Year End Writing Awards
This isn't a Super Secret, but it probably should be. At the end of the year, the industry looks back on works published in speculative fiction for the year. They publish recommended reading lists, they list nominations for best stories and novels of the year, and they vote for their favorites. Some of these awards can change a writers future. All of them increase exposure and visibility for a writer and their works. It can never hurt your career to have hundreds, if not thousands, say you wrote something special. Publishers watch these awards. Editors watch these awards. Agents take note. And readers often go get the winners' works to find some great stories, and perhaps discover their newest favorite author. This is next level stuff. But like a good captain, it's good to have your eyes not just on the water in front of you, but on that not so distant horizon as well. Winning contests makes a difference. It's why you are trying so hard to win Writers of the Future. You understand this more than most.
The Critters Readers' Choice Awards are one of these contests. And our Writers of the Future Forum is #1 right now for Best Writers' Discussion Forum. I posted this elsewhere, but I am guessing many of the nice quotes on Critters about our WotF Forum were from you challenge beasties right here. You should know David Farland messaged me and said he read them, and was greatly encouraged. It made him very happy to see all of the positive comments about the Forum and Writers of the Future. You and others seriously crowned the end of his year with goodness. Well done! You didn't just ask the industry to give to you, you gave back to the industry. And David Farland noticed. So did I. I'm proud of the Forum, and I'm proud of all of you.
All award programs increase visibility, and the Critters Readers' Choice Awards are no exception. Two thousand readers from around the world vote in them, and watch not only first place winners, but also the Top 10 Awards in each category. Polling ends January 14th, and a lot can happen between now and then. Thank you for voting for your favorites, whatever they might be. As you obtain your own noteworthy sales in 2020, you'll have opportunities to nominate and be nominated. Sharing in the voting now helps you learn the ropes. Winning awards like Writers of the Future and Critters Readers' Choice and all the big name ones gets your writing seen, your pro branding established. With your first pro sale, you can become an associate member in SFWA, which does include voting rights on the Nebulas. Many pro magazines have their own subscribers' choice awards for stories in their publication (we've got one going on in Future-SF right now). You can even cast your votes for the Hugos simply by purchasing a membership for the year. There are lots of ways we can all have a part in participating in and shaping our industry by casting a light on stories, novels, authors, editors, and publishers we love and respect. As you participate, study how the system works. One day soon, it will be your works you've sent out and sold that will be up for nominations. So worm your way in and become an active member in our industry, however you are able. A little pro advice for you at the start of the new year!
Back to Critters. In the Critters Readers' Choice Awards, any reader can vote. You know "Moongirl" is up for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story (thanks to all for the wonderful comments!), and it's been holding solid at #1. I'm gratified to see my WotF winner holding its own, but the race is not over, so who knows what will happen. Our WotF Forum has been holding solid at #1 as Best Writers' Forum, and our SUPER SECRETS workshop here is doing well under Best Writing Workshop. Under Best Anthology, well, if your favorite in 2019 was WotF Vol. 35, it could use some love. Again, only vote that it was your favorite if it actually was
Have fun participating in our industry in this voting season for works published in 2019. May all of you have stories nominated for awards at the end of this year! Or win Writers of the Future. That's the best award an aspiring writer can win! Cheers!
If you wish to place your votes in Critters' various categories, here's the list: https://critters.org/predpoll/