Norton Award Blog Tour

Have you heard of the Andre Norton Award? Ever wonder how the books are nominated? What books qualify? Who picks the winners? Or maybe you’ve just been curious to learn more about young adult (YA) fiction or middle grade (MG) fiction. Well, you’re not alone. To help shine a little light on this relatively new award, a group of YA & MG fiction writers have gotten together to talk about all of these things and more as part of the Norton Award Blog Tour, which will be posted on Underwords as well as the Science Fiction Writers of America’s (SFWA) blog.

The Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book is one of the most important awards bestowed upon writers of YA & MG fiction. Named after Andre Norton (1912–2005), the award was established in 2005 by former SFWA president Catherine Asaro and the first SFWA Young Adult Fiction committee (1). The award nomination process, like the rest of the Nebula Awards, invites nominations from SFWA members, but it also includes a jury component. The Andre Norton Jury, comprised of 3-7 SFWA members, reads the nomination year’s middle grade and young adult fantasy and science fiction, and may add up to three titles to the list of Norton finalists. The ultimate decision on the winning title is made by SFWA’s members in a vote.

The Norton Awards Blog Tour will not only promote the award itself, but will also discuss some of the best science fiction and fantasy being written for young adult and middle grade readers. The tour will run from December 1-15 and will feature several writers who will discuss the Andre Norton Award, talk about young adult and middle grade fiction, share some of their own literary picks for the 2012 Norton Award, and reflect on some of the past award finalists.

We look forward to having you join us for the tour. So, join us over the next two weeks and share your thoughts in the comments section of each post.

Norton Awards Blog Tour Schedule:
Dec 1 ~Erin Underwood
Dec 2 ~Sherwood Smith
Dec 3 ~Norton Jury Interview by Jenn Reese
Dec 5 ~Malinda Lo
Dec 6 ~Lee Barwood
Dec 7 ~Nancy Holder
Dec 11 ~Peni Griffin
Dec 12 ~Beth Revis
Dec 13 ~Jenn Reese
Dec 14 ~Diana Peterfreund
Dec 15 ~Alethea Kontis

For those of you who want more specifics about the rules for the Andre Norton Award, we’ve included an excerpt from the official rules that are published on SFWA’s website. For the very curious, you can also read the complete Nebula Awards® rules, including the Ray Bradbury and Andre Norton Awards.

  1. The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book
    1. The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, established in 2006, is awarded in tandem with the Nebula Awards. This award is not a Nebula, but shall follow all Nebula rules and procedures except as follows:
      1. Eligibility: The eligibility period shall be the calendar year. Any book in its first appearance in the English language published as a young adult science fiction or fantasy (or related genre) novel during that period shall be eligible, including graphic novels. Nothing shall preclude a work’s being eligible for both a Nebula Award and an Andre Norton Award. There shall be no word limit. Any questions of eligibility shall be decided:
        1. By the Andre Norton Award Jury, in consultation if possible with the author, for purposes of determining whether or not a work is a young adult novel, or
        2. By the Nebula Awards Commissioner, in consultation with the SARC and subject to an appeal to that committee, for purposes of determining other aspects of eligibility according to the rules.
        3. In the event of a disagreement over jurisdiction, the SARC shall determine whether the eligibility question at issue falls under the jurisdiction of the Jury, the Nebula Awards Commissioner, or the SARC.
    2. Andre Norton Award Jury: In consultation with the Nebula Awards Commissioner, the President shall appoint an Andre Norton Award Jury. The jury shall consist of at least three (3) and not more than seven (7) members, to consider works published during the calendar year for possible inclusion on the Final Ballot. The jury may add up to three (3) works to the Final Ballot. The jury may not add a work written by a member of the jury or a spouse or domestic partner of a member of the jury to the FINAL BALLOT.
    3. Nominations: Nominations may be made by any Active or Associate members of SFWA in good standing, and shall be tallied in accordance with the Nebula Awards® rules for novels. Nominations shall be tracked by the Nebula Awards Commissioner and included as a separate category on the FINAL BALLOT.
    4. FINAL BALLOT: The top six (6) works nominated shall reach the FINAL BALLOT, according to the procedures established for novels. The FINAL BALLOT shall be appended to the Nebula Awards Final Ballot, voted upon by the Active members and counted in accordance with the Nebula rules.
    5. Winner: The winner shall be the work which receives the most votes during the FINAL BALLOT. Ties shall be handled in the manner established for novels.