Contests & Anthologies Index - Updated 3/1/2009

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Winning a contests and getting published in an anthology can be a great way to break into a field or make a name for yourself.

I've wanted a place to keep track of and share information about upcoming contests and anthologies. I'm going to use this thread as an experiment. It will be sticky and locked, updated whenever a new market is found/reported.


ChimeraCreative (my better half) and I do a fair job of keeping track of markets and upcoming deadlines in speculative fiction. We don't follow much outside of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, so unless you want to see an extremely biased list send us links to contests and anthologies in your favorite genres!


The rules:
  • Always refer to the market guidelines themselves, in case they be more complete or have changed after I've posted them here.
  • Send me a PM if you spot any errors or if you find a new market for the list.
  • New markets will be announced as new posts, so subscribe to this thread to receive notifications!
  • I personally avoid contests with an entry fee, as it goes against Yog's Law (Money should flow toward the author). There are legitimate contests with entry/reading fees, usually with the proceeds going to charity, so I will list those, but submit at your own discretion.
Index by Deadline:
 
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Annual Apex Halloween Contest

Title: Annual Apex Halloween Contest
Theme: Election Horror
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
Fee: None
Deadline: October 15th, 2008
Word count: 1,000 words
Payment: $0.10/word for first place, $0.05/word for second; publication in Apex Digest Online
Guidelines:
Your story must incorporate the theme of ELECTION HORROR.
Word count maximum is 1,000.
Your story must have first rights available.
Submit your story to [email protected].
Submissions are open NOW.
Deadline is 11:59 PM, October 15th, EST.

This year’s celebrity judge is noted SF author Jay Lake!

Winner receives payment of 10 cents per word and publication in Apex Digest Online.
Second place receives payment of 5 cents per word and publication in Apex Digest Online.
Third place receives a free Apex Book Company hardcover.
Fourth place receives a free Apex Book Company trade paperback.

Winning and second place story will be published on November 4th (election day).

Good luck and have fun writing some election horror!
 
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Federations

Title: Federations
Theme: See guidelines below
Genre: Science Ficion
Fee: None
Deadline: January 1st, 2009
Word count: 5,000
Payment: $0.05/word, $250 max
Guidelines:

From Star Trek to Star Wars, from Dune to Foundation, science fiction has a rich history of exploring the idea of vast intergalactic societies, and the challenges facing those living in or trying to manage such societies. The stories in Federations will continue that tradition.

What are the social/religious/environmental/technological implications of living in such a vast society? What happens when expansionist tendencies on a galactic scale come into conflict with the indigenous peoples of other planets, of other races? And what of the issue of communicating across such distances, or the problems caused by relativistic travel? These are just some of the questions and issues that the stories in Federations will take on.
 
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Footprints

Title: Footprints
Theme: See guidelines below
Genre: Science Fiction
Fee: None
Deadline: November 15th, 2008
Word count: 4,000 to 10,000 words
Payment: $40 on publication
Guidelines:

PUBLICATION TITLE: Footprints.

DESCRIPTION: Science Fiction anthology to be edited by Jay Lake and Eric T. Reynolds.

PUBLISHER: Hadley Rille Books.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

THEME. Long after our species and all its works have turned to dust, the moon landing sites will still show evidence of our time here on Earth. Imagine future explorers from among the stars interpreting that. The astronauts’ footprints should last longer than the fossils in the Olduvai Gorge have.

LENGTH. 4000 to 10000 words.

SUBMISSION PERIOD: From 15 August 2008 through 15 November 2008.
 
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Writers of the Future

Title: Writers of the Future
Theme: None
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Fee: None
Deadline: Quarterly - March 31st, June 30th, September 30th, December 31st
Word count: up to 17,000
Payment: $1,000 for 1st, $500 for 2nd, $250 for 3rd; grand prize winner (yearly) wins $5,000.
Guidelines:

OPPORTUNITY FOR NEW AND AMATEUR WRITERS OF NEW SHORT STORIES OR NOVELETTES OF SCIENCE FICTION OR FANTASY

NO ENTRY FEE IS REQUIRED

ENTRANTS RETAIN ALL PUBLICATION RIGHTS
  • ALL AWARDS ARE ADJUDICATED BY PROFESSIONAL WRITERS ONLY
  • PRIZES EVERY THREE MONTHS: $1,000, $750, $500
  • ANNUAL GRAND PRIZE: $5,000 ADDITIONAL!
 
