Every year, we get a slew of questions about the Realm Awards. Please read the FAQs below, and if you don’t find the answer to your question, feel free to reach out to us via email.

I am the main author of a novella but it was co-written. Am I still allowed to enter?

Yes. Co-authored words are allowed. The person who enters the work will be the one who will receive the award.


Will a work in the book/full-length adult category qualify for the contest if its publication is solely on a personal website and not done through a publisher i.e., Amazon? To clarify, I have the entire book for sale in a .epub or .pdf format on my website.  It is a digital copy only.

For the contest, we need to be able to independently verify the publication date, either through the publisher, the retailer, or someplace like Goodreads.


I think my books are clean, but I know some don’t see them that way. How am I to gauge this? …there are some steamy scenes, but I never show sex. To me, that’s clean. But I guess that means PG13. As for “violence,” I wouldn’t think mine is G-rated, but I cringe to say it’s PG-13 …

We are looking for things that would make a Christian judge uncomfortable. We expect there to be conflict in your books. If it is extreme or intense, please let us know. If there is sex outside marriage or it is descriptive at all, please let us know. We don’t want your work scored poorly because it was given to a sensitive reader.


I am struggling on the format and the length of an audiobook submission for the awards. We are entering a full-length Audiobook for submission. Do you just need a sample to judge? The whole book? Please let me know ASAP so I can get my submission in in time!

We request that you submit the entirety of the work for judging.


I would love to enter an audio book, but I’m not sure how best to include it on the application. Can I submit a link and book promo code for ACX?

Yes. Promo codes are preferred.


I was wondering if an author can still enter the debut novel category even if they have previously published a novella?

Yes. We’re defining “debut” as an author’s first published novel.


For the audio categories and the “audio drama” option, are you asking for just written scripts or are you looking for fully produced audio dramas with recorded actors and sound? Also, 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? I saw that you have word limits for the other options, though it’s hard to judge by the word for scripted audio dramas given all the sound cues needed for editing and effects.

We’re looking for the actual audio files, so “fully produced with recorded actors.” 

By full-length, we were expecting a novel produced as an audio drama. It could be that an entire season might be the equivalent if a season has a complete story arc.

For something shorter than a novel, like a 1-2 hour standalone story, that might fit best in the novella/novelette audio fiction category. Short stories or flash fiction are generally podcast length, or under an hour.


I am an aspiring, published writer and I am considering entering the flash fiction category for the Realm Maker’s Awards. However, have a few questions about it first.

First, how old does a person have to be to enter?

Second, do local library publications count?

And third, how many winners are picked from the flash fiction category?

1. There is no minimum age for entry.

2. I’m not sure a library publication would count. The story must be published by a third party and/or available for purchase. If you have a link to the library publication, please send it to us so we can make a more informed decision.

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


I published a piece of flash fiction with Havok, who later produced it in audio for their podcast. I would be thrilled to enter that into this year’s Realm Awards, but I don’t know how to acquire those files, or if I am even allowed to. Is that something I need to contact Havok about? This is all very new to me, so any help is wholly appreciated.

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


I would like to enter a short story in the Realm Awards – a slightly shorter version was published on medium.com in the past. I published the eBook in December. Does the eBook still qualify for this year’s awards?

We would not consider the story’s presence on medium.com “publication” since it is a group hosted blog. Therefore, your published eBook in Dec would be eligible for this year’s Realm Awards.


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?

No, we do not. Some publishers won’t allow authors to submit a .mobi or .pdf, so we have no choice but to use NetGalley. We would much prefer a .mobi or .pdf.


I have a question about submitting short fiction to The Realm Awards. I’d like to submit my story in the novella category because the word count is 10,204. That count includes an introduction that was compiled by the authors involved in the anthology where my short story appears. The single Kindle story I published contains that introduction. I had intended to submit the Mobi file as it appears in the Kindle Store, meaning the introduction is included in the submission.

Is that an appropriate way to calculate the word count of my published story for the purpose of submission to the contest? If I’m limited to counting the story text alone, my word count is 9,986 words. Am I allowed to round up to 10K in that case and still pick the novella category?

