Guild members are eligible to nominate works in six categories (short stories, novellas and novels, each in general and mature audience subcategories) based on plot, characters, setting and literary merit. Comics and graphic novels may also be eligible, based on word count. Membership in the guild is not required for a work to be nominated; however, works not published in a venue which qualifies an author for Guild membership are subject to review.
Conversely, previously self-published, non-nominated works may be nominated in a current year if republished in a qualifying venue. Members may not nominate work with which they have a monetary, editorial or domestic interest. The top four works nominated in each category, and any tying with them, are presented to Guild members for a final vote.
The Award is presided over by a five-member council of Guild volunteers, who have the authority to interpret the rules and determine the eligibility of a work, including "questionable works".
In the Award's first year, General Short Story had five nominees due to a tie; Mature Short Story and Mature Novel also had a full slate of nominees. Conversely, Mature Novella had only one nominee - which won by default - and General Novella and General Novel just two each.
- General Short Story: "The Canoe Race", by Daniel and Mary E. Lowd
- Mature Short Story: "Best of Breed", by Renee Carter Hall
- General Novella: Real Dragons Don’t Wear Sweaters, by Renee Carter Hall
- Mature Novella: Science Friction, by Kyell Gold
- General Novel: Inchoate Carillon, Inconstant Cucold, by Charles Matthias
- Mature Novel: Sixes Wild: Manifest Destiny, by Tempe O'Kun
- Furry authors' picks: the 2012 Cóyotl Award winners - GreenReaper, Flayrah (18 October 2012)
- Rules - The Cóyotl Awards
- The Cóyotl Awards official webpage