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Million Writers Award top-ten list

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storySouth magazine's list of top ten online stories of the year has been released; this is part of their Million Writers Award process. (Earlier in the process, the general public nominated stories, and a panel of judges selected their favorites of the nominated stories as the "notable stories"; then Jason Sanford, fiction editor of storySouth, picked the ten notable stories he liked best.) The next step is that the general public can vote on their favorite of those ten stories; whichever story gets the most votes wins the award and $300.

Almost all the stories are available for free online; there are links to the stories from the ballot. The top-ten list includes a Clarkesworld story by Tiptree winner Catherynne M. Valente, a Gemma Files story from ChiZine, a Tim Pratt story from Intergalactic Medicine Show, Jamie Barras's Strange Horizons story "Spinning Out," and half a dozen others from authors and venues I'm less familiar with.

So, if you're interested, go vote. But as with other awards, if you're going to vote, please read the stories (or at least most of them) and vote for the one you like best, rather than just voting for one whose author or venue you already like; it devalues awards when people vote for a person or work without being familiar with the other items on the ballot.

(I'm not suggesting that that's happened in this award, nor am I taking anyone to task; I'm just saying that it's very easy for that kind of thing to happen in general, especially in online awards when authors and publishers can tell their friends and readers "Go to such-and-such page and vote for me!" Whereas I want to see authors and publishers saying "Go to such-and-such page and vote for the best work!" The former approach rewards the author who has the most friends (or the publication with the most readers) rather than the author who's written the best story.)

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