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Byzarium Flash Fiction Contest

Title: Byzarium Flash Fiction Contest
Theme: See guidelines below
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Fee: None
Deadline: September 1st, 2008
Word count: 500
Payment: $5
Guidelines:

Write a Flash Fiction piece (500 words max), using the below image as your inspiration.
Deadline for this image: September 1, 2008

Rebuilding_by_kiriko_moth.jpg
 

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PARSEC Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Contest

Title: PARSEC Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Contest
Theme: Dark Glass
Genre: SF/F
Fee: None
Deadline: April 15th, 2009
Word count: 3,500
Payment: $200 / $100 / $50
Guidelines:

The contest is open to non-professional writers (those who have not met membership requirements for SFWA or equivalent). Previous multiple winners and current contest coordinators are also ineligible. The best story which relates to and features the contest theme will be published in the Confluence 2009 program book, and the author awarded the first prize of $200. At the discretion of the judges a second and third prize in the amounts of $100 and $50 may be awarded, with possible publication in a PARSEC INK publication. Submission to the contest implies consent for publication, but all rights revert immediately to the authors upon publication. The coordinators will screen the entries, and the best submissions will go on to our panel of three Judges. Decisions of the judges and coordinators in all these matters are final. There is NO entry fee.

Notes: The guidelines currently show the deadline is April 15th, 2008. This is a typo. Also, the third judge is S.C.Butler, author
of Reiffen's Choice, Queen Ferris, and the upcoming The Magician's Daughter.
 
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Clockwork Phoenix 2

Title: Clockwork Phoenix 2
Theme: See guidelines below
Genre: SF/F
Fee: None
Deadline: November 16th, 2008
Word count: 10,000
Payment: $0.02/word as advance against royalties
Guidelines:

Editor Mike Allen says: "CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 2 is a home for stories that sidestep expectations in beautiful and unsettling ways, that surprise with their settings and startle with the ways they cross genre boundaries, that aren't afraid to experiment with storytelling techniques. But experimentation is not a requirement: the stories in the anthology must be more than gimmicks, and should appeal to genuine emotions, suspense, fear, sorrow, delight, wonder. I will value a story that makes me laugh in its quirky way more than a story that tries to dazzle me with a hollow exercise in wordplay.

"The stories should contain elements of the fantastic, be it science fiction, fantasy, horror or some combination thereof. A straight psychological horror story is unlikely to make the cut unless it's truly scary and truly bizarre. The same applies to a straight adventure fantasy or unremarkable space opera — bring something new and genuine to the equation, whether it's a touch of literary erudition, playful whimsy, extravagant style, or mind-blowing philosophical speculation and insight. Though stories can be set in this world, settings at least a hair or more askew are preferred. I hope to see prose that is poetic but not opaque. I hope to see stories that will lead the reader into unfamiliar territory, there to find shock and delight."

Update for the second volume: "Over the course of reading for the first volume, I developed some criteria for stories that aren't likely to interest me (though exceptions are always possible). These include straightfoward retellings of well-known fairy tales; stories in which a Machine Discovers Its Humanity; stories that aim to prove Christianity/Religion Is Bad; stories about a Privileged Schmuck who comes to understand Oppression Is Bad; stories whose entire plot can be described as X Commits a Murder; stories of wish-fulfillment with little complication — i.e.: character longs for something; character is granted that something; end of story.

