The 4th Annual Realm Awards are Coming…

by Avily Jerome


It’s that time of year!

No, not Christmas. I mean, yes, it is the Christmas season, but that’s not all. It’s time to start prepping your submissions for the Realm Awards and the Parable Award contests!

Books published in 2018 are eligible to enter the Realm Awards and Parable Award, and, for the first time, books that have been re-released with a new cover in 2018 are eligible for the Parable Award!

Tell me more, you say? Read on!


The Parable Award


The Faith and Fantasy Alliance exists to advocate for Christians who create science fiction and fantasy content, and this includes books, paintings and more. The Parable Award is the FFA’s way of honoring excellence in cover design.

Either the author or the artist may enter their cover. For more information, head here.


The Realm Award


Realm Makers, the official conference of the Faith and Fantasy Alliance, is excited to announce that submissions open January 1st, 2019, for the 4th annual Realm Awards, created to recognize the most excellent fantasy, science fiction, horror, or supernatural/paranormal books written by Christian authors for adult or young adult audiences in the previous calendar year.


The Realm Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • science fiction
  • fantasy
  • supernatural/paranormal
  • horror/mashup
  • young adult novel
  • debut novel

Where does my book fit?

Looking at that list and wondering which category to choose? Good news! You get to pick up to two.

As Miriam Allen de Ford said, “Science fiction deals with improbable possibilities, fantasy with plausible impossibilities.”

So, science fiction takes the world we know and speculates about changes, advancements, inherent dangers—physical and moral—in pushing boundaries for the sake of those advancements. If you’ve got space travel, artificial intelligence, adjacent dimensions, genetic mutations or genetically modified super-humans, pandemics, cryogenics, time travel, or environmental catastrophe, your novel is science fiction. Basically, if we can believe that whenever the story takes place, it’s scientifically plausible, like steampunk and cyberpunk, that’s Sci-fi. Even if it’s got Kung Fu in it a là Matrix.

Fantasy, then, deals with worlds or races or creatures that do not exist, though we’d love to believe they could. Dragons, dwarves, elves, orcs, wizards, fairies, superheroes (who are not simply aliens), magic wands, talking animals. One unique characteristic of fantasy is power. In sci-fi, it is most often the advancements, the tools, that hold power. Those bring power to anyone who wields them. But in fantasy, power is often inherent in beings and objects. They are gifted with magic or strength or purpose, and holding or carrying a powerful object affects the bearer. Not possible, but fascinatingly plausible.

So what about telepathy? Ghosts? Angels and demons? Those would fall in the supernatural/paranormal category.

We offer a horror/mashup category as well. First, let’s talk about horror. Christians often step back from this—fast. It’s honestly the most difficult category to find judges for. I think that’s because it’s unsettling. It deals with darkness, fear, the side of supernatural that ought to bother us. It deals with violence. Without flinching, horror delves into the darkness—but Christian horror pokes and prods and grapples with evil in such a way that—in the end—points to the light.

Mashup joins this category because it’s Other. Take Kerry Nietz’s Amish Vampires in Space, for instance. A fascinating combination of genres. Would it get a fair shake going head-to-head with sci-fi? With paranormal? With Amish fiction? Maybe not. But up against a crazy mix of fairytale and mythology? Up against an interplanetary war where the enemy rides dragons? That would be different. We’re all about imagination.

Here’s the key. As the authors, you choose which two categories BEST suit your book. What kinds of books do you want it competing with?

Debut and YA are easy, because they’re not genres in themselves, but they are categories we want to recognize. A standout debut novel needs attention. And YA readers are superfans. It helps you to get press if your book is YA and you win the YA category.

That’s what we want. Ways to help avid sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal readers find you.

What are the requirements?

Only authors can submit their books into the contest.

Books must be published in 2018, either traditionally or self-published. They must be 60,000+ words, unless they are young adult, which can be 50,000+ words.

The entry fee is $35 per category, and the author must be willing to sign our Statement of Faith.

When the scores are in from the second-round judges, the top scorer in each of the six categories will win the Realm Award for that category. And the top five scorers overall, regardless of category, will move on to compete for Book of the Year.

For more, click here.


I’m a reader, not an author.


No worries. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Contact the authors of your favorite 2018 releases and encourage them to enter. There isn’t a single author I know who wouldn’t like to know that a reader thinks they deserve a prize.
  • Share this link. Get the word out on all your social media platforms and in your readers’ groups. Talk it up.
  • There’s still time to apply to be one of our judges! You’d get three free 2018 releases in e-book format! If you’d like to learn more about this, click here and fill out this form. Are you more than just an avid reader? Are you an agent, editor, or professional book reviewer? We might have room for you in the second round of judging. Click that link and see.


The clock is ticking…



About the Awards Coordinator

Avily Jerome is a writer and freelance editor. She spent five years as the Editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in multiple magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests, both for short stories and novels, and she is a book reviewer for Lorehaven Magazine.

She loves all things SpecFic and writes across multiple genres. She is also a writing conference teacher and presenter, and she enjoys speaking to local writers’ groups and going to SFF cons.

She is a wife and the mom of five kids. She loves living in the desert in Phoenix, AZ, and when she’s not writing, she loves reading, spending time with friends, and experimenting with different art forms.

You can find her on her social media and on her website, at

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