Sunday, February 27, 2011

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Is the PRISM “Futuristic” Category In Danger of Being Eliminated?

FF&P logoThe 2011 PRISM Contest for Published Authors is now open for submissions. I was surprised to learn today that there is a dearth of entries for the Futuristic and Time Travel/Steampunk categories. Well, I’m actually not that surprised about the lack of steampunk romance entries because there’s not that many books out there. Still, from the call for entries (copied below), it seems like the Futuristic category is in danger of being eliminated. (Thanks to author E.D. Walker for the alert.)

Wow, I wonder what’s happening? The contest is open to non-RWA, non-FF&P members. The fee of $35.00 doesn’t strike me as that much of a deterrent, but then again, we here in the U.S. aren’t quite over our economic slump. Are contest entries down because authors can’t afford it?

Or maybe there are hidden costs. Does anyone know if the winner *has* to show up in person to receive the award at the RWA national conference (this year’s 31st Annual Conference will be held June 28-July 1 in New York City)? Because, yeah, that’d be a reason many authors might not enter.

As my reading pile can attest to, there certainly hasn’t been a lack of science fiction romance published in 2010. And the PRISM is one of the highest profile awards for this subgenre. So if we do the math, um...




...and throw in a couple of these…





The result is…okay, so still scratching my head here. Isn’t the PRISM a player, or am I missing something?

I’m curious: How much of an impact does the PRISM award have on factors such as exposure and sales for the winning authors? Me, I’m reading science fiction romance regardless of who wins what, but I realize other readers sometimes base decisions on whether to take a chance on a new-to-them title/author on things like a contest award. Unfortunately, the decision won’t be made at all with SFR if it’s not even in the running.

What about you? Has the PRISM affected your purchase/reading decisions in any way?

Before I sign off, here is information about what the coordinators have announced regarding this year’s PRISM contest:

*Permission to forward gratefully given and encouraged*

The PRISM contest highlighting the best books of the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal genres will be closing soon (deadline March 19th).

However we need more YA!

And FUTURISTIC!

And EROTICA/ROMANTICA

And TIME TRAVEL/STEAMPUNK

If you have a YA, FU, E/R, or TT/SP book with a Fantasy, Futuristic, or
Paranormal theme - enter the Prism! Get some get great exposure for you and your book.

If you have a blog, how about letting other authors know about our contest.

Categories are: Dark Paranormal, Light Paranormal, Futuristic, Fantasy, Time Travel/Steampunk, Erotica/Romantica, Novella (between 20,00 and 40,00 words), and YOUNG ADULT.

E-books may be entered in a pdf format. Small press-published books are welcome, as long as they are non-vanity/non-subsidy as defined by RWA.

All finalists receive a certificate and pin; winners also receive a beautiful, crystal Prism award. Awards are presented during The Gathering at the RWA National Conference.

Again--the deadline for entries is March 19th, 2011.

For more information, visit the main contest site at http://www.romance-ffp.com/prism2011/ or email contest coordinators Liz Roadifer and Melissa Marelic at PrismContest@romance-ffp.com.


Joyfully yours,

Heather