"My aim with the CLOCKWORK PHOENIX books is, somewhat selfishishly, to create books that satisfy my own tastes as a reader. And as a reader, I enjoy stories that experiment, that push the envelope, that dazzle with their daring, but I'm often personally frustrated when an experimental story ends without feeling complete, without leaving an emotional crater for me to remember it by. At the same time, I find myself increasingly bored with the traditional, conventionally-plotted and plainly-written Good Story Competently Told. For better or for worse, I envision the CLOCKWORK PHOENIX books as places where these two schools of story telling can mingle and achieve Happy Medium; where there is significance to both the tale that's told and the style of the telling."

Notes: Editor Mike Allen's LiveJournal
 

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HORROR D’OEUVRES

Title: HORROR D’OEUVRES
Theme: None
Genre: Horror
Fee: None
Deadline: N/A, check website for updates
Word count: 750
Payment: $0.05/word upon publication
Guidelines:

With the increasing popularity of its HC chapbook line, Delirium Books is now taking submissions for a new hardcover chapbook anthology series called HORROR D’OEUVRES. The fiction in this series will consist of original flash fiction (short-shorts) that serve as an appetizer for horror readers, a small bite of horror served between bigger reads. These Horror D’oeuvres will appear online at the Horror-Mall.com website.

Notes: None
 
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MALPRACTICE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEDSIDE TERROR

Title: MALPRACTICE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEDSIDE TERROR
Theme: See guidelines below
Genre: SF/F/H
Fee: None
Deadline: September 30th, 2008
Word count: 2,000 - 4,000, and a select few 100-word stories
Payment: $0.01/word ($10 for 100-word story)
Guidelines:

To many of us, a hospital may be one of the most frightening scenarios there are. It can leave you completely vulnerable and places your livelihood in the hands of complete strangers. It’s the perfect formula for horrific tales. All that’s missing is YOU; the ideal catalyst. We are seeking stories from 2000 to 4000 words in length. The pay rate will be 1 cent a word and one contributor’s copy.

Stories must have some connection with Bloom Memorial Hospital. The Hospital can be located anywhere for your tale. Indeed, Bloom Memorial exists as a complete hospital in many towns, but you can also get to it through any hospital or clinic in the world.

Notes: None
 

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Bards and Sages 5th Annual Writing Competition

Title: Bards and Sages 5th Annual Writing Competition
Theme: Blood, Fangs, and Fire: Short Stories about Vampires and Dragons
Genre: SF/F/H
Fee: $10
Deadline: October 31st, 2008
Word count: 1,000 - 30,000
Payment: $200/$100/$50 savings bond and more. See website for details.
Guidelines:

Stories can be in any speculative genre (fantasy, horror, science fiction) and must involve vampires and dragons in some fashion. The main character need not be a vampire or a dragon, but both creatures, or a hybrid thereof, must have prominent roles in the story. Note that our longstanding policy against vampire erotica still stands. While we don't mind some adult themes, they should not be the bulk of your story, nor should they be superfluous. Also, while our charity of choice this year promotes children's literacy, we are not looking for children's stories.

Notes: None
 

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Aeon Award

Title: Aeon Award
Theme: None
Genre: SF/F/H
Fee: €7
Deadline: Four rounds; March 31st, June 30th, September 30th, November 30th
Word count: Up to 8,000 words
Payment: €1000/€200/€100
Guidelines

Notes: None
 

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EMG-Zine

Title: EMG-Zine
Theme: Ice
Genre: SF/F
Fee: None
Deadline: October 1st, 2008
Word count: Up to 2,000 words
Payment: None
Guidelines:

We're looking for short, stand-alone stories or poetry. They should be less than 2000 words in length, and must follow the theme of each issue. Illustrations are encouraged. Entries will be edited for spelling and grammar, and may be trimmed for length. No major profanity, violence, or sexually explicit material. No fanfiction. Submissions need not be exclusive or unpublished, and are unpaid. You may submit up to 2 written pieces per month, any mix of poetry and prose. Serials will be considered, but must be complete before publication of the first part, and each section must follow the theme of each month.

