Professional Aurora awards definition
The Aurora awards are split into two areas: professional and amateur. Currently, the five professional awards in both English and French are Novel, Short Fiction, Graphic Novel, Poetry/Song and Other.
Our definition of a professional is one that earns all or part of their living from an endeavour. This may be a flat rate or be based on commission. Getting paid with copies of your work or for sub-professional compensation is not a Professional standard.
When referring to Novels an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is required. This also includes Anthologies, Single Author Collections and the stories within them. It should not matter if a work is published by a major press house or a “vanity” press. We can also define a professional as someone who has a paying contract with a publisher for that work.
Short Fiction, poetry or songs would not be defined as “professional” if the author is not paid based on its publication or performance. Works that are just posted on a website or printed in a magazine that are given away for free are classified as amateur and would only be eligible for Fan awards. The exception is if the author is paid by the website host. It is up to an author to inform the awards committee in these situations.
Contests, such as local short story contests, where payment is based on prizes are not classified as professional. A work would only be classified as professional if the contest resulted in it being publication in a book or magazine and the author receives an actual paying contract or royalties.