The Nebula Awards® are voted on and presented by full, senior, and associate members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. Founded as the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1965 by Damon Knight, the organization began with a charter membership of 78 writers; it now has over 2,000 members, among them many of the leading writers of science fiction and fantasy.
Lloyd Biggle, Jr., the SFWA’s first secretary-treasurer, originally proposed in 1965 that the organization publish an annual anthology of the best stories of the year. This notion, according to Damon Knight in his introduction to Nebula Award Stories: 1965 (Doubleday, 1966), “rapidly grew into an annual ballot of SFWA’s members to choose the best stories, and an annual awards banquet.”
Since 1965, the Nebula Awards® have been given each year to outstanding novel, novella, novelette, and short stories eligible for that year’s award. The Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction was added in 2005, followed by the Ray Bradbury Nebula Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation in 2009, and the Nebula Award for Best Game Writing in 2018. An anthology including the winning pieces of short fiction and several finalists continues to be published every year since 1966. It’s now known as the Nebula Awards Showcase.
Over the years, the Nebula Awards banquet grew to become the SFWA Nebula Awards Conference, one of the premier professional development conferences for speculative fiction industry professionals and people aspiring to become one. It takes place each spring.