For those who weren’t present at the many hammerings out of process and procedure over the last two years, and for those who’d prefer not to try to slog through the formal language of the rules, here’s the short version of How The Cóyotls Work:
- Around January 1, the Furry Writers’ Guild begins looking around for volunteers to act as the Chair and Council for the Cóyotl Awards. The Award Council’s job is to review nominations for works that aren’t published within the fandom to make sure they fall within the scope of “anthropomorphic literature,” and to ensure things like proper categorization and age-appropriateness.
- On February 15, nominations for the Cóyotl Awards open. Members in good standing of the Furry Writers’ Guild can nominate works across six categories:
- General audience short stories
- General audience novellas
- General audience novels
- Mature short stories
- Mature novellas
- Mature novels
- Each member may only nominate any given work once.
- Nominations are in the form of scores, which is to say that a nomination consists of four 1-to-5 scores across four categories:
- Literary Merit
This is why we call the Cóyotls a juried award. Our members, through the nomination process, are saying “we think these are quality work and we’re willing to say why we think so.”
- On April 15, nominations for the year close and the Chair calculates the nomination scores for each work in every category using the following formula:
- Plot: 27%
- Character: 27%
- Setting: 27%
- Merit: 19%
The first three should be self-explanatory; Merit is that quality that separates “writing” from “literature,” the ineffable nature of a work that transcends its narrative.
- After the nomination scores are tallied, the final score for each work is simply the average of all its nomination scores. No one nomination’s worth is weighted more than any other.
- Once the final scores are calculated, the works in each category are ranked by their final scores in descending order, and the top four works in each category make it onto the final ballot. If fewer than four works are nominated in a category, every work in that category gets onto the ballot. In case of a tie, as many works are accepted onto the ballot as would give us a minimum of four without leaving off any work whose score is tied with a work that made it onto the final ballot.
- Once the final ballot is determined, no later than May 15th, it’s presented to the Guild.
- Voting begins on June 1 and runs through July 31. Again, members of the Guild in good standing are eligible to vote and may vote once in each category for which nominations were received.
- Winners of the final vote will be announced at Rain Furrest that year.
<em>Edited 2012-02-17: Based on some conversations with the Guild, the limit on nominations per category has been removed. That was there under an earlier edition of the rules to solve a problem of people flooding the system with nominations, but the scoring system resolves that problem.</em>