Where do I put my 27,468 word novella?
Where you place your entry is up to you.
We purposely left the "gray area" between 20,000 and 30,000 words to give some flexibility to entrants. Traditionally, longer short stories can be up to 20,000 words and longer novellas can be up to 30,000 words. Anything over that is called a novel. These numbers are generalities and your publishing houses may have their own definitions. ePublishing has made it easier to get works of all lengths published, so we're trying to find a way to adequately represent all that diversity.
An issue we saw in both the Short Story and Novella categories were that entries ranging from Children's and Young Adult to highly erotic, from romance to mainstream, were judged together. Because of that, we divided the short works into two groups: Fiction and Romance.
We realize many novellas aren't that much shorter than novels, so this change allows you to enter your 20,000 word novella in a novel category. Keep in mind that your decision should be based on an objective evaluation of your work: is there enough plot and characterization to add the texture to the work that will allow it to compete successfully against the longer works?
There are some novellas that are more compact and may fit better with short stories. Others may be longer, with plenty of plot and characters, and are, for all intents and purposes, novels. In fact, novellas have entered the novel categories, when there was not a specified ‘novella’ category, and won. Our judges don't really care how long, or short, the work is as long as you tell a good story.
Hopefully, this will help you make your decision on where to place your shorter works or novellas.