We have once again received word of persons who are describing themselves as “Hugo Award nominees.” The term “Hugo Award nominee” does not have any official meaning. The term for a person or work that receives sufficient nominations to appear on the final Hugo Award ballot is “Hugo Award Finalist.”
Historically, the works and people shortlisted for the Hugo Award were once called “nominees,” and you may still find people using the term in that way. However, in 2014, WSFS deprecated the term “nominee” except in the technical sense relating to the counting of ballots as defined in the WSFS Constitution. The only official terms are “finalist” and “winner.”
Any of the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Convention can nominate up to five works/people per category for the Hugo Award. Hundreds, and sometimes thousands of different works/people are in fact nominated each year. However, only a small number make the shortlist and can legitimately claim the name of “Hugo Award Finalist.”
Past Hugo Award Finalists are listed in each year’s Hugo Award History. Only those works/people listed there are Hugo Award Finalists.