The Realm Awards

Realm Makers is excited to offer the annual Realm Awards, created to recognize the most excellent speculative fiction written by Christian authors published in the previous calendar year. 

The contest opens on January 1. Entries will be accepted for three weeks.

The deadline for submissions is January 21, at 12 midnight (EDT).

Please read through the following information carefully. If you have questions this information doesn’t answer, email our Awards Committee at awards@realmmakers.com.

REALM AWARD CATEGORIES FOR 2021

Genre Categories

  • Fantasy
    • Stories containing magic or magical beings in this world OR a different world than our own
      • Subgenres: epic/high fantasy, fairytales, sword and sorcery, urban fantasy, contemporary/modern fantasy, superhero fiction
  • Science Fiction
    • Stories set in the future, past, or other dimensions that feature scientific ideas and advanced technological concepts
      • Subgenres: alternate history, apocalyptic fiction, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, parallel/alternate universe, cyberpunk, hard science fiction, military science fiction, space opera, science fantasy, steampunk
  • Supernatural
    • Stories that stories remove fantasy and horror elements and embrace supernatural elements that are considered commonplace in the natural world. Things like angels, demons, God, and Satan.
      • Subgenres: angels, demons, the afterlife, spiritual warfare
  • Paranormal
    • Stories that include any phenomena that lie outside the range of what is normal in our world.
      • Subgenres: paranormal romance, shapeshifters, ghosts, psychics, telekinesis, aliens, cryptids, time travel
  • Horror
    • Stories that include scary or macabre elements generally involving pursuit and escape
      • Subgenres: dark fantasy, gothic fantasy, alien, cryptid/creature

For definitions and examples, refer to Jill Williamson’s article on Speculative Fiction Subgenres.

Audience Categories

All Audience entries must fit into one of the genres listed above to be eligible

  • Young Adult (YA)
    • Written, published, and marketed to adolescents and young adults (ages 12 to 18)
  • Middle Grade
    • Written, published, and marketed to middle schoolers (ages 8 to 12)
  • Children’s
    • Written, published, and marketed to children (up to age 7)
    • Subgenres: Picture book, chapter book, early reader

Short Fiction Categories

All Short Fiction entries must fit into one of the genres listed above to be eligible

  • Novelette/Novella
    • Between 10-40K words
  • Short Story/Flash Fiction
    • Up to 10K words

Audio Categories

All Audio Fiction entries must fit into one of the genres listed above to be eligible

  • Book (full-length)
  • Short (novelette, novella, short or flash fiction) – can be audiobook or podcast
  • Audio drama (full cast, full-length, scripted)

Specialty Categories

All Specialty entries must fit into one of the genres listed above to be eligible

  • Debut
    • The author’s first published novel
  • Cover Design
    • Parable Award for speculative fiction
  • Readers’ Choice
    • Alliance Award (reader nominated) 
  • Book of the Year
    • Five of the finalists will be chosen by the Awards Committee as contenders for Book of the Year. These books will automatically be sent to the Book of the Year judges.
Realm Makers reserves the right to combine categories at its discretion if the minimum number of entries is not received.

Realm Awards Eligibility Criteria

Entries must be speculative fiction published by a Christian author.

This is, after all, why Realm Makers exists. Does that mean it must have an obvious Christian message? Absolutely not. It means the author will need to agree to our Statement of Faith. We’re looking for amazing speculative fiction written by Christians. That’s it.

Both publishers and authors can submit their books into the contest, but every author must acknowledge our Statement of Faith.

For the Cover Design (Parable) and Audio Fiction Categories, cover artists and narrator(s) do not have to be Christian, but the author must acknowledge our Statement of Faith.

Entries must have been published in the previous calendar year—either traditionally or independently.

Subsequent editions and/or republications are not eligible. This includes books that were independently published in a previous year but then published by a traditional publisher in the contest year. 

Both eBooks and print editions qualify, but the earliest publication date of any format is used to determine eligibility.

Audio books may be entered in the year they were released even if the eBook or print edition was published in a prior year.

Cover art for a subsequent edition of a previously published book may be entered into the Cover Design (Parable) category.

For short fiction, if the work was published as part of a collection/anthology or published online by a magazine/publisher it is still eligible for consideration in the year it was first published. Stories posted on an author’s blog or given away as a lead magnet are not considered published unless they are available for purchase at a retail site like Amazon.

Books with mature content will be accepted, but gratuitous content could result in disqualification at our judges’ discretion. No erotica.

Entry Length

  • Adult fiction must exceed 60,000 words. 
  • YA fiction must exceed 50,000 words. 
  • Middle Grade fiction must exceed 20,000 words. 
  • Children’s fiction – no minimum. 
  • Novella – fiction between 10,000 to 50,000 words.
  • Short fiction must not exceed 10,000 words.

Fees

  • The Genre, Audience, Debut, Audio Book, and Cover Design entry fee is $35 per category.
  • The Novelette/Novella entry fee is $25.
  • The Short Story/Flash Fiction and Audio Short entry fee is $15 per story (limit 2 per category).
  • There is no entry fee for the Readers’ Choice since it is a reader nominated contest.

Full-length books can be entered in a maximum of 5 categories (Genre, Audience, Debut, Audio, and Cover Design), but the entry fee must be paid for each submission.

Short fiction stories can be entered into a maximum of 2 categories (Short Story/Flash Fiction and Audio Short), but the entry fee must be paid for each submission.

Finalists will be announced via blog post by June 1st. 
Entries selected for Book of the Year judging will advance automatically.
Winners will be announced at the Realm Makers Conference Awards Banquet in July.

Prizes

  • Novelette/Novella, Short Story/Flash Fiction, and Audio Short winners will receive a $25 cash prize.
  • All other winners will receive a commemorative award, a $35 cash prize, award stickers for their books, and the opportunity to be carried in the Realm Makers Bookstore.
  • The winning Audio Book narrator, Audio Drama producer, and Cover Design artist will each receive a commemorative award and a $50 cash prize.
  • The Book of the Year winner will also receive a commemorative award, a cash prize of $250, award tickets for their books, and the opportunity to be carried in the Realm Makers Bookstore.

Copies for Review

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.

For short fiction entries that were published as part of a collection or online only, please work with your publisher to obtain a .mobi or .pdf of your story if at all possible.

To Enter

Follow the link below, complete our submission form, submit payment, and upload your .mobi or .pdf or audio file for judging.

Questions?

Email awards@realmmakers.com.