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Announcing the Shortlist for the 2023 Ignyte Awards


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Announcing the Shortlist for the 2023 Ignyte Awards


Published on May 25, 2023

The finalists for the 2023 Ignyte Awards have been announced! These awards “seek to celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the current and future landscape of science fiction, fantasy and horror by recognizing incredible feats in storytelling and outstanding efforts towards inclusivity within the genre.”

The shortlist is selected by twenty BIPOC+ voters, including FIYAHCON staff and previous winners of the awards; this year, a dozen teen readers were also involved in the middle grade and young adult categories. All are invited to vote for the winners here. Voting closes at 11:59 pm EDT on June 30th.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in October.

Congratulations to the finalists!

Best Novel: Adult

for novel-length work (40k words) Works intended for an Adult audience

Babel – R. F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)
Kaikeyi – Vaishnavi Patel (Redhook)
Siren Queen – Nghi Vo (Tordotcom)
The Blood Trials  – N. E. Davenport (Harper Voyager)
The Spear Cuts Through Water  – Simon Jimenez (Del Rey)


Best Novel: Young Adult

for novel-length (40k+ words) works intended for the young adult audience

Ballad & Dagger – Daniel José Older (Rick Riordan Presents)
Bloodmarked – Tracy Deonn (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Blood Scion – Deborah Falaye (HarperTeen)
Lakelore – Anna-Marie McLemore (Feiwel & Friends)
The Kindred – Alechia Dow (Inkyard Press)


Best in Middle Grade

for works intended for the middle grade audience

Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion – K. Tempest Bradford (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers)
The Last Mapmaker – Christina Soontornvat (Candlewick Press)
The Marvellers – Dhonielle Clayton (Henry Holt & Company)
Witchlings – Claribel Ortega (Scholastic Press)
You Only Live Once, David Bravo! – Mark Oshiro (HarperCollins)


Best Novella

for speculative works ranging from 17,500-39,999 words

Bishop’s Opening – R.S.A. Garcia (Clarkesworld)
Empire of the Feast – Bendi Barrett (Neon Hemlock)
Even Though I Knew the End – C. L. Polk (Tordotcom Publishing)
Helpmeet – Naben Ruthnum (Undertow)
Into the Riverlands – Nghi Vo (Tordotcom Publishing)


Best Novelette

for speculative works ranging from 7,500-17,499 words

“If You Find Yourself Speaking to God, Address God With the Informal You” – John Chu (Uncanny Magazine)
“Men, Women, & Chainsaws” – Stephen Graham Jones ( Originals)
“Murder By Pixel: Crime and Responsibility in the Digital Darkness” – S. L. Huang (Clarkesworld)
“The Epic of Qu-Shittu” – Tobi Ogundiran (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
“To Carve Home in Your Bones” – Aigner Loren Wilson (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)


Best Short Story

for speculative works ranging from 2,000-7,499 words

“Girl Oil” – Grace Fong (
“The Lady of the Yellow Painted Library” – Tobi Ogundiran (Africa Risen, Tordotcom Publishing)
“The Locked Pod” – Malka Older (The Sunday Morning Transport)
“The Voice of a Thousand Years” – Fawaz Al-Matrouk (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
“Wanderlust” – LP Kindred (Anathema: Spec From The Margins)


Best in Speculative Poetry

“In Stock Images of the Future, Everything is White” – Terese Mason Pierre (Uncanny Magazine)
“I Shall Not Surrender” – Beatrice Winifred Iker (Anathema: Spec From The Margins)
“The Recipe for Time Travel” – Monique Collins (FIYAH)
“We Smoke Pollution” – Ai Jiang (STAR*LINE)
“Year of the Unicorn Kidz” – Jason B. Crawford (Sundress Publications)


Critics Award

for reviews and analysis of the field of speculative literature

Aigner Loren Wilson
Bogi Takács
Charles Payseur
Christina Orlando
Nerds of a Feather


Best Fiction Podcast

for excellence in audio performance and production for speculative fiction

Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Black Women Are Scary
Good Morning Antioch


Best Artist

for contributions in visual speculative storytelling

Aimee Campbell
Terri Chieyni
N’kai DeLauter
Taj Francis
Raymond Sebastien


Best Comics Team

for comics, graphic novels, and sequential storytelling

Changa and the Jade Obelisk #2 – Matteo Illuminat, Loris Ravina, Massimiliano Veltri & Robert Jeffrey II (MVMedia)
Squire – Nadia Shammas & Sara Alfageeh (HarperCollins)
Where Black Stars Rise – Marie Enger & Nadia Shammas (Tor Nightfire)


Best Anthology/Collected Works

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century – Kim Fu (Tin House Books)
Night of the Living Rez – Morgan Talty (Tin House Books)
Reclaim the Stars – Zoraida Córdova, ed. (Wednesday Books)
The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer – David Pomerico and Kyle Dargan, eds. (Harper Voyager)
Voodoonauts Presents (Re)Living Mythology – Shingai Njeri Kagunda, Yvette Lisa Ndlovu, H.D. Hunter & LP Kindred (Android Press)


Best Creative Nonfiction

for works related to the field of speculative fiction

“Indigeneity in SFF Gaming: The Ongoing Need for Respectful, Native-Centered Storytelling” – Chesley Oxendine (SFWA)
“Preliminary Observations From an Incomplete History of African SFF” – Wole Talabi (SFWA)
“The H Word: Horror in a Country that Is Not Afraid of Death” – Dante Luiz (Nightmare Magazine)
“The Line Between Science Fiction and Fantasy is Blurring and I’m Into It” – Joy Sanchez Taylor (Apex Magazine)
“When Black Boys Find Magic” – LaDarrion Williams (FIYAH)


The Ember Award

for unsung contributions to genre

Afronauts Podcast
Alex Brown
Kate Elliott
Maurice Broaddus
Ruoxi Chen


The Community Award

for Outstanding Efforts in Service of Inclusion and Equitable Practice in Genre

Carl Brandon Society
Clarion West
dave ring
Flights of Foundry
Loyalty Bookstore’s Crowdcast

About the Author

About Author Mobile

Molly Templeton


Molly Templeton has been a bookseller, an alt-weekly editor, and assistant managing editor of, among other things. She now lives and writes in Oregon, and spends as much time as possible in the woods. You can also find her on Twitter @mollytempleton
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