The Realm Award FAQs

You asked, we’ve answered. And now, we’re sharing those answers with everyone. See what everyone’s asking about entering the Realm Awards.

Our new categories, especially, have generated a LOT of questions. Thank you for your interest and for being patient as we worked through some of the more difficult questions.


Q: How old does a person have to be to enter the Realm Awards?

A: There is no minimum age for entry, but credit card information is required for the entry fee. A parent or guardian may enter a story on behalf of a teen author.

Q: Do you have to be a member of Realm Makers to enter the Realm Awards?

A: No, you do not have to be a member.

Q: I’m Catholic. Am I allowed to enter my work into the Realm Awards?

A: Absolutely.

Q: I think my books are clean, but I know some don’t see them that way. How am I to determine what content rating to put on them?

A: If in doubt, go ahead and rate it PG.

Q: What if the publication date on Amazon is incorrect because I accidentally “published” then removed my story from KDP, but Amazon won’t change the publication date?

A: This is fairly common. Please contact us if you have this issue.


Q: Does not having a book professionally edited disqualify the book from consideration?

A: Not at all. Any book or story is welcome in the Realm Awards whether or not it has been professionally edited. We’re collecting editorial information because at some point, we may use it to provide an award to an exceptional editor.

Q: Will the judges be provided with the information that the book is or is not professionally edited?

A: To avoid any bias, the judges will not be provided information about whether an entry was professionally edited. The quality of the work will speak for itself.


Q: I’d love to enter my new novel in the awards, but I seem to fall short of the word count. Is that an automatic disqualify?

A: You can’t enter it as a novel, but you may enter it into the novella/novelette category. We’re allowing entries into the novella/novelette category up to the minimum wordcount required for a novel. In other words, anything that isn’t long enough to be considered a novel, can still be entered as a novella even if it’s over 40,000 words.

Q: I was wondering if an author can still enter the debut novel category if their first novel was published in 2020 even if they have previously published a novella?

A: Yes, you can still enter the debut category. We’re defining “debut” as an author’s first published novel.

Q: Can I enter my graphic/photographic novel into the Realm Awards? If so, where should it go?

A: Yes. Enter it into the genre and/or audience category that makes the most sense for the story. If you’re asked to select a subgenre, choose “Other.”

Q: Can I enter an anthology or collection of stories into the Realm Awards?

A: We are not accepting anthologies or story collections as a whole. Instead, submit stories from the anthology or collection into the awards as individual entries in the Short Fiction category.

Cover Design (Parable)

Q: Is it possible to enter cover art for a novelette/novella into the Cover Design (Parable) Awards?

A: Yes. Any speculative fiction cover is eligible.

Q: Is it possible to enter cover art for an anthology into the Cover Design (Parable) Awards?

A: If the anthology is speculative fiction, yes.

Q: Can I submit my novella cover to the Cover Design (Parable) Award?

A: Yes.

Q: In the guidelines for submissions for the Realm Awards, one clause states: Entries must be submitted as .mobi or .pdf wherever possible. If you will be utilizing NetGalley to give us contest copies, check the appropriate box on the entry form. Please make your publisher aware that contest copies still need to be received by the January 21 deadline. Does this mean that you need contest copies as well as a .mobi or .pdf file?

A: We only need a .mobi or .pdf file of your entry (unless it’s an audio submission). If your publisher won’t allow you to provide those, then NetGalley is acceptable.


Q: I had a book released as an audiobook in 2020, but I don’t have “free” files on my computer to directly upload. Can I share a Dropbox link?

A: Yes. Check the “my file is too large to upload” box and put the link in the space provided.

Q: I have an Audible code to share for my audiobook, is that permissible?

A: Absolutely!

Q: I submitted an audiobook for an award. I have free promo codes that reviewers/judges can have. How many do you think you will need, and should I send them directly to you?

A: Free promo codes are fantastic! If you could provide us with 3 initially, that would be great. You can either list them on the form (Check the “my file is too large to upload” box and put the link in the space provided) or email them to Depending on how far your entry gets in the contest, we might need more. If so, we will contact you.

