Below are the rules for the Cóyotl Awards as of 2012 February 17:

  1. The Cóyotl Awards year shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31 of the year for which awards will be presented.
  2. Award Categories:
    1. The Cóyotl Awards shall be made in the following categories:
      1. General Short Story: less than 10,000 words, dealing with topics suitable for all audiences
      2. General Novella: between 10,000 and 50,000 words, dealing with topics suitable for all audiences
      3. General Novel: more than 50,000 words, dealing with topics suitable for all audiences
      4. Mature Short Story: less than 10,000 words, dealing with topics suitable for mature audiences
      5. Mature Novella: between 10,000 and 50,000 words, dealing with topics suitable for mature audiences
      6. Mature Novel: more than 50,000 words, dealing with topics suitable for mature audiences
    2. At the author’s request, a novella-length work published individually, rather than as part of a collection, anthology, or other collective work, shall appear in the novel category.
  3. Awards Committee:
    1. The Cóyotl Awards Council shall be comprised of a Council Chair and no more than four (4) additional council members.
      1. All membership on the Council is for one (1) award year and does not imply continuation of service.
      2. All membership on the Council is at will and may be resigned at any time.
      3. All members of the FWG in good standing may volunteer to become Council members.
      4. In the event that more than four (4) members of the FWG in good standing volunteer, membership shall be chosen at random from the list of volunteers and the Council shall be considered fully staffed.
      5. In the event that four (4) or fewer members of the FWG in good standing volunteer, all volunteer members shall become members of the Council.
      6. In the event that, at any time, the Council has fewer than five members, the following shall take place:
        1. One member of the Council, either the current Chair if named or a member selected at random within the Council if not, shall solicit memberships from the remaining members of the FWG in good standing.
        2. If, after fourteen (14) days, no additional volunteers have stepped forward, the Council shall proceed with its existing membership as though it were fully staffed.
      7. Once the Council is considered fully staffed (i.e. five members or less than five with no additional volunteers), the Council shall determine a Council Chair from within its ranks.
    2. The Cóyotl Awards Council is empowered on a yearly basis to award the Cóyotl Awards for Excellence in Anthropomorphic Literature.
  4. Award Eligibility:
    1. All works first published in English during the calendar year, substantially featuring and/or focusing on anthropomorphic figures, may be eligible for the Cóyotl Awards in their respective categories:
      1. Works such as comic books, graphic novels, and similar type works shall be placed in an existing category as deemed appropriate by the Cóyotl Awards Council, based primarily on their word count.
      2. The Cóyotl Awards Council is empowered to determine the eligibility of a questionable work.
    2. A work may be eligible whether or not its authors are members of the FWG.
    3. A work that has been published through an FWG-qualifying venue is eligible.
    4. A work that was previously self-published that has been published through an FWG-qualifying venue is eligible, so long as the following are true:
      1. It was not nominated when originally posted
      2. It is now being published in an FWG-qualifying venue for the first time.
    5. The Cóyotl Awards Council Chair shall evaluate the eligibility of all nominated works not published through an FWG-qualifying venue:
      1. A nominated work is deemed ineligible if it contains an exceess of grammar or spelling mistakes.
      2. A nominated work is deemed ineligible if, in the eyes of the Chair, the work is clearly of an amateurish style not reflective of quality writing.
      3. A declaration of ineligibility may be challenged.
        1. All declarations of ineligibility may be challenged by any member of the Council.
        2. All challenged declarations of ineligibility will be put to a vote of the Council no more than five (5) days from the date of challenge.
        3. The eligibility of a nominated work whose ineligibility has been challenged shall be determined by majority vote of the Council.
      4. A nominated work which is not otherwise deemed ineligible shall be deemed eligible.
    6. The Cóyotl Awards Council is empowered to determine the eligibility of all other works.
    7. The author of any eligible work may withdraw it from consideration by contacting the Cóyotl Awards Council by email at coyotls@coyotlawards.org.
  5. Award Nominations:
    1. All members of the FWG are eligible to make nominations during the nomination period. However, works may not be nominated by their authors, editors, publishers, or agents, by spouses or domestic partners of their authors, or by any other party with a monetary interest in the work.
