The Manly Wade Wellman Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy was founded in December 2013 to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2016 award, voted on by the combined membership of North Carolina science fiction and fantasy conventions (illogiCon, ConCarolinas, ConTemporal, and ConGregate), will cover novels published in 2015. Nominations will open at illogiCon in January ahead of a final voting round, with the award being presented at ConGregate in July.
The award is named for long-time North Carolina author Manly Wade Wellman with the permission of his estate.
The yearly lifecycle of The Manly Wade Wellman Award is as follows:
- in December, a preliminary list of eligible novels is published and publicized along with a solicitation for additions and corrections
- at illogiCon in mid-January, nominations will open based on the list of eligible novels as well as write-in options; nominations will close and the list of finalists announced in March (at StellarCon, when held)
- at ConCarolinas in late May, final voting will open; final voting will close at ConTemporal in late June
- at ConGregate in mid-July, the winner(s) will be announced, and (anonymous) voting data will be published
Eligibility for a novel is as follows:
- The novel, defined loosely as a fictitious prose narrative of “book length”, must have been first published in the year being considered. As for the Hugo Award: “For any work, the year is from the printed publication date if there is one, or else from the copyright date.” More specifically, though traditionally a novel is defined as being over 40,000 words, this award allows a standalone novella of 25,000 words or more to be included as well.
- The novel must have been written by a North Carolina author; for the purposes of this award, this is defined as having made their primary residence in North Carolina for 6 months out of the 12 months preceding publication. In the case of a novel with more than one author, half or more of the listed authors must be North Carolina authors.
- The novel may be published or self-published, available electronically, in print, and/or in audiobook format. If the novel is withdrawn from publication within 30 days and not republished within the calendar year, it is considered withdrawn from consideration until its subsequent republication, if any.
The voting membership is defined as follows:
- All registered members of the current or previous year North Carolina science fiction and fantasy conventions (illogiCon, ConCarolinas, ConTemporal, ConGregate, and, when held, StellarCon) regardless of residency status may submit nominating ballots.
- All such registered members of the current or upcoming year conventions may submit final ballots.
The nomination process is as follows:
- Voting members may submit a ranked list of zero or more novels from the eligible title list.
- These nominating votes will be counted using a Condorcet method which uses proportional representation to determine (at least) 5 finalists; in the case of a tie for 5th, all tying novels will be included as finalists; this is an effort to create a final ballot which most accurately reflects the entirety of the voting membership.
- No more than three novels by a given author will be included as a finalist. In such a case, the author(s) in question will be asked for their preference, if any, otherwise the higher-ranked final candidates will advance. If three novels by a given author are finalists, a 6th finalist (by a different author) will be added to the list of nominees.
The final voting process is as follows:
- Voting members may submit a ranked list of zero or more novels from the list of finalists; there will not be a “No Award” option
- These final votes will be counted using a Condorcet method, the Schulze method, to determine the winner(s); this is very similar in practice to an Instant run-off (IRV) method with the addition of satisfying the monotonicity criterion
- In the case of a tie, all such winners will be named as joint winners