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This article details the Ditmar rules.
- 1.1 The Australian SF ("Ditmar") Awards recognise excellence in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror by Australians.
- 1.2 Finalists and Winners are determined by a popular vote. Finalists are nominated by Australian fandom in general, and winners are voted on by members of the current and previous National SF Convention, where the awards are traditionally presented.
- 2.1 Professional Categories: Best Novel; Best Novella or Novelette; Best Short Story; Best Collected Work; Best Artwork.
- 2.2 Fan Categories: Best Fan Writer; Best Fan Artist; Best Fan Publication in any Medium.
- 2.3 Special Award for works not eligible in existing categories: William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review; Best New Talent.
3.0 Eligibility Criteria
- 3.1 Timeliness: Works and achievements are eligible if they occurred or were first published or released anywhere in the world in an edition dated in the calendar year immediately preceding the year the award is held, or dated after the opening of nominations for the year immediately preceding the year the award is held if that is earlier than the start of that year (but after the close of that year).
- 3.2 Australianness: Nominees are eligible if they were Australian citizens or residents in the year their nominated work was released.
- 3.3 Eligibility of committee members: The awards will be administered by a sub-committee of the Standing Committee of the Business Meeting of the National Australian Science Fiction Convention, and the members of the sub-committee will not be eligible for an award and may neither nominate nor vote in the awards. The Standing Committee shall rule on issues of conflict of interest.
- 3.4 Novel: A Novel is any work of sf/f/h of more than 40,000 words.
- 3.5 Novella or Novelette: A Novella or Novelette is any work of sf/f/h of 7,500 to 40,000 words.
- 3.6 Short Story: A Short Story is any work of sf/f/h less than 7,500 words.
- 3.7 Collected Work: A collected work is a sf/f/h collection or anthology, magazine or journal, ezine or webzine which must pay contributors in other than contributor copies and incidentals, or the editor/s of which declare the work to be professional. At least one edition of a collected work must have been issued in the eligible calendar year.
- 3.8 Artwork: An artwork is a single work or series of related works of art in any medium other than text.
- 3.9 Fan Writer and Fan Artist: These awards are made to writers or artists for a work or body of work first published, released, or made available for public viewing in the eligible calendar year. The writer or artist must have received no payment other than contributor copies and other incidentals (coffee mug, t-shirt, poster, etc.)
- 3.10 Fan Publication in any Medium: This award is for a work or group of related works in any medium first published, released, or made available for public viewing in the eligible calendar year. The writer or artist must have received no payment. Eligible works include, but are not limited to, a periodical, journal, fanzine, ezine or webzine.
- 3.11 New Talent: This award recognises excellence of achievement in any field of the genre by an individual who has never been nominated for a national or international award, or has only been nominated for a national or international award in one or both of the two calendar years prior to the year for which they are a Best New Talent nominee. National or international awards include but are not limited to: Australian SF ("Ditmar"), Aurealis, Hugo and Nebula Awards. Once nominated, an individual may only be nominated once more, in the year following the first nomination.
- 3.12 William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review: William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review is for the writing or editing of a work or a group of related works of criticism or review pertaining to the genres of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.
4.0 Nomination Process
- 4.1 Eligible nominators and voters: Nominations will be accepted only from natural persons active in fandom, or from full or supporting members of the national convention of the year of the award. Where a nominator may not be known to the Awards subcommittee, the nominator should provide the name of someone known to the subcommittee who can vouch for the nominator’s eligibility.
- 4.2 A nomination may list any number of works or persons in any number of categories, but each listing must meet the criteria for its category, and a nomination may list each work or person only once. Where a listing does not meet the criteria of its category or is incomplete, the committee may correct it or remove it from the nomination. All nominations must include the name of the nominator.
- 4.3 Timing of Nominations: Nominations shall be accepted for a minimum of 30 days. Postal nominations shall be counted as valid based on postmark or receipt, whichever is earliest, if received before the final deadline set by the committee.
5.0 Final Ballot
- 5.1 Number of finalists: Normally, the five nominees receiving the most nominations shall appear on the final ballot. In the event of ties amongst these first five nominees, up to seven may appear. However, if such ties would result in more than seven nominees appearing, none of the nominees involved in the tie will appear.
- 5.2 Minimum nominations for finalists: To appear on the ballot a finalist must attract a minimum of four nominations in the Professional and Best New Talent categories, or two in the Fan and other Special Awards category (William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review). If there are 2 or fewer finalists for a category the subcommittee may lower the threshold no more than required to include more than 2 finalists on the ballot.
- 5.3 Minimum finalists for categories: In order to appear on the ballot, a category requires at least one nominee. At the subcommittee’s discretion, in the event that there are fewer than four finalists in the Novella or Novelette and Short Story categories, these categories may be merged into a single category called Short Fiction.
- 5.4 Appearance of finalists: Finalists shall be listed in randomised order. The content of listings is at the discretion of the committee.
- 5.5 No Award: “No Award” shall appear last on the ballot for all categories.
- 6.1 Preferential Voting: Voting in each category shall take place according to a preferential system.
- 6.2 Eligibility: Votes will be accepted only from full members or supporting members or memberships greater than or equal in value to the supporting membership of the convention, or those eligible to vote as members of the previous year's national convention. Any individual is only eligible to vote once. In the event that a NatCon is cancelled, a member will retain eligibility to vote even if their membership is refunded due to the convention cancellation.
- 6.3 Tied Winners: In the event of a tie for winner in any category, all tied works will be deemed to have won the award.
- 6.4 Timing: Voting shall be open for a minimum of 30 days. Voting periods may differ for postal ballots and other ballots. Postal ballots shall be counted as valid based on postmark or receipt, whichever is earlier, if received before the deadline for other ballots or the deadline for final receipt set by the committee.
- 6.5 Votes for nominees not listed on the official ballot will be invalid and no additions or alterations to the nominees will be recognised.
- 6.6 Cancellation: In the event that the current NatCon is cancelled, voting eligibility will extend to all those who have been members of NatCons in the previous five calendar years.
7.0 Physical Awards
- 7.1 Finalists: Persons listed on the ballot, or responsible for works listed on the ballot, shall receive an A4 certificate detailing that achievement for each such listing.
- 7.2 Winners: Ditmar winners shall receive a standard trophy and an A4 certificate detailing that achievement for each win. (Trophies have frequently featured the 1:4:9 proportions of the monolith in the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" and a Southern Cross motif.)
- 7.3 The convention committee may make any other physical awards it deems fit. (Beginning in 2010, a pin has been awarded to each finalist.)