Now in its fifth year, the Elgin Awards, named for SFPA founder Suzette Haden Elgin, are presented annually by SFPA for books published in the preceding two years in two categories, Chapbook and Book. Nominations are now open until May 15th. This year’s chair is Josh Brown.
Candidates for consideration in the chapbook category must contain 10-39 pages of poetry and while full-length book candidates must contain 40 or more pages of poetry. E-books and self-published books are eligible, as well as print.
Books that won first–third place in the previous year’s Elgin Awards are ineligible. For a list of books that received first-third place in 2016, as well as prior year nominees, you can visit here. Books that were nominated in a previous year but are eligible for nomination this year must be re-nominated by an active member of the SFPA for consideration in 2017.
Single-author and collaborative books are eligible; anthologies are not. Books containing fiction as well as poetry are not eligible. Books must be in English, but translations are eligible. In the case of translations that also contain the poems in the original language, those pages will not count toward the total page count. Nominated books must be made available to the Chair upon request to remain eligible.
Only members can nominate books. They may not nominate their own books, but they may nominate multiple books, and the books need not be by members in order to be nominated or to win.
A list of nominated books has been posted on the SFPA website. The title, author, poetry page count, and press name and address (URL or postal) are required to nominate. If available, a link to a page where the book can be purchased or downloaded should also be provided.
In general, a substantive portion of the book’s poems, a clear theme of a speculative nature, or the author or publisher’s self-designation of the book as a work of speculative poetry will be necessary to fully qualify as an eligible candidate for the Elgin Award. The Elgin Award chair may ask nominators, publishers and authors for additional clarification in cases where questions arise.
This year’s chair is Josh Brown, who is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. A graduate of the University of Minnesota–Duluth with a degree in English Literature, he has spent the past fifteen years in the publishing industry working for and with award-winning publishers and best-selling authors.
An active member of SFPA, Josh Brown’s work can be found in numerous anthologies as well as in Star*Line, Scifaikuest, Mithila Review, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, and more. His essay, “Poems and Songs of The Hobbit” was recently featured in Critical Insights: The Hobbit (Salem Press, 2016). He served as editor for issue 20 of Eye to the Telescope, the official online journal of the SFPA. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons.
First established in 1978, the Science Fiction Poetry Association brings together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry, as well as poetry incorporating fantasy horror and other imaginative genres. An international organization, it publishes two journals, Star*Line and Eye to the Telescope, and oversee three major literary awards for poetry: The Rhyslings, the Dwarf Stars, and the Elgin Awards.
The Science Fiction Poetry Association also conducts an annual science fiction poetry contest and other special events and gatherings. They also provide resources for emerging and established poets seeking professional publication and networking opportunities. Consider joining the association today!