Guild members are eligible to nominate works in four categories (short stories, novellas, novels, and anthologies). 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. Self-published works are eligible. 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 then presented to Guild members for the final vote.
The award is presided over by the Cóyotl Awards Chair, who has 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)
- The Cóyotl Awards official webpage