Rules for the John W. Campbell Award
The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer is administered by the Worldcon, but it is not a Hugo Award, and the rules for awarding the Campbell are set by the publisher of Analog, Dell Magazines. Campbell Award rules are not managed by WSFS.
Some of you may have heard that eligibility rules for the Campbell Award have changed. Interaction's Hugo Award administrators have worked with the administrators of the 2004 Hugo Awards and the Campbell Award Sponsor to develop more comprehensive rules for the Campbell Award. A longer version of the process involved is available on the Noreascon 4 web site. We encourage you to read the full version on the N4 web site if you are interested in the entire story and its permutations, but a shorter version of how the rules have changed follows here.
The most important apparent change involves the definition of "professional publication." There is some confusion as to the meaning of those words. The WSFS Constitution uses the term "professional publication" in the definition of the Hugo categories. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) also has a definition of "professional publication" for membership qualification purposes. Neither is exactly what is meant by the Award Sponsor, though the SFWA definition is quite close. For the purposes of the Campbell Award only, "professional publication" happens when the work is sold for more than a nominal amount and is published. For example, in 2003 the Award Sponsor specifically cited Interzone and Artemis (both Semiprozines by WSFS rules) as professional publications for the purposes of the Campbell Award.
The general rule we are applying is "Anything that SFWA says is professional, we say is professional, but the Award Sponsor may add other things as well. We reserve the right to change this if SFWA changes its rules." Additionally, the Award Sponsor wants Hugo administrators to consider publications with a circulation over 10,000 as qualifying even if the publication is not professional by SFWA rules.
It is worth noting that in spite of following the SFWA guidelines for determining professional publication, there is no intention to limit Campbell eligibility to US publications. Professional publication anywhere in the world confers eligibility.
Interaction's Hugo Award Administrators are trying hard to ensure that writers are not disadvantaged by the change. Because these revised rule interpretations are being publicized with relatively short notice, we will accept nominations under both the old and new eligibility criteria. (The older criteria, based on a reading of the WSFS Constitution's relatively sketchy definition, stated that professional publications had to have a circulation or print run of at least 10,000 copies.)
Interaction will work with the Award Sponsor and L.A. Con IV to ensure smooth transition to next year and minimize disruption. We encourage and anticipate an additional year of transition with both sets of rules and interpretations applicable, after which only the newer interpretation will apply. Interaction also thanks Dell Magazines and Noreascon 4 for working with us to try to resolve this issue with minimal unfairness to potential nominees.
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Page last updated 7th March 2005
Page last updated 7th March 2005