Q: A short story I wrote was produced in audio for a podcast, but I don’t know how to acquire those files or if I am even allowed to enter them.

A: There’s a place on the submission form to enter the link to the podcast URL for your story. You don’t actually have to acquire audio files for stories that can be listened to freely on the internet.

Q: For the audio categories and the “audio drama” option, are you asking for written scripts or are you looking for fully produced audio dramas with recorded actors and sound? 

A: For the audio category, we’re looking for the actual audio files. For an audio drama, we would expect it to be “fully produced with recorded actors.”

Q: For the audio categories and the “audio drama” option, by “full-length” do you mean something like a single, 1-2 hour standalone story (like a play), or are you looking for a whole season worth of material? And do you have either desired runtime or page limit on scripts?

A: By “full-length,” we are expecting a novel (or the equivalent) produced as an audio drama. It could be that an entire season might be the equivalent of a novel if a season has a complete story arc. For something shorter than a novel, like a 1-2 hour standalone story, that would fit best in the novella/novelette audio fiction category. Short stories or flash fiction are generally podcast length, or under an hour.

Q: We are entering a full-length audiobook for submission. Do you just need a sample to judge or the whole Book?

A: Please enter the entire audiobook.

Q: What is the best way to submit my entire audiobook?

A: Several authors have provided Audible promotional codes for review copies. Other authors have provided a link to download the audiobook through Dropbox or another site. One author submitted a zip file. Since audio is a new category this year, we’re allowing a range of submission options because we’re not sure what will work best. If you have another suggestion, feel free to contact us.

If you want to provide us with a link because your file is too large for upload (over 16MB), check the “my file is too large to upload” box and put the link, promo codes, or other information on how to obtain review copies of your audiobook in the space provided.

Short Story/Flash Fiction

Q: I’m curious about your definition of published? Are you only looking for something that has been published traditionally, such as in an anthology or magazine? Something with an ISBN? I’ve been writing flash fiction off and on this past year and putting in on my website for people to read for free. I consider it publishing because I’m putting it out into the world, but I know some do not because it doesn’t have an ISBN. Just hoping for some clarification.

A: We don’t consider publication to an author’s blog/website or use as a lead magnet publication for the purposes of our contest. For us to consider an online-only story published, it either needs to be available for purchase somewhere (like Amazon), published by a third party (like a publisher or ezine), or have a Goodreads listing.

Q: I’m interested in submitting a short fiction piece to The Realm Awards. Do you need an “official” mobi/PDF file that comes from the publisher, or is it enough to simply convert my finalized Word doc (that I sent to the publisher) into a PDF, then send that to you?

A: We’d like something official from the publisher, if possible. Otherwise, we have no way of knowing that what you’re submitting is the “official” version. If it’s a work that is published online, you could print it from the publisher’s website as a pdf if you’d like. Otherwise, we’re happy to work with you to get what we need from your publisher.

Q: My story was published online in Dec 2019 but was published in a print anthology in 2020. Is it eligible?

A: The first publication date is what we consider, so it would not be eligible.

Q: Are we allowed to tweak our story before we submit it or just send it in as published.

A: As published. Please submit the official version.

Q: I would like to enter a short story in the Realm Awards. A version of the story was published on in 2019. I published the eBook in 2020. Does the eBook still qualify for this year’s awards?

A: We would not consider the story’s presence on “publication” since it is a group-hosted blog. Therefore, your published eBook in 2020 would be eligible for this year’s Realm Awards depending on where it was “published.”

Q: Do local library publications count as “published”?

I’m not sure a library publication would count. If you have a link to the library publication, please send it to us so we can make a more informed decision.

Q: How many winners are picked from the flash fiction category?

A: At this time, we anticipate only one winner from the flash fiction category, but a list of finalists will also be announced as the contest progresses.

Awards close this Thursday, January 21st at midnight. For more information or to enter, go to

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