Lou Antonelli reported the other day that when he sent in his Nebula Award nominating ballot he immediately got back a note from the award administrator that a story he’d listed is ineligible:
In reviewing your ballot, I noted that you nominated “Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer” by Megan Grey for a Nebula Award. Unfortunately, it is not eligible in 2014, as it was first published or released in the US in the January 2015 issue of Fireside Magazine.
I checked and learned the Hugo rules also follow the cover date for works appearing in periodicals.
3.2.3: Publication date, or cover date in the case of a dated periodical, takes precedence over copyright date.
Even when a periodical is available for purchase in 2014, if the issue is dated January 2015 issue the cover date controls the eligibility of its contents.
I’m not touting the Grey story, but the example may come in handy if you are considering nominating works that came out late last year.