Science Fiction Awards Watch

Shirley Jackson Awards

Presented by

The Shirley Jackson Awards




The awards are open to all works published in English anywhere in the world during the year of eligibility. Eligibility is on a calendar year basis.

Works by members of the jury are not eligible.

Note that both the Collection and Anthology categories have word limits. Also collections must contain at least 3 stories, and anthologies 3 stories by three different authors. For a collection at least half of the material must be fiction, and for an anthology at least half of the material must be original.


  • Novel (40,000+ words)
  • Novella (17,500 to 39,999 words)
  • Novelette (7,500 to 17,499)
  • Short Story (less than 7,500 words)
  • Single-Author Collection (40,000+ words)
  • Edited Anthology (40,000+ words)

Winner receives


Submissions method

Works must be submitted to the awards to be considered. Only book and magazine publishers are allowed to submit works.

Data Sources

  • Award web site: Jan 22, 2008

5 Questions to “Shirley Jackson Awards”

  1. on 22 Jul 2008 at 11:57 amsarah hyman dewitt

    I am Shirley Jackson’s daughter, and I have been reading about these awards. I do not understand how Ellen Datlow, one of the board of advisors for these awards, could have won one. Although I have a great deal of respect for Ms. Datlow’s work, this disturbs me. Please explain why this should not be seen as hugely inappropriate.

    Thank you.

  2. on 22 Jul 2008 at 2:01 pmCheryl

    Well Sarah, the thing you have to be aware of with the fantastic fiction community is that it is very small. The number of people who write eligible works each year is probably no more than a couple of hundred. The number of people who edit eligible anthologies is perhaps only a few dozen.

    Within this field, Ellen is a colossus. She is one of the best known horror editors ever. That makes her a very obvious person for the awards to have as an advisor. But it also means she’ll be nominated for awards year after year. (She gets nominated for a Hugo Award for editing every year, and that field is much bigger than the field for the Jacksons.) If being on the Board of Advisors made her ineligible it would be like telling the Yankees that they could not complete for the World Series. It would make a mockery of the whole contest.

    Also Ellen isn’t the only advisor with a close connection to the field. All of the advisors are connected in some way – they would not be good people to have advisors if they were not. In particular Ann VanderMeer is another leading anthologist and is editor of one of the leading magazines in the field, Weird Tales. Ann’s husband, Jeff, is a well respected author whose work is likely to be nominated in the fiction categories (as well as jointly with Ann for the anthologies they edit). If advisors were not allowed to compete, we would not have much of a field left.

    Something else to remember here is that Ellen is only an advisor. She is not a member of the jury. Only the jury can choose the nominees and winners. The jurors are chosen for many reasons, but one of the qualifications will be that they are honest and independent people who will make up their own minds which works are the best.

    So I wouldn’t worry. Things like this do happen on a regular basis within genre awards. Next year one of the winners may be a story that Ann published, or a novel that Bill Congreve’s company published. In a small community you can’t get away from such issues.

  3. on 22 Jul 2008 at 3:14 pmPaul Tremblay


    I agree with just about everything that Cheryl said (thanks!), so I’ll just add the following.

    Quoting directly from a few of our award rules, which have been on our website since inception:

    “3. Determinations of nominations (the final ballot) and final recipients are made solely by the Jury.
    4. Members of the Advisory Board may recommend works to the Jurors but do no nominate or vote on works.
    5. General eligibility concerning the judges and advisory board members:

    1. Judges’ works are not eligible during the calendar year for which they are serving as judges.
    2. Advisory Board members’ works are eligible.”

    An advisor’s function within our awards is to recommend works to the jurors that might otherwise be overlooked, and to act as a sounding board to administrative questions jurors or the governing body might have. While our advisory board is a cherished and indispensable part the awards, they don’t vote for works and they don’t have any official decision making power.

    I’d also like to direct you to Sarah Langan’s thoughtful blog post on the subject (written in May):


    Paul Tremblay

  4. on 19 Nov 2009 at 9:33 pmkelly

    hi sarah
    i am going to read “the haunting of hill house” by shirley jackson(ur mom) ..i was wondering if u can tell me abut early education of shirley jackson

  5. on 21 Nov 2009 at 9:52 amEditors


    We don’t know whether sarah hyman dewitt follows what happens on this thread. Posting here may not be a good way of trying to contact her.

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