short Story Yes
Anthology Yes
Collection Yes
Artist Yes
Special Award: Professional Yes
Special Award: Non-Professional Yes
Lifetime Achievement Yes

Local historical information is available here:

2 Questions to “World Fantasy Awards”

  1. on 06 Mar 2009 at 9:28 pmbatya

    Is it possible for someone who’s not a member to nominate a story for the World Fantasy Award?

    Thank you.

  2. on 07 Mar 2009 at 7:14 amCheryl


    No, it isn’t. But once having joined, you do get three years’ nominating rights, so you don’t have to attend the convention every year.

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