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.


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


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 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
  • 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
  • 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 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)


***Please note: although we hoped to offer a children’s category every other year, a shortage of judges and leadership personnel has made that impossible for the time being. We will announce any future contest that will include books for readers younger than middle grade.

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

Full-length/Novel: At least 5 hours
Mid-length/Novella: 31 minutes to 4 hours 59 minutes 
Short: Less than 30 minutes


  • Single narrator
  • Multiple narrators


  • Stand alone vs episodic
  • Audio Drama vs Narrated

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
    • Recognizes excellent cover art for novels, short stories, and audio
  • 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.
  • Readers’ Choice
    • Reader Nominated contest launched in the spring


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 part of a collection or anthology, or published as an online it is still eligible for consideration in 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. 
  • Novella – fiction between 10,000 to 50,000 words.
  • Short fiction must not exceed 10,000 words.


  • The Genre, Audience, Debut, Audio Book, and Cover Design entry fee is $50 per category, plus the published entry in eBook (.mobi or .pdf) format.
  • The Novelette/Novella entry fee is $35.
  • The Short Story/Flash Fiction and Audio Short entry fee is $20 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.


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.