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SFPA Rhysling Anthology 
Official Policies & Procedures
 
Rhysling Chair
The Rhysling Chair manages anthology production and oversees the Rhysling Awards process. The Rhysling Chair may, if desired, delegate tasks to an assistant or assistants; however the ultimate responsibility for the following is the Rhysling Chair’s, unless notified otherwise.
 
Guidelines
The Rhysling Awards are presented annually by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association for speculative poems first published during the previous calendar year (unless a given publication was not available during its nominal year of appearance, the official date of the issue is to be used). There are two categories, Short and Long. Short poems are 1–49 lines; Long poems are 50 lines or more. Eligible poem length does not count the title, dedication, stanza breaks, or epigraph (unless the epigraph is fictional/written by the poet). Sections from a longer poem are eligible only if first published as a distinct poem, or part of a series of distinct/titled poems. Eligible prose poems are fewer than 500 words for the Short category, and 500 words or more for long (poems that are mixed prose and line-broken will be determined proportionately). Multimedia works or illustrated poems are ineligible. Only poems that are speculative in nature are eligible (see below). Poems need not be by SFPA members and may be self-published, including on blogs and social media. Substantial revisions of published poems, or revisions transforming an ineligible work to become eligible, are not allowed. Works containing potentially offensive content counter to the SFPA values of inclusiveness and community may be deemed ineligible at the discretion of the Rhysling Chair.
 
Definition of Speculative
The SFPA favors a broad definition of speculative poetry that is inclusive of diverse genres and sub-genres (ie. science fiction, science, fantasy, horror, "what-if"). For this reason, Rhysling Chairs should be familiar with the speculative rubric as defined by our organizational guidelines and publication history as well as manifestations of speculative poetry in the wider, global community. While it is important to remain true to our organizational purpose to spotlight speculative poetry as a distinct category and art form, Rhysling Chairs are encouraged to apply generous standards when determining the eligibility of nominated works.

Nominations
Nominations open January 1 and close February 15. Only current SFPA members may nominate poems. The Rhysling Chair is expected to acknowledge receipt of nominations within three (3) days (an automated response is fine), and to ascertain eligibility as poems come in. The Rhysling Chair should notify a nominator immediately should a nomination be found ineligible, citing the reason(s) for disqualification and informing the nominator that they may select another poem in the same category. Extensions beyond the nomination deadline may be considered on a case-by-case basis by approval of the Rhysling Chair, though nominators should be urged to select replacement poems as soon as possible.

Nominators may also request a reconsideration of the Rhysling Chair's determination, as described below.

 
Posting of Nominations
The SFPA posts the titles and authors of Rhysling-nominated poems as a service to its members, to avoid duplicate nominations as well as to generate enthusiasm for the anthology and its contributors.  Thus, it is of vital importance that all nominated works be screened for eligibility prior to their inclusion on the posted list of nominated works.  All nominated poems must be reviewed by the Rhysling Chair and one other assistant or designee to confirm that the nominated work is 1) nominated by current SFPA members; 2) first published in the eligible year; 3) meets the length requirements of the category for which it was nominated; 4) can be categorized as speculative, even by the broadest interpretation of that term; and 5) does not contain offensive content that is counter to the SFPA values of inclusiveness and community.
 
 
Reconsideration Requests and Appeal Process for Ineligible Works

Reconsideration Requests
The Rhysling Chair has first authority to determine eligibility of nominated works.  Should a nominated poem be deemed ineligible due to offensive content OR lack of speculative content, the nominator may request a reconsideration of the Rhysling Chair's decision.  Requests for reconsideration must be directed to the Rhysling Chair, in writing, to the same email designated for Rhysling nominations.  Requests for reconsideration must be received within one week of the Rhysling Chair's initial determination of ineligibility.

Requests for reconsideration must include a statement by the nominator justifying the use of content deemed offensive, AND/OR detailing the perceived speculative content of the contested poem.  Note: publication in a primarily speculative market (magazines, journals, anthologies, collections, etc.) or professional qualifications of the nominator will not, in and of themselves, be considered justification for reversal of the Rhysling Chair's decision of ineligibility without an accompanying statement citing justification for content and/or the poem's speculative elements.
 
The Rhysling Chair is directed to review requests for reconsideration immediately, and to deliver a determination in writing within three (3) days of receipt.  If the Rhysling Chair deems the nominator's explanation to be sufficient, the initial decision will be reversed, and the poem will be added to the posted list of nominated works on the SFPA website.  However, should the Rhysling Chair determine that the nominator's explanation is not sufficient to reverse the initial decision, the Rhysling Chair is directed to provide the nominator with an explanation for why the determination of ineligibility has been upheld.  The Rhysling Chair will also inform the nominator of their right to file an appeal with the SFPA executive committee.

 
Appeal Process for Ineligible Works
In the event that a nominator has requested a reconsideration and wishes to appeal the Rhysling Chair's final determination of ineligibility, the nominator may then file an appeal with the SFPA executive committee.  No appeals will be considered without first requesting reconsideration by the Rhysling Chair.

Appeals for ineligible works must be directed in writing to the SFPA Secretary within three days of the Rhysling Chair's response to reconsideration requests.  Appeals for ineligible works should include a transcript of the reconsideration request, along with a detailed rebuttal from the nominator explaining why the nominator feels the Rhysling Chair's decision should be overturned. 
 
The SFPA executive committee will review appeal requests immediately, and will deliver a determination in writing to the nominator and the Rhysling Chair within three days of receipt. The Executive Committee must reach a unanimous decision to uphold the Rhysling Chair's ruling; if one or more members of the Executive Committee deem that the poem should be considered eligible, the Committee will overturn the Rhysling Chair's ruling and the nominated poem will be added to the posted list of nominated works on the SFPA website.

In the event that the Executive Committee unanimously agrees to uphold the Rhysling Chair's determination of ineligibility, the nominator of the disqualified poem may select a replacement poem; extensions to the nominations deadline (February 15) will be granted on a case-by-case basis; however, due to time constraints, replacement poems selected after the February 15 deadline will not be eligible for reconsideration or appeal.

 
Permissions & Discounts
The Rhysling Chair will obtain permissions for all poems nominated, as well as the poet’s e-mail address for sending the .pdf proof and mailing address for a print copy of the anthology.  Permission will be requested once eligibility has been verified.  Nominated works will not be included in the Rhysling Anthology without permission.

Poets whose work appears in the Rhysling Anthology will receive a 50% discount on additional copies of the Rhysling Anthology. Nominated poets who are not currently members of the SFPA are invited to join at a special 50% discount.


Proofs
Proofs will be sent to contributors by March 5 so that contributors may have an opportunity to review their work as it will appear in the anthology. Any corrections to proofs must be forwarded to the Rhysling Chair (or designee) by March 14. Contributors who do not respond to proofs by this deadline waive their right to do so, unless alternative arrangements have been reached with the Rhysling Chair prior to the deadline. 
 
Voting
Voting opens April 1. Voting is normally handled with an online form to which several officers and staff have access for validation. The form URL is given via MailChimp and in the April issue of Star*Line, as only current members may vote. The SFPA secretary’s address is provided for those without internet access. The Rhysling Chair, the officers, and designated assistants will confirm the count. The voting deadline is June 15. The Rhysling Chair will notify winners; results will be announced as soon as confirmed, and published online and in the July issue of Star*Line.

Awards
SFPA staff will send the award to the winners and certificates to the second and third places.

Deadlines
In consideration of the SFPA's international membership, all deadlines defined within these guidelines pertaining to nominations and voting will be understood to fall at midnight relative to the participating member's geographical location.

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