Since your story is right on the cusp of short story/novelette, you can decide where you’d most like your story to go. If it turns out that lengthwise it makes more sense for it to go in the short story vs. novella category (or vice versa), we can always move it once we see the number and length of submissions we’ve received. If yours is the only short story near 10,000 words, we would likely move it to the novella/novelette category. If all of the novellas are more than 20,000 words, we would likely group it with the short stories.


My story was published online by Havok in 2019 but was published in a print anthology in 2020. Is it eligible?

It would be eligible based on the first publication date (2019).


Are we allowed to tweak our story at all? Or just send it in as published?

It needs to be the official, published version.


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? I can also of course provide all publication information and any other required verification.

We need something official from the publisher. 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. If it is in an anthology, you could submit the entire anthology and we can pull your story out of the pdf to send to the judges.


The audio drama I plan to enter is a single episode of an anthology series. Basically, each episode in my series is a self-contained story focused on a different time, different place, and different characters. Is it eligible even though it’s part of a series, or do you require each submission to be its own 100% self-contained production?

If it is a stand-alone story, it is eligible as a single episode. If the episode is more like a book chapter, the entire series would need to be submitted as a full-length work.


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

You do NOT have to be a Realm Makers member to enter the Realm Awards.


Is it possible to enter cover art for a novelette/novella into the Cover Design Award?

Yes, as long as it is speculative fiction written by a Christian author.


I have a novelette that I used as a reader magnet for my newsletter, written and sent out this year, but I haven’t published it anywhere else. Is my novelette eligible for the Novella/Novelette category? Or does it need to be published elsewhere first?

For a novella/novelette/short story to qualify as “published” it should either be available for purchase through Amazon, etc. and/or published by a third party.


Is it possible as the editor of an entire anthology, several stories from which are written by Christians, to submit the entire anthology? Can I just pay the novel price or… how should I go about that?

We don’t allow full anthologies because each author would need to affirm our Statement of Faith

You are welcome to enter individual stories to the awards in the appropriate category, then we can contact the author to affirm our Statement of Faith. Otherwise, encourage your author(s) to submit to the awards themselves.


I’d love to enter my new novel in the awards, but I seem to fall short of the Adult Fantasy word count. I’m at about 52K words. Is that an automatic disqualification?

If it does not reach the minimum word count for the category, please enter it as a novella.


Question about your Realm Awards submissions, specifically, the short/flash fiction. 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.

Unfortunately, we don’t consider publication to an author’s blog or website or use as a lead magnet publication for the purposes of our contest. To consider a story published if it appears online only, it either needs to be available for purchase somewhere (like Amazon) or published by a third party (like a publisher or ezine).


What definition does the committee use for “professional editing”? I am guessing it is tied into payment received as this would be my usual understanding of the term.

If a professional editor (someone who is employed as an editor, whether freelance or for a publisher) edits your work, it would be considered professionally edited whether or not you pay them. 

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

Not at all. We capture editorial information in case we decide to award excellence in editing in the future.

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

No. We do not provide information on whether your book has been edited, or by whom, to the judges.


While still new at KDP, I prematurely “published” my novelette before it was ready for launch. I then removed it from availability because it wasn’t ready for the market, and then actually published it later in the intended final form. The problem is that on Amazon the ebook continues to list the first date as the publication date. My copyright page lists the correct year, in both ebook and paperback form. All of my launch posts are from the correct year on FB and Twitter. Does this situation makes the book ineligible for submission to the Awards?

If you are in this situation, or a similar situation, contact the Awards Committee via email. We’ll keep your email for reference and allowed you to enter the Awards.


I am a book cover creator and a Christian. Can I submit one of my speculative book covers to the Realm Awards Cover Design contest?

Only if the content of the book was authored by a Christian as well. While we applaud all Christian creatives, the Realm Awards seek to elevate speculative fiction written by Christians. 


I am an audio book narrator and a Christian. Can I submit one of my audio books to the contest if there is no objectionable content? I’m not sure whether the author is Christian or not.

For your entry to be eligible for entry into the awards, the author would need agree to our Faith Statement.