Notes: Reprints accepted
 

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EMG-Zine

Title: EMG-Zine
Theme: Wings
Genre: SF/F
Fee: None
Deadline: November 1st, 2008
Word count: Up to 2,000 words
Payment: None
Guidelines:

We're looking for short, stand-alone stories or poetry. They should be less than 2000 words in length, and must follow the theme of each issue. Illustrations are encouraged. Entries will be edited for spelling and grammar, and may be trimmed for length. No major profanity, violence, or sexually explicit material. No fanfiction. Submissions need not be exclusive or unpublished, and are unpaid. You may submit up to 2 written pieces per month, any mix of poetry and prose. Serials will be considered, but must be complete before publication of the first part, and each section must follow the theme of each month.

Notes: Reprints accepted
 

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Flashing Swords

Title: Flashing Swords
Theme: See below
Genre: F
Fee: None
Deadline: September 30th, 2008
Word count: 1,000 to 4,500 words
Payment: $0.01/word + contributor copy
Guidelines:

ca.jpg


Take a good look at this image. What do you see going on here? Who is that girl? Why's she standing like that? Who are those guys? Why are they doing what they're doing? What has happened, is happening or is about to happen?

Let your imagination roam, then write a story about what you see.
 

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Dia de los Muertos Anthology

Title: Dia de los Muertos Anthology
Theme: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
Genre: F/H
Fee: None
Deadline: October 31th, 2008
Word count: 2,000 to 5,000 words
Payment: $25 + contributor copy
Guidelines:

We are looking for well-crafted, original stories from 2000 to 5000 words which involve Dia de los Muertos in some way. Other than that, subject matter is fairly open. There is a lot of room for creativity here and we want stories which explore this theme in a variety of ways. We like stories which are more literary in nature, but we welcome elements of fantasy and/or subtle horror, magical realism, etc. We are not looking for excessive blood and gore for this antho, although we are not opposed to some blood if done properly and appropriate to the story.

Notes: None
 

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Title: The Phantom Queen Awaits
Theme: The Morrigan
Genre: Fantasy
Fee: None
Deadline: December 1st, 2008
Word count: 50 - 6,000 words
Payment: $0.01/word
Guidelines:

The Phantom Queen Awakes, will focus on Morrígan’s tripartite nature. We want stories set in the ancient world of the Celts (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celt for some information), that talk of Morrígan. She does not have to be a central figure (although she must appear at least once in the tale), however we would prefer it if she was.

[We] are looking for stories that push the boundaries, for tales that resound with the reader long after they’ve been put down. Supernatural creatures are allowed, although they must be in tune with Celtic mythology. We do not want gratuitous violence or sex scenes. The editors would prefer stories of a darker nature, and are much more likely to take well written stories with this in mind.

Notes: None
 

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Warrior Wisewoman 2

Title: Warrior Wisewoman 2
Theme: See below
Genre: Science Fiction
Fee: None
Deadline: December 1st, 2008
Word count: up to 10,000 words
Payment: $0.02/word upon acceptance, pro rata share of royalties, plus a contributor copy
Guidelines:

The anthology was conceived as a sister volume to the classic Sword and Sorceress fantasy series originally edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley, with the main difference being that the story themes will involve science fiction instead of fantasy, and they will be intended for a more mature audience, allowing a mixture of serious contemporary issues and reasonable sexual content (but no erotica) in addition to action and adventure. The stories will have a stronger focus on the interface between scientific exploration and our sense of wonder.

Notes: None
 
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Dark Jesters

Title: Dark Jesters
Theme: Humorous Horror
Genre: Horror
Fee: None
Deadline: November 30th, 2008
Word count: 1,500 to 2,000 words
Payment: $40 plus 1 contributor copy
Guidelines:

Stories must be horror-oriented-no scifi unless in the vein of "Alien." Stories will be selected (mainly) on their humor content: the harder you make the editors laugh the better chance your story will be picked. Any story that insults the horror genre will not be selected; "humorous horror" does not mean we want to "make fun" of the genre. We want to see "real" horror stories with a humorous angle. Whether your story deals with classic monsters (such as vampires), the apocalypse, serial killers, ghosts, or (you fill in the blank), we want the readers to laugh 'till it hurts.

