Each year’s Hugo Awards is run by the individual World Science Fiction Convention hosting that year’s Hugo Awards. For information on voting on any given year’s Hugo Awards, go to the Worldcon web site and follow the link to the current year’s Worldcon. There are also links to upcoming Worldcons in the sidebar on the right side of this site.
Please note that while this page is a general overview of the process, the rules of the World Science Fiction Society, in particular the WSFS Constitution, take precedence over anything published here.
How to Vote
Each year, members of the World Science Fiction Society are invited to nominate and vote on the Hugo Awards. You can become a member by joining the current year’s World Science Fiction Convention.
You do not need to attend the convention in order to nominate or vote. A “supporting membership” will be sufficient to make you a member of the World Science Fiction Society and grant you voting rights for both the current year’s nomination stage, the final ballot, and the right to nominate for the next year’s awards.
Hugo Voting Process
The Hugo Awards voting process has two stages: a nomination period and a final voting period. During the nomination period ballots may be cast by members of the current and previous years’ Worldcons (as of the end of the previous calendar year) and (for 2018 only) also members of the following year’s Worldcon.
(Effective as of the 2019 Worldcon, only members of the current and previous Worldcon as of the end of the previous calendar year are eligible to nominate for the current year’s Hugo Awards.)
After the nomination period closes, only members of the current Worldcon are eligible to vote on the final ballot.
Hugo Award Ceremony
The Hugo Award winners are announced at the World Science Fiction Convention during the Hugo Awards Ceremony. You need to have an attending membership to the convention in order to attend the ceremony.
The Hugo Awards are awarded annually to works in the science fiction or fantasy genres first published anywhere in the world during the previous calendar year. Works appearing in a number of parts qualify based on the year their final part is published. “Published” doesn’t necessarily mean “printed on pieces of paper” — publication online counts as well.
* An online comic story, serialized in 2007 or 2008, then reprinted last year in book form, wouldn’t be eligible for this year’s Hugo Awards. The graphic story it contained wasn’t published during the previous calendar year.
* An episode of a TV show broken into two parts, with one part airing the December prior to last year, and the second last January, could qualify the episode for this year’s Hugo Awards. The episode’s final part was published during the previous calendar year.
* Note that series as a whole are not eligible. For instance, an episode in a TV show may be eligible, but the TV show itself is not. Sequences of comics that form a story arc or volume may be eligible, but the comic series itself is not.
Works first published outside the United States, even prior to the previous calendar year, can re-gain eligibility based on the year they are first published in the United States. This can potentially mean 2 years of eligibility.
Works may be granted a specific extension of their eligibility by the WSFS Business Meeting
Members of the Worldcon Hugo Award Administration Subcommittee are ineligible for the Hugo Awards during the year they administrate. Everyone else (including members of the current Worldcon committee who aren’t involved with administering the Awards) is eligible.
Exact rule and eligibility criteria are available under Article 3 of the World Science Fiction Society constitution, available here.