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).
Finalists will be announced via blog post by June 1.
Realm Award winners are announced at the annual Realm Awards Ceremony in July.

Submissions open on January 1, 2024. Only publications from the 2023 calendar year are eligible.


Realm Makers reserves the right to combine categories at its discretion if the minimum number of entries is not received.


Genre Categories

1.     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

2.     Science Fiction

Stories set in the future, past, present, 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

3.     Supernatural

Stories set in the real world that 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

4.     Paranormal

Stories set in the real world 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

5.     Horror

Stories that include scary or macabre elements generally involving pursuit and escape
Subgenres: dark fantasy, gothic fantasy, alien, cryptid/creature

Audience Categories

All Audience entries must fit into one of the genre categories to be eligible

1.     Young Adult (YA)

Written, published, and marketed to adolescents and young adults (ages 12 to 18)

2.     Middle Grade

Written, published, and marketed to middle schoolers (ages 8 to 12)


All Short Fiction entries must fit into one of the genre categories to be eligible1.     Novelette/Novella

10K words to the minimum entry length for that audience category
2.     Short Stories
Stories up to 9999 words


All Audio Fiction entries must fit into one of the genre categories to be eligible.
Audio entries will be grouped based on the number of submissions and the following characteristics:

Full-length/Novel: At least 5 hours
Mid-length/Novella: 2-5 hours
Short: Less than 2 hours

Single narrator
Multiple narrators

Stand-alone vs. episodic
Audio drama vs. narrated


All Specialty entries must fit into one of the genre categories to be eligible

1.     Debut

The author’s first published novel

2.     Cover Design

Speculative fiction covers may be entered by the designer, the author, or the publisher. Entries in this category can be for any length (novel or short) or format (digital or paperback) of fiction, including anthologies or podcasts.

3.     Readers Choice

Full-length fiction only. Reader nominated. Nominations open April 2-22.
Authors may not nominate their own works or offer any sort of remuneration (including prizes or swag) for those who enter or vote for their work.

5.     Book of the Year

Five finalists, based on scores from the final round of judging, will be selected as contenders for Book of the Year. These books will automatically be sent to the Book of the Year judges.

Children’s books and Graphic Novels will be eligible every other year to ensure we have enough competitors. See us in January of 2024 to enter those books.


Entries must be speculative fiction authored by a Christian.

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 by Christians. That’s it.

Publishers, authors, or artists can submit their works into the contest, but the author must acknowledge our Statement of Faith.

For the Cover Design and Audio Fiction Categories, cover artists and narrators do not have to be Christian. In this case, the author must acknowledge our Statement of Faith. Christian cover artists or narrators may submit their own work, but the content of the work the cover art is designed for or the story which is narrated must still be authored by a Christian. The focus of the awards are to uplift Christian content either through the written story, its cover, or its audio version.

Entries must have been first published in the previous calendar year—either traditionally or independently. (Please note the exceptions below.)

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. This also includes books that were published in whole or in part previously. Exceptions made on a case by case basis for extenuating circumstances.

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

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/Audible. For fiction to qualify, it must have a publication date we can verify on a retail site, Goodreads, or a publisher’s website.

Audio books with a release date in the previous calendar year may enter, even if the eBook or print edition was published in a prior year.

New cover art for a subsequent edition of a previously published book may be entered into the Cover Design category.

Short fiction published as part of a collection/anthology or published online by a magazine/publisher is eligible for consideration based on the year it was first published.

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.

Short Fiction

Novellas must be between 10,000 words to the minimum entry length for that audience category (see above)
Short Stories must be up to 9999 words. Flash fiction is eligible but will not have its own category.


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 and Audio  Short entry fee is $15 per story.
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 3 categories (Short Fiction, Audio, and Cover Design), but the entry fee must be paid for each submission.


Winners receive a commemorative award, award stickers for their entry, promotional opportunities, and the opportunity to be carried in the Realm Makers Mobile Bookstore and Bookish, a brick-and-mortar bookstore at the King of Prussia mall outside of Philadelphia, PA.

Prizes will be given to the contest entrant unless otherwise directed.

To Enter

Complete our submission form, submit payment, and upload your review copies for judging.

Entries must be submitted as .mobi or .pdf. 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.

Short fiction entries published as part of a collection or online only: please work with your publisher to obtain a .mobi or .pdf of your story.

Audiobooks: provide three promotional codes for judges to download your audiobook for free from a retail site such as Audible. You will need to provide an additional three codes for each contest round if your book progresses (we will contact you).

Audio podcasts and short stories: Please provide a link to your episode/story if it is freely available online, otherwise upload an audio file for the judges.