I first learned about the Campbell Award at the 2013 LoneStarCon while attending the Hugo Awards. The Campbell – which is emphatically not a Hugo – is granted to an up-and-coming writer who has at least one pro, SFWA-qualifying sale. To be nominated is an honor, and to win places the writer in rarified company. The eligibility window starts at the publication of your first pro sale and remains open for two years.
Turns out I was eligible last year, and this year is my second and final year of eligibility. Awards are funny things. They stoke the competitive fires in every writer, but remain highly subjective. How do you compare one successful story to another? How do you decide which writer has more promise than someone else? Aren’t we all casting our words about, hoping to find an audience they resonate with? Award or no, we are all capable of greatness. Our potential lies in the blank page set before all of us.
And yet… Awards are shiny things full of covetous inspiration. Who doesn’t want one?
It’s nice to know I’m eligible—another professional milestone—even though the chances of being nominated are slim. My stories, while I’m inordinately proud of them, aren’t well-known enough to have made the impact needed to secure a nom, and I’m not a vocal participant in the SF/F community either for name recognition to help tilt the scales in my favor.
That’s why I think it’s very cool that writers S. L. Huang and Kurt Hunt put together an anthology highlighting the work of all the Campbell-eligible writers for this year—just in time for the Hugo nominating process. It’s a way to showcase all the amazing work being done by new writers, and an opportunity to discover folks like me who may not be as well-known.
So get your copy of FREE, award-eligible fiction, and get reading! I’m honored to be included with the writers in this anthology. Our stories are the future of SF/F, even if there can only be one Campbell award winner this year.