Notes: None
 

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Potter's Field 3

Title: Potter's Field 3
Theme: See below
Genre: Horror
Fee: None
Deadline: Open until filled
Word count: 2,000 to 8,000 words
Payment: $10 ($6 for reprints) plus 1 contributor copy
Guidelines:

Send us a story that's never been told before, one that's atmospheric and highly entertaining, has fascinating characters, one that takes place in a unique location or time period.

Potter's Field 3 is the burial place for the indigent and the unidentified. Just about every city has one. There's a Potter's Field in the contemporary Michael Douglas movie, Don't Say A Word. Obviously, we're looking for works that are themed to graveyards in some way. However, it does not have to be a conventional graveyard. Let me give you one example: back during the days of the Black Death, bodies were crammed--yes, literally crammed--into mass graves underneath churches. Even today, in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, you can take a walking tour deep under the church and see walls of skeletons and dirt. Such a place would also qualify as a graveyard for the indigent.

We do not want gore, blood, splatter, slice-and-dice. Sure, it might be good fun to make balloon animals out of someone's intestines, or find out how long the heart will continue to beat after it has been ripped from the body with a runcible spoon. But that's not what we want. We want stories that will scare readers, not stories that will make them gag. This is not to say that someone in your story cannot bleed, or die. Just put a lid on the icky stuff.

Notes: "Please note that horror fiction written in the third person stands the best chance for acceptance."
 

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Tesseracts Thirteen

Title: Tesseracts Thirteen
Theme: Open
Genre: Dark Fantasy & Horror
Fee: None
Deadline: October 31st, 2008
Word count: 5,000 words
Payment: $20.00 for poetry, $50.00 for stories under 1,500 words, to a maximum of $100.00
Guidelines:

The anthology is open to Canadians, landed immigrants, long-time residents, and expatriates.

Notes: None
 

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Glimmer Train

Title: Glimmer Train
Theme: Family Matters
Genre: Literary
Fee: $15 per story
Deadline: October 31st, 2008
Word count: 12,000 words
Payment: $1,200 + 20 copies / $500 / $300
Guidelines:

We are interested in reading your original, unpublished short stories about family!
* We don't publish stories for children, I'm sorry.
* It's fine to submit more than one story or to submit the same story to different categories.
* When we accept a story for publication, we are purchasing first-publication rights. (After we've published it, you can include it in your own collection.)

Notes:
 

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Dead Science

Title: Dead Science
Theme: See guidelines
Genre: SF
Fee: None
Deadline: September 30th, 2008
Word count: 3,000 - 6,000 words
Payment: $0.01/word + contributor copy
Guidelines:

Interesting stories about science gone bad that results in the undead. It could be a strange lab experiment gone awry or an industrial or technological accident at a facility of some kind. It could be a malfunction on an alien ship or simply some strange chemical concoction in a nerd’s basement. Whatever you want.

Notes: None
 

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The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

Title: The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Theme: Opening sentence to the worst novel
Genre: Open
Fee: None
Deadline: April 15, 2009
Word count: 50 - 60 words
Payment: A "pittance"
Guidelines:

Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.

Notes: Allows multiple submissions
 

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Oceanview's Short Story Contest

Title: Oceanview's Short Story Contest
Theme: See guidelines
Genre: All but childrens, YA, and poetry
Fee: None
Deadline: November 17th, 2008
Word count: 1,000 - 5,000 words
Payment: $250 cash, $150 in Oceanview books
Guidelines:

Dedicated to providing readers worldwide with high quality works of fiction and nonfiction Oceanview Publishing is pleased to announce that our mission to discover and develop both new and established authors is expanding with our first short story contest.

No entry fee is required for this contest. We ask only that you send us an original, unpublished short story that has something out of the ordinary about it. We want the story to reflect our own unique approach to publishing. We want something that, like our young company, takes risks, denies the word impossible, and might even be a little twisted.

Notes: None
 
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