Cóyotl Awards 2012 nominations open until April 15
As an alternative to the Ursa Major Awards, the Furry Writers' Guild (FWG) recently set up the Cóyotl Awards to promote quality writing within furry fandom. Unlike the Ursas, which have open nominations and a rank-based voting system, the Cóyotl Awards are using a more complex scoring structure based on plot, character, setting and literary merit.
Both general and mature works are eligible for nomination, but you can't nominate work you are directly involved with (as specified in the rules). Nominations are to close after April 15.
Nominating and voting is limited to people in the Guild, whose membership requires having stories previously published by other people (i.e., submitted to and accepted by the editor of an online or print publication; not posted to your Fur Affinity or SoFurry page).
Even if you're not interested in either of the awards, give furry writers a try! In a heavily art-based fandom, fiction often gets overlooked unless you've managed to build up name recognition like Kyell Gold. It's easy to look at a picture and immediately know if you like it or not; while fiction requires taking time to read, absorb and evaluate it, and you're not always guaranteed a satisfying emotional payoff.
It's also made more difficult by stories being scattered about and harder to find. This is one of the reasons why the Furry Writers' Guild was created, to be a place where writers can come together to announce and discuss their work. Other venues for furry fiction include the Anthropomorphic Dreams podcast, new online zines such as Allasso; there's also a story site that popped up recently called FurryWords.
So here are some questions: If you don't have word-of-mouth to go by, what are some of the ways to go about finding furry fiction within the fandom? How can you figure out if a story might appeal to you or not, without wasting too much of your time? What can writers do to help?