1. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    2nd Annual Science Fiction Writing Contest

    Discussion in '2013 Science Fiction Writing Contest' started by Daniel, Oct 3, 2013.

    I'm excited to announce the Second Annual WritingForums.org Science Fiction Contest!!!

    Last year we had a similar contest - this year we're stepping it up with larger prizes and bigger word counts. I'm also throwing this writing contest to celebrate WritingForums.org breaking 1,000,000 posts. Next stop - 2.5 mill?

    I'd like to continue this contest annually. If this is the case, we need a better name. I invite you to suggest names for this annual contest. If there are no names that jump out, the winner will get to help choose the name (no, you can't name it after yourself! :p)

    Deadline/Submission Dates
    The contest will begin now, with a deadline of December 5th at 12:00 UTC/GMT. (equivalent to 5:00 a.m. PDT, 6:00 a.m. CST, 7:00 a.m. EST) Submissions after this time will not be accepted.

    [deadline has been extended from November 20th to December 5th]

    Submission Requirements

    Submissions must be a science fiction short story. What are we considering science fiction, you ask? As a loose guideline, I'd say what a average non-writer would consider science fiction; that said, contest judges will rate the submissions on various criteria, including if they consider it science fiction. More on judging later.

    - Word Count Requirements

    This year we're upping the length allowance. Submissions must be between 7,500 and and 17,500 words. I suppose technically that makes this a novellete contest, rather than a short story contest, but you get the idea.

    Since this is a longer contest, we're giving a bit longer to write and submit your entry, and we're giving away more prizes.

    Contest Prizes

    1st Place: $300, 2 years Premium Membership, Sci-Fi Contest Badge on profile/posts, your choice of a book from Amazon (up to $25 value), possible featuring in our e-zine, newsletter, and throughout the site. We're going to make sure a lot of eyes see your story. Also, you get to help choosing the contest name for future contests.

    2nd Place: $100, 1 year Premium Membership, Contest Badge, your choice of a book from Amazon (up to $25 value)

    3rd - 5th Place: $25 Cash (or Amazon book), 6 months Premium Membership, contest finalist badge

    Note: Over the next 2-3 weeks I will be looking for additional contest sponsors to increase the prize pool. If you're interested in sponsoring this contest please contact me.

    Contest Judging

    The judging for this contest will have two phases. Both faces will be anonymous, with the entry thread starter being altered to the WritingForums.org "Anonymizer" account. Once the contest is over, all entries will be restored to their proper writer.

    There will be a minimum of five contest judges who will select the to five entries. There may be as many as ten judges. Most of these judges I will know in person and will not be affiliated with the site, and can thus vote anonymously; however, if 2-3 senior members would like to volunteer to judge (and not enter), feel free to get in touch.

    Once the top five finalists have been selected, there will be a public vote for these submissions. Due to the length of the entries, we will allow three weeks for the public voting to close. More details on this will be announced after contest submission process is closed.

    Judging Criteria

    Each submission will be judged with certain specified criteria. This includes plot, character development, style, whether they consider it science fiction, and an overall rating. Judging criteria is subject to change. Each judge will rate the stories based on the criteria they are given, and these ratings will be tallied to determine what stories move on to public voting.

    Additional Information, Disclaimer, and Clarifications

    Publishing Rights

    By entering, you consent to allow WritingForums.org to display your work publicly in our contest archives (in their originally thread with your name attributed). We will honor exclusion requests, making such publications private and available to members only. The winner also agrees to allow WritingForums.org to publish/display your story in our newsletter, e-zine, future publications, and website.

    We do not require exclusive rights. We do request, however, that all submissions be new and original content, previously unpublished.

    Judging - We are looking for 2-3 volunteers to opt-out of the contest and to act as judges.

    Eligibility - WritingForums.org's staff and moderation teams are ineligible to participate - though non-moderator volunteers are allowed.

    One entry per person. Entries are un-editable except upon request, so please make your first entry your final entry.

    Sponsors - We don't currently have any contest sponsors. However, if you'd like to donate or sponsor the contest (including a free writing-related product, service, etc.), then please contact me.

    Cheating - We will also be taking precautions to prevent cheating and vote rigging. If you are caught attempting to do so, you will be disqualified, banned permanently, and publicly shamed. :p

    Disclaimer - We reserve the right to edit the terms and prizes of this contest at any time for any reason (though we won't without good reason).

    P.S. - I ask that you support WF and this contest by sharing this contest announcement across the web - facebook, twitter, google+, reddit, other writing sites and other social media sites. Though this contest isn't intend to promote WF, it would be nice and may increase the likelihood of more frequent writing contests with cash prizes. My hope is that maybe by the time we reach a 10th annual sci-fi writing contest we won't only have a better name, but a much larger prize pool. For this I need your help.

    If you have any questions or ideas to make this contest even better, please share them in this thread.

    To enter the contest, simply make a thread in this subforum. I look forward to reading some awesome submissions. Good luck!

    ENTER CONTEST
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
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  2. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    This is great, Daniel! I can't wait to read them!

