4 Reasons Why You (Yeah, You) Are Qualified To Nominate for the Hugos

Hugo Award

The Hugo Award nomination period closes in just a few days. You’ve seen my recs, and over the weekend the #hugoeligible hashtag showcased so many more. But I know some of you are still thinking that you aren’t qualified to nominate because:

  1. You haven’t read/watched/listened widely enough (according to you).
  2. You don’t have enough nominations in every category to fill ever slot you’re allotted.
  3. You don’t have time to read all the cool stuff recommended here and elsewhere and on the tag.
  4. You’re “just a fan” and not anyone fancy.

I’m here to tell you that none of those things disqualifies you from nominating for the Hugos. None. Zip. Let’s break it down.

I Haven’t Read/Watched/Listened Widely Enough

Have you read/watched/listened to eligible media at all? Then you’ve done so widely enough. I’m serious. No one can read, watch, or listen to every single thing, and very few people can even consume all the stuff that gets floated as good by reviewers, friends, and the folks you follow on social media. Even as a person whose job it is to read and review short fiction I have not read every single piece of short fiction out there.

How do you know what stuff is best, then? It’s all relative. If you read just 4 novels last year and one of them wowed or moved you, then you nominate that one. It was the best of what you read.

I Don’t Have Enough Nominations To Fill Every Slot

This is fine as well. Like I said, if of the novels you read you only loved one, then you nominate one. Only two good movies, only one podcast, and no particular thoughts on Fan Writer? That is all fine. You are not required to fill out all the slots in every category nor are you required to nominate in every category.

I Saw All The Recs But Didn’t Have Time To Assess Them All

That’s fine. You’re not a bad person for not having gone through every single recommendation.

Do you know what you can do? Keep track of the people who made all those recs, because they probably share a lot of stuff they love throughout the year, not just at award nominating time. That way, you’ll have more time to check out stuff you might like for next year.

I’m Not Anyone Fancy, Why Should I Nominate When Better Read/More Engaged/Highly Connected People Are More Qualified To Do So?

I’m going to loop back to: did you read, watch, and listen to things? You are eminently qualified. Also, the Hugo is a fan award, driven by fans and what they like. It is absolutely not a requirement to be anything other than a person who loves SFF stuff and wants to see the stuff they like recognized for its awesomeness. That is all.

Your voice matters. What you love matters. It matters to the award even if the stuff you nominate doesn’t get on the ballot. After all, the people who create the fiction and movies and TV shows and podcasts and fan writing and art you love look at the list of what was nominated but didn’t make the final and go: oh hey, this many people thought my story was award-worthy! That’s the best.

In Summary

Nominate what you think is best of what you’ve read, watched, and listened to, no matter the number of overall things. Don’t worry about filling every slot if you can’t. Don’t worry about not getting to every recommendation. Your voice matters.

Got it? Excellent. Go fill out your ballot.

Comments

  1. Erin Underwood says

    Hi Tempest, the only thing I might add here is that if a person hasn’t already purchased their supporting membership or Worldcon membership, they won’t be able to nominate anyone at this point. There was a date by which memberships or supporting memberships had to be purchased in order to make nominations for the Hugos, and I think that date was January 31st. However, once the nominations are tallied and the ballot is released, a supporting or full membership will allow you to vote for the Hugos.

    I only know this because (I say ashamed of my own delays), I waited too long to purchase my membership. Still, I’ll be voting in the Hugos. If you have a membership from last year, I believe you are still eligible to nominate for the Hugos this year.

    I think it would actually be HUGELY helpful if you were able to do a write up about Hugo Eligibility or do an Interview with this year’s organizer since you have a large readership and not everyone may be familiar with how to ensure they are eligible to nominate and vote.

    Thank you for writing this. :-) I agree completely!

  2. kastandlee says

    Nicely put. As Erin said, you had to have been a member of the 2015 (Spokane), 2016 (Kansas City), or 2017 (Helsinki) Worldcons by the end of January 2016 to have been eligible to nominate, but if you are one of the 15-20,000 people who fall into that category, you should nominate even if you only have a single nomination in a single category to cast. People shouldn’t be finding reasons to disqualify themselves.

  3. says

    Thanks for posting this! I see some Big Names have commented already – now, may I chime in from the perspective of an Extremely Small Name? I’m a complete nobody – occasional commenter on blogs (including Mike Glyer’s, which is how I come to be here), keeper of a desultory LJ with a readership in low single digits, once went to a small British con in 1978.

    But, it turns out, I still read SF, and have enough opinions to fill out a Hugo nomination form, so that’s what I did. And you know what? The heavens didn’t fall on me. The SMOF police didn’t kick my door in and cart me off to Hugo Jail. Turns out, having a membership number and a set of opinions is actually all you need.

    So, if a nameless erk like me can submit some Hugo nominations, I reckon anyone else can, too.

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