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P.E.A.R.L. Eligibility, Nomination & Voting Procedure

P.E.A.R.L. Nomination form

All paranormal romance titles with a valid ISBN, and released for purchase for the first time in a given award year, which begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st, are eligible for P.E.A.R.L. consideration in their appropriate category, and may be nominated by subscribers to the paranormalromance (PNR) lists. See Group Options.

* Note: In cases of discrepancy between the release date and the copyright date, the release date will be the determining factor.

Nominations for each of the twelve categories may be submitted by PNR group members during the two week period beginning January 15th and ending at midnight EST on January 28th. Instructions for submissions will be provided via the listserve. The top five* nominees will be eligible for voting.

* May be more in case of ties. There must be a minimum of two definitive finalists for the category to be awarded.

Only PNR group members may nominate eligible titles for consideration. Group members who subscribe during an active nomination or voting period are not eligible to vote during that specific period. An eligible member may only nominate a specific title once, but may nominate multiple titles in a single category. All PNR groups will receive the final ballot via the paranormalromance list on February 1st.

Voting will begin on February 1st and conclude on February 14th, at which time the votes will be tabulated and announced live at the February PNR Chat. Only one vote per category per lister will be accepted in the final voting process, regardless of the number of addresses one is subscribed under.

Forwarding of P.E.A.R.L. nomination or voting links is prohibited and will lead to vote disqualification.

Note to authors, editors, and publishers:
Each year our staff compiles a comprehensive list of current releases on the PNR website. Titles are added monthly as new information becomes available. To submit information: Contact Mippy Carlson - New Releases Editor at pnr4staff@yahoo.com.


* Note: For the purposes of this award, eligible titles for each paranormal category must contain romance, with the focus on a central love story, involving the development of an emotionally committed relationship between two major characters, and a positive outcome. Novels which containing polyamorous relationships are not eligible.

PEARL eligible single titles fall into two categories: Paranormal Romance or Romantic Paranormal Fiction.

Paranormal Romance:

Plots must focus on the development of an exclusive romance between two main characters which must be positively resolved (HEA) by the end of the story. Secondary plots may continue within a series however couples can only recur in subsequent novels as secondary characters.


Best FANTASY/MAGICAL Romance - Story takes place in the natural world but featuring beings [mythical or real] with unnatural abilities. Stories may include visits to other realms. This category also includes ghosts and psychics. *

Best FUTURISTIC Romance - Stories in this category require the main plot to be set in a time far enough into the future for there to be significant developments (changes) in culture as we know it, or the introduction of an otherworldly culture which affects the contemporary world - plot involves two romantically linked central characters.

Best SHAPESHIFTER Romance - Books in this category include beings that have the ability to take on different forms one of which must be human. Werewolves, Selkies, and others.

Best TIME TRAVEL Romance - Stories in which main character[s] travel to a time period other than their own. Can be historical, contemporary, or futuristic in setting.

Best VAMPIRE Romance- Darker and generally more sensual, these stories feature preternatural beings who subsist on human and/or animal blood, or life force (in the case of psychic vampires) often having magical powers and the ability to transform.

Romantic Paranormal Fiction:

Plots focus in world building and speculative elements. Most often published outside of the romance genre, with the focus on a central character - the plot must involve romance. Series may have a recurring main character. Must contain romance as a secondary plot element however a resolution (HEA) is NOT required. Romantic interest of the main character can recur or vary in subsequent novels.


Best Romantic FANTASY: This category includes traditional Fantasy which is set in wholly imaginary landscapes, and alternate history (a.k.a. historical fantasy). Stories draw imaginatively on speculation in the plot and setting.

Best Romantic SCIENCE FICTION & FUTURISTIC FANTASY - Stories involve speculations based on current or future science or technology as the plot focus or involve a futuristic setting which is significantly different from the world as we know it.

Best Romantic URBAN FANTASY: Fantasy in which supernatural elements are introduced into contemporary, real-world, urban settings.

Additional PEARL Categories:

Best ANTHOLOGY: Voting is based on the entire collection. The collection must have paranormal elements in 50% of the novellas.

Best NEW AUTHOR - This applies to an author whose debut novel was released (for the first time), in the award year; and who also had a paranormal romance release within that year (can be the same). This applies only to book format offerings (print or electronic).

Favorite OVERALL PARANORMAL - Any single title paranormal romance first released in the award year.


The P.E.A.R.L. coordinators reserve the right to discard ballots that do not provide the requested information, or which provide incorrect information, and those which contain ineligible titles. The tabulating software automatically rejects duplicate votes and votes cast by ineligible voters.

Vote stacking is prohibited. P.E.A.R.L. is reserved for PNR Groups members. Solicitation of members through newsletters and email campaigns for the sole purpose of voting violates the spirit of P.E.A.R.L. and will result in disqualification.

Situations that may arise, which require clarification or interpretation of the above guidelines, will be resolved at the sole discretion of the P.E.A.R.L. coordinators. Any changes or additions to the above guidelines or categories will be added to the P.E.A.R.L. Eligibility, Nomination and Voting Procedure prior to the next nomination period.

Reissues of previously published works do not qualify, regardless of former medium. This applies even with change of title, publisher, or format and includes previously self-published novels if offered for sale. Titles released without an ISBN are ineligible and shall not be considered new works if reissued with an ISBN at a later date regardless of said changes. Authors with ineligible debut novels cannot be considered for Best New author for said novel or subsequent novels [including reissues] which may be eligible.

Short stories expanded into full length titles by the same or new name, in which the original text comprises half or less of the finished product are considered to be a new work and would be eligible. Likewise anthologies which contain half, or more, new material would be eligible.

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