Tis the season for nominations! I've been keeping an eye on some of the genre awards and, as I haven't seen any discussion elsewhere, I thought it'd be worth pulling this together in one place.
World Fantasy Award
Not a rules change as much as a quiet modernisation: all five of this year's judges accept either pdf or mobi submissions. Hard copies are still preferred, but this is still a major - and welcome - change. Awards that insist on physical copies are, even without formal submissions fees, quietly discouraging small presses and (not so quietly) self-published authors - who may not have the operating funds to gamble on a prize submission. Also, in some cases, physical copies may not even exist.
Whether a formal or a de facto rules change, this is long overdue (and much appreciated).
British Fantasy Awards
If you're a BFS member and you've received issue 13 of the BFS Journal, it contains the results from a recent survey of the membership. There were no questions specific to the awards, but a few that helped reveal the make-up of the society. For example, when asked what sort of speakers people would prefer at events, authors (34%) came out on top, and independent publishers (29%) pipped mainstream publishers (27%). The British 'indie' scene was also mentioned in some of the responses. Many of the other comments - both positive and negative - were about the BFS as small or tight-knit community.
There were also several comments from both new and established members that approved of the BFS' shift to be less horror-focused.
I only mention all of this in regards to the awards. The BFA is a society award, so the answer to "who is this award for?" is "the members of the BFS". The prize's tradition of (at the risk of sounding tautological) "Britishness" and an over-abundance of small press shortlistees would seem to be supported by the membership.
Another slightly Awards-related article in the Journal is a round-table interview with previous BFS Chairs, including several enlightening references to the 'high melodrama' (to quote Ansible) of late 2011. As far as I know, this is the first(?) public statement from the Chair/Awards Admin (pro-tem) of the Awards before they were radically reformatted in early 2012.
Below the jump we get to the 'big' one - the BSFA rules changes.