FIYAHCON Ignyte Awards Winners Announced | Comic Years
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Ignyte Awards Winners Announced During First Ever Annual FIYAHCON

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BY February 10, 2021

Amidst the controversy surrounding the Hugo Awards, and the World Fantasy Convention a new convention rises. This year saw the first ever virtual convention from FIYAH Magazine that culminated in their Igynyte awards ceremony. Authors and fans alike also took to social media to praise the convention for being an inclusive space. Many also noted how this virtual convention ran more smoothly, and was more fun to participate in than other virtual conventions that have been held recently. Let’s explore the roots of this exciting new convention, along with the Ignyte award winners.

A Literary Magazine With Roots In The Harlem Renaissance

FIYAH is a literary magazine that focuses on genre fiction by authors of color. The mission statement for the magazine hearkens back to the African-American literary magazine Fire!! that was born in the 1920’s during the Harlem Renaissance. Fire!! was founded by a number of prestigious black writers of the age. This included Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, among many others. FIYAH seeks to recreate a similar space for black writers in the genre community. They describe their community as a creative incubator and salon, as well as a magazine for writers of color.

This year marked the first ever FIYAHCON that sought to celebrate and uplift authors of color, along with the inaugural Igynyte Awards. According to the website: “The Ignyte Awards seek to celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the current and future landscapes of science fiction, fantasy, and horror by recognizing incredible feats in storytelling and outstanding efforts toward inclusivity of the genre.”

The Ignyte Awards Winners

The nominees for the first annual Ignyte Awards contained a diverse mix of genre authors at the top of their field. Awards were given out for the best novels of 2019, along with acknowledgments for artists and those who contribute to diversity within genre. Let’s take a look at the winners and nominees for this year’s Ignyte awards.

Best Adult Novel

Gods of Jade and Shadow Image via Random House

Winner: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)

Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager)

Jade War by Fonda Lee (Orbit)

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Best YA Novel 

We Hunt The Flame Image via MacMillan Publishing

Winner: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (FSG)

Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform)

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World)

Slay by Brittney Morris (Simon Pulse)

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill)

Best Middle Grade Novel

Winner: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia (Disney Hyperion)

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (Disney Hyperion)

The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury (Audible/HMH)

Just South of Home by Karen Strong (Simon & Schuster)

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga (Balzer + Bray)

Best Novella

This is how you lose the time war Image via Simon & Schuster

Winner: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone & Amal El-Mohtar (Saga)

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)

The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday by Saad Z. Hossain ( Publishing)

The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga)

The Survival of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson ( Publishing)

Best Novelette

Emergency Skin Image via Amazon

Winner: “Emergency Skin” by N.K. Jemisin (Forward)

“While Dragons Claim the Sky”by Jen Brown (Fiyah Spring ’19)

“Omphalos” by Ted Chiang (Exhalation)

“Circus Girl, The Hunter, and Mirror Boy” by JY Neon Yang ( 1/30/19)

“The Archronology of Love” by Caroline Yoachim (Lightspeed 4/19)

Best Short Story

Winner: “A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy”, Rebecca Roanhorse (The Mythic Dream)

“Canst Thou Draw Out the Leviathan” by Christopher Caldwell (Uncanny 5-6/19)

“Dune Song” by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (Apex 5/7/19)

“And Now His Lordship Is Laughing” by Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons 9/9/19)

“Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island” by Nibedita Sen (Nightmare 5/19)

Best in Speculative Poetry

Winner: “A Conversation Between the Embalmed Heads of Lampião and Maria Bonita on Public Display at the Baiano State Forensic Institute, Circa Mid-20th Century” by Woody Dismukes (Strange Horizons 9/30/19)

“Those Who Tell the Stories” by Davian Aw (Strange Horizons 10/7/19)

“goddess in forced repose” by Tamara Jerée (Uncanny 9-10/19)

“Elegy for the Self as Villeneuve’s Beast” by Brandon O’Brien (Uncanny 5-6/19)

“Heaven Is Expensive” by Ruben Reyes, Jr. (Strange Horizons 10/14/19)

Critics Award

This award is given out to those who excel at “reviews and analysis of the field of speculative literature”

Winner: Alex Brown (

Liz Bourke

Maria Haskins

Jesse (Bowties & Books)

Charles Payseur (Quick Sip Reviews)

Best Fiction Podcast

Levar Burton Reads Image via Levar Burton Reads

Winner: LeVar Burton Reads from LeVar Burton, Julia Smith, Adam Deibert, Brendan Byrnes, Mischa Stanton, Kristen Torres, Jenny Radelet, Josephine Martorana, Chris Bannon

Obsidian Podcast from Adetola Abdulkadir & Safiyah Cheatam

PodCastle from Jen R. Albert, Cherae Clark, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, Setsu Uzume & Peter Adrian Behravesh

Beneath Ceaseless Skies from Scott H. Andrews

Nightlight Podcast from Tonia Thompson

Best Artist

Grace P. Fong Ignyte Awards Artwork by Grace P. Fong via the Artist’s Website

Winner: Grace P. Fong

Geneva Bowers

Paul Lewin

Nilah Magruder

John Picacio

Best Comics Team

These Savage Shores Ignyte Awards Image via Vault Comics

Winner: These Savage Shores by Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Vitorio Astone, Aditya Bidikar & Tim Daniel (Vault)

Blackbird Vol. 1 by Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel & Triona Farrell (Image)

Excellence by Khary Randolph, Brandon Thomas, Emilio Lopez & Deron Bennett (Image)

Coda by Simon Spurrier, Matías Bergara, Michael Doig, Jim Campbell & Colin Bell (BOOM!)

Bitter Root by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown & Sanford Greene (Image)

Best Anthology/Collected Works

New Suns Anthology Image via Solaris

Winner: New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color Edited by Nisi Shawl (Solaris)

This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, et al. (HighWater)

A People’s Future of the United States Edited by Victor LaValle & John Joseph Adams (One World)

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Fiction in Translation Edited by Ken Liu (Tor)

The Mythic Dream Edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe. (Saga)

Best in Creative Nonfiction

Winner: “Black Horror Rising” by Tananarive Due (Uncanny 5-6/19)

“Tongue-Tied: A Catalog of Losses” by Layla Al-Bedawi (Fireside 1/17/19)

Our Opinions are Correct from Charlie Jane Anders & Annalee Newitz

AfroSurrealism: The African Diaspora’s Surrealist Fiction by Rochelle Spencer (Routledge)

The Dark Fantastic by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (NYU Press)

The Ember Award

This award is given out for ‘unsung contributions to the genre’ and everyone’s favorite reading enthusiast took home the top prize.

Winner: LeVar Burton

Keidra Chaney

Tananarive Due

Malon Edwards

Nisi Shawl

The Community Award

This award is given “for Outstanding Efforts in Service of Inclusion and Equitable Practice in Genre.”

Strange Horizons Ignyte Awards Image via Strange Horizons Website

Winner: Strange Horizons

Mary Robinette Kowal

Beth Phelan

Diana M. Pho

Writing the Other

Congratulations to all of the winners of the first ever Ignyte Awards, and also to FIYAH magazine for a successful virtual convention. We look forward to seeing more from FIYAH in the future. And for more genre news, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.


BooksPop Culture

Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

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