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Judging for Hourglass 2009 has begun!

Schedule for the Hourglass Awards 2009:

Nominations are now closed.
Click here to see everyone who was nominated for this year's cycle.

Judging goes from May 31 until July 15.
Want to join in? You can still add your name to the Judging Pool!

Winners will be announced around the end of July.
For a list of the winners of 2007 and 2008, click here.


The original Hourglass Awards were created in order to recognize and reward outstanding works of Harry Potter fanfiction from all different genres of prose. When the Awards were started, there were hardly any exclusively Harry Potter fanfiction awards sites available on the internet. Those that did exist were based on the whims of their managers--the fics that they'd heard of and enjoyed were nominated, "judged", and crowned winners. There were very little criteria for what made a good fic and how fics should be judged against each other. The Hourglass Awards were created as an alternative to this type of judging and have been in the works ever since.

The Hourglass Awards were originally MWPP-era only to stem the tidal wave of nominations, but now that they have officially found a home on, they are open to all eras of HP-fic. The Unknowable Room is proud to call the Hourglass Awards their own.

Rules for Nominations

001. It does not matter where a fic is hosted. If it is available for public viewing somewhere on the internet, it may be nominated, no matter of its choice of archive. Likewise, it may be hosted on more than one archive, but only one URL will be used to link back to the fic, decided at the discretion of the Hourglass maintainers.

002. You may only nominate stories through the application form connected through this page. All nominations sent in through e-mail, suggested over IMs, or posted elsewhere will not be accepted.

003. When you nominate a story, you must tell us what category you're nominating it under. You may only nominate a story under a single category. Sorry, you have to choose.

004. You cannot nominate your own fics.

005. The fics nominated can be from any HP-era. No type of fic is given special preference over another, but we do not do anything to "even out" the types of fics that are submitted. For that reason, there may be many more MWPP-era fics than there are trio-era. However, only the best-written fic will win. We're not biased.

006. We are looking for oustanding fics that represent the best the fandom has to offer. All nominated fics must have exceptional spelling, grammar, and punctuation. The plot must be interesting and coherent. It must be an engaging read. Don't bother nominating fics that do not meet these criteria. Our judges just don't have the time to read them!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I nominate a fic in more than one category?
Sorry, no. Please choose the one category you feel the fic best fits into. It will be judged against similar fics to prevent bias.

What happens if a fic is nominated more than once?
We hope that if a fic is posted under the "Already Nominated" header, members will refrain from nominating that fic again. If the fic is nominated twice, it is given neither penalty nor preference. However, if a fic is nominated twice under two different categories, the administrators will choose which category to place the fic under after a quick overview of the fic's first chapter.

Who are the judges?
All fics are judged by readers who volunteered to become a judge. If you want to judge one or several categories, please submit your name to the judging pool here. The more judges, the better!

How are the fics judged?
It depends on what category the fic is nominated under. We have a specific set of a criteria for each category to help sharpen our focus. There are qualities very important (or best avoided) in a romance fic that are not needed (or are completely necessary) for a parody. Judges have to rate all fics in a category on a number of different criteria. They are also asked to recommend one fic that should win the category. Both the ratings and the winner recommendation are important for the final results.

What if I disagree with a decision the judges made?
All decisions are final. If you want to have a say in the voting, join the judging pool!

What types of awards are there?
There are three types of awards. 1) General Awards: A panel of volunteer judges choose the winner, second and third place in each category. 2) Popular Vote: All General Award winners compete against each other for the best overall one-shot and best overall chaptered fic. Overall winners are determined by popular vote. 3) Admins' Choice: The UR admins choose one outstanding fic in each category for this award.

What happens to the winners of the award categories?
The first three places in each category, the winners of the admins' choice awards and the winners of the popular vote for best overall one-shot and best overall chaptered fic are presented with an award banner made by our graphic designer, Musetta.

If a fic was nominated last year and didn't win, can I nominate it again?
Sorry, no.

Category Explanations

Best Het Romance Fic: Any fic prominently featuring a male/female romance.

Best Slash Romance Fic: Fics that feature slash relationships either between males or females.

Best Comedy or Parody Fic: Fics that have the main goal of making people laugh or fics that satirize common fanon clich���©s, other fics, or even canon itself. Fics should be very amusing, generally light-hearted and should contain ample cause for laughter. We're laughing with the fic, though--not at it.

Best Angst Fic: Fics should be very dark. These fics are different from dramas in that they are at times hopeless and without a happy ending. They should probe the darkest layers of the fandom, leaving a dark impression left on the audience.

Best Drama Fic: Fics should have their ups and downs here and be capable of leaving a feeling of timelessness and excitement on the audience. We're looking for fics that are so engaging you simply can't stop reading them.

Best Drabble or Drabble Collection: Brilliance in brevity! Fics in this category should have no more than one thousand words (per drabble, in case of a collection of them), and use every single one of them in a way that leaves the reader flabbergasted and in wonder.

Best Gen Fic: Fics that do not feature romance with prominence - character studies, usually somewhat introspective. Friendship fics may also be nominated in this category.

Best NC-17 Fic: Smut fics, featuring at least one hard-R/NC-17 scene.

Best AU Fic: Fics that take place in an Alternate Universe that does not comply with canon.

Contact Us

Have a question? Comment? Suggestion or piece of feedback? Why not send us an email?

Last updated by Hourglass nomineeModPermanent AccountWiki StaffThe Owl Post StaffHourglass winnerChristyCorr the June 6th 2009, 9pm.

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