    2. The nomination period for a given year will open on February 15th of that year and continue until April 15th of the following year.
    3. Nomination Submissions:
      1. Nominations may be submitted via the following channels:
        1. E-mail to coyotls@coyotlawards.org
        2. Submission via online nomination form
      2. Nominations shall be treated as confidential information; only the names of nominated works and aggregate scores will be available for viewing by other members or the general public.
      3. No eligible member may nominate any work more than once.
      4. A nomination shall consist of the following information and formats:
        1. Name of the nominated work
        2. Author of the nominated work
        3. Publisher of the nominated work to determine eligibility
        4. Submission Length
          • Short Story
          • Novella
          • Novel
        5. Submission Rating
          • General Audience
          • Mature Audience
        6. Plot, on a one-to-five integer scale:
          • Are there any holes or massive overlooks that make little sense in the story’s context?
          • Is it all organized in either an effective way or a meaningful way?
          • Is it well-constructed, or do things frequently happen out of convenience or because the author thought it might be cool?
          • Does it all fit together as one unique fabric? If so, what’s the complexity of that fabric?
        7. Character, on a one-to-five integer scale:
          • Do the characters seem real?
          • Do you ever see realistic changes occuring within the characters based on events in the story?
          • Do the characters move the story, or does the story move the characters? If one or the other, is it the appropriate choice for the story?
          • Is the dialogue good (not too much explaining, natural-sounding conversations, does the business of the plot without smacking the reader over the head with it, etc.)?
        8. Setting, on a one-to-five integer scale:
          • Do the characters respond naturally to their environment?
          • Does the setting remain consistent throughout the work?
          • Does the setting support the plot of the story?
          • Does the setting attempt to validate the existence of furries? If so, does the validation make sense? If not, does the story lack for the absence?
        9. Literary Merit, on a one-to-five integer scale:
          • Is symbolism used, and if so, is it effective (well-crafted, not too blunt, meshed almost invisibly into the story, has major significance, etc.)?
          • How are the similes and metaphors (do they make sense, are they appropriate, are they clever, etc.)?
          • Can the story be used as an example to show some aspect of the human (or non-human) condition? In other words, does it have philosophical relevance of some kind?
          • If the story has a theme or a message, is it blended in well with the narrative, or is it smashing you over the head with its simplicity?
        10. E-mail address of the nominator for identification purposes and contact in case clarification is needed.
    4. The Nominating Score for a nomination shall then be calculated as follows:
      1. Plot: 27%
      2. Character: 27%
      3. Setting: 27%
      4. Literary merit: 19%
    5. The Final Score for a nominated works shall be the equally-weighted average of all Nominating Scores for that work.
  6. Award Judging:
    1. The Final Ballot for a calendar year shall be determined as follows:
      1. In each category, the final ballot shall be the top four nominated works ordered by Final Score.
      2. In the event that a given category has zero eligible works, then no award shall be given in that category.
      3. In the event that a given category has a tie for fourth place, then all such works shall appear on the Final Ballot.
    2. The final ballot shall be made available for viewing no later than May 15th.
    3. The final ballot shall be made available for voting on June 1st.
    4. Votes will be accepted by the following formats:
      1. E-mail to coyotls@coyotlawards.org
      2. Submission via online voting form
    5. All members of the FWG will be eligible to vote.
    6. Voting will be open until July 31st.
    7. No more than one vote may be cast per category, per member.
    8. All votes will be tallied by August 7th.
    9. The work in each category that receives the most votes will be declared the winner.
    10. In the event of a tie after voting on the final ballot, the final score received for each work will determine the winner. If the final scores are also tied, the number of nominations shall determine the winner. If the number of nominations are are also tied, then the tie shall stand, and all such tied works shall receive the award.
    11. The winners of the Cóyotl Awards shall be announced at an annual Cóyotl Awards ceremony.
  7. Interpretation of these rules, and all questions regarding eligibility, withdrawals, nominations, ballots, etc. shall be decided by the Cóyotl Awards Council.
 

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