Overview: In the interests of promoting independently published short fiction I am proposing the creation of an juried award for short fiction. The purpose of the award would be to showcase the best short fiction of the year, as determined by a panel composed of small press editors.
Scope: Eligible works would be published during the award year. Works would be nominated by the publishers, with a cap of two works per publisher per category. Works may be published in anthologies or periodicals. Self-published works would not be eligible, nor works written by the publisher her- or himself.
Judging: The panel of judges would be given the works blind, and editors would not be given works for judging that were published by their own press. Editors would judge each work for concept, execution, and style, with points assigned for each, using a standard scale to be determined.
Categories: I propose four categories be determined by story length; Short-Short (or Flash), Short Story, Long Story, and Novella. Exact word counts to be determined. Stories of any genre would be eligible. (One of the reasons that I chose Frederic Brown as the namesake for the award is his body of work crosses genre lines.)
Award Ceremony: The awards would be given at a ceremony at a convention to be determined.
Timeline: The first step would be assembling a panel of editors willing to serve as judges. I would suggest a minimum of ten independent publishers be represented. If willing participants can be located before the end of calendar year 2018, then I would propose that works published during calendar year 2o18 can be submitted on or before the end of February, 2019.
Judging would then take place during March and April of 2019, to be compiled and any questions regarding scoring to be settled during May of 2019. Notification of winners would take place in May or June of 2019, and arrangements made for the publication of an anthology of the winning entries.
An in-person award ceremony could then be scheduled for a suitable convention during the summer convention season.
Notes And Cautions: I am not an administrator nor a publisher. I have no idea how to judge the feasibility of this idea. I have no idea of how to fund this project, nor even of a ballpark figure of how much would need to be raised. I am putting this out there in the hopes that people who do have the necessary skills will come forward. If they don’t, then it won’t happen.
EDIT: Special thanks to Keith West, who pointed out that it’s Fredric, not Frederic Brown.