    Also, your link to last years contest is broken. ;)
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The minimum requirement of 7500 words seems a bit high, doesn't it? Is there any reason why you didn't go with something like 5k as the minimum?
     
  4. graphospasm
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    graphospasm Senior Member

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    This contest would benefit from completely anonymous voting, a la this site's regular short story contests. Privately submitting a story to, say, you or another contest mod who wouldn't participate in judging would ensure blind voting.

    Maybe I'm just bitter from being the least popular girl in school (ha ha), but I'm all for anonymity in community contests.
     
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  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    High entry numbers, but it looks like fun. My only worry is that my sci-fi's tend to be more
    fantasy. Are branch off's of sci-fi acceptable like dystopian?
     
  6. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Thanks for pointing that out! Tried to fix it but I'm getting that server error!! Gah!!!

    True, I'm contemplating lowering it. I thought it'd be nice to have stories that were a bit more fleshed out and developed. If the consensus is it should be lowered t0, 5,000, or say 5,000 to 15,000, I'll change the limit.

    In my personal opinion, yes - however, ultimately I will leave that up to the contest judges.
     
  7. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    I agree. I'll look into allowing anonymous submissions.

    What I might be able to do is make the forum private to view, but still allow posting - so people could post their entry in the forum, but they could only see their own (and only I could see everyone's). Come time for voting, with judges and publicly, I could ensure they're viewed anonymously.

    Like this post if you want completely anonymous judging and public voting.
     
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  8. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I think it's a trade-off. The lower the word count, the more entries you will recieve but the quality, in my opinion will be lower. It takes quite the commitment to write a story 10k+. It allows, as you say, to really flesh out the characters and expand the story.
     
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  9. HarleyQ.
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    HarleyQ. Just a Little Pit Bull (female)

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    This looks like great fun. Dystopian all the way!

    I agree completely with @JJ_Maxx. I don't think the word count should be lowered.
     
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  10. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Besides, this will be a good warm-up to NaNoWriMo!
     
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  11. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I don't agree that a longer story = better quality. Some of the best short stories are under 5k words. If you want to write a long story, that's fine, but I feel that with the lower limit set at 7.5k, people might pad their stories with unnecessary stuff, thus decreasing their quality.
     
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  12. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    No, the point is the commitment to write that much. If we made it 1,000 words, you'd get a dozen horrible 1,000 word stories. Longer stories force you to flesh out your plot and enhance your characters.

    Ultimately it will be up to Daniel, but for a prize of this magnitude on an annual contest, I would expect the word count to be higher.
     
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  13. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I still don't agree. Saying that a 7.5k word story requires more commitment than a 5k story is a bit naive. Stories need to be edited, and how much time is spent on that process depends on the commitment of the writer, not on the number of words. So while it theoretically takes longer to write more words, that really has no bearing on the quality of the story.
     
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  14. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Very cool. Sounds like it'll be a lot of fun
     
  15. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This looks like it could be interesting indeed!
    I hope that you can get enough interest so you might start an annual fantasy contest. :p

    I've only breached the 7500-line once before (in 8th grade in school), so now I will go practice my writing so I might enter upcoming year's contest...
     
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  16. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Because of this contest, I'm definitely going full steam ahead with one of my sci-fi shorts. It would be an entry to this contest.
     
  17. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Since entries are considered novella, would it be wrong to split your story into chapters? I'd do it for the sake of readability.. unless it's not allowed.
     
  18. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    Why not? I've seen short stories with chapters (or similar titled sections). If it makes sense for the story... or is it again something that's being discouraged and I haven't noticed yet?
     
  19. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Go ahead. There's nothing that says short stories (or novelettes, or novellas) can't have chapters, or parts, or sections, or whatever.
     
  20. rhduke
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    rhduke Contributing Member Reviewer

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    Cool thanks
     
  21. MiniCheeseRole
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    MiniCheeseRole New Member

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    I'm completely new to writing, but I've been waiting for something like this to come along. I'm a bit unclear on how you enter? how does creating a new thread enter the competition? and how do I submit my story, do I email a word file or some other format?
     
  22. LamiasLament
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    LamiasLament New Member

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    I am so ready for this! :D:D:D
     
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  23. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I am very stoked for this :D

    I had a novella length idea bubbling around for a while but never knew what to do with it.
    This seems like a good place to try it out :-D

    Quick Q: can a single post support the entire story and can we go and edit it if it comes out clumpy from forum formatting or we notice something we missed?

    Also, I am for public viewing of stories. I wanna see what everyone else is up to.
     
  24. Steampunk
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    Steampunk New Member

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    You realize, of course, that most of the industry considers a story in the range you specify to be a novelette?

    I highly recommend looking here - http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/rules/

    And for those of you who think you cannot make a good story in less that amount, or that a 100o word story can't be good, need to read more.
     
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  25. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Oops, novelette. Forgot about that one :D

    I keep thinking short story is 10k and under, novelette 10k-20k, novella under 40k, novel over 40k.
     

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