Category: Contest


Contest: Quarantine Quanta: A Drabble Contest

Deadline: March 31st, 2020
Prizes: 1st place: $30; 2nd place: $20; 3rd place: $10.
Theme: Realistic and slipstream, Science fiction and fantasy, or Horror!

Why Quarantine Quanta? Thanks to COVID-19, many of us will be cooped up at home, trying to retain some semblance of normalcy amid incessant reports of the pandemic.

To that end, I decided to do something to get our creative juices flowing and cheer us all up…


A drabble competition!

But why quanta? Is this for sci-fi only? Not at all. A quantum is a packet, generally the smallest meaningful amount of something. In physics, it might refer to a small quantity of energy or information. Here,  I am looking for quanta of fiction: drabbles.

Sure, a drabble — a story of exactly 100 words (without the title) — is not an indivisible packet of fiction, because you can write even shorter pieces, but ‘quanta’ alliterates with ‘quarantine,’ and I’ve never been one to pass up a good alliteration.

Do the stories have to be about the virus/quarantine? No, absolutely not. The contest isn’t themed. Write about anything you like.


1) Realistic and slipstream (submit here)

2) Science fiction and fantasy (submit here)

3) Horror (submit here)

Prizes: There will be three winners in each category. The winners will receive
1st place: $30; 2nd place: $20; 3rd place: $10.
Payment via PayPal within 24 hours of posting results.
(Names of shortlisted authors will also be posted, along with heartfelt kudos.)

Entry fee: None.

Submission period: March 17-March 31 (11:59 pm PST).

Results posted: Monday, April 6 (8 am PST). Winning stories will be published on the website.

What to submit: Drabbles (stories of exactly 100 words, not counting the title).

Multiple submissions: Yes, but three maximum total across all categories. It’s just me reading, and if you submit more, I will a) know it, b) become really annoyed, and c) I’m the one who opens pickle jars. Seriously, no more than three. Don’t be a/an <insert favorite expletive>.

Simultaneous submissions: No. I am a big fan of simsubs in general, but this contest is open for two weeks only and the results will be up shortly thereafter. If you haven’t made the shortlist, you will hear from me even sooner. No simsubs because the timescales are short and I don’t want to be in a situation where a winner withdraws last minute.

Reprints: No. Original fiction only.

Rights: If you are among the winners, I ask for first North American publication rights and to post your piece on the website. Upon publication, all rights revert back to you. Be aware that other venues will treat the piece as a reprint after it’s been published here.

How do I submit?

1) Realistic and slipstream (submit here)

2) Science fiction and fantasy (submit here)

3) Horror (submit here)

Formatting: There is a text box into which to paste your submission, so keep your formatting simple. If you want something italicized, enclose it with two underscores.

You should receive an automated response email shortly after submission. If you do not receive it within 24 hours, send me an email at quarantine dot quanta at gmail dot com


Quarantine Quanta is a contest soliciting 100-word stories (drabbles) in three categories. No entry fee, subs open March 17-31, results April 6, three winners (paid, pro level) in each category. Yes multiple subs (max 3), no simsubs, no reprints.

Questions/contact: quarantine dot quanta at gmail dot com

Via: Maura Yzmore.

Taking Submissions: Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction Contest #7

Deadline: April 10th, 2020
Prizes: The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $75, $50, and $25 respectively
Theme: Innovation

Every year, QSF holds a flash fiction contest to create an amazing new anthology of queer speculative fiction stories. We ask authors to do the nearly-impossible – to submit a sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror LGBTIQA story that has no more than 300 words.

Our 2020 contest launches on March 1st, and closes it April 10th, but we do accept early entries. The theme for 2020 is “Innovation”:

1) A new idea, method, or device.
2) The introduction of something new.
3) The action or process of innovating.

We live in an age of innovation – new websites, apps, and disruption abound. Often this innovation has a dark side, destroying old industries, eroding privacy and enabling climate change.

But innovation can have a bright side – solving problems instead of creating them. Look at how medicine has helped extend life and cure ailments that were once deadly scourges. The same social media sites that are causing such chaos have also brought people together on groups like ours, creating new communities. And innovation might just hold the key to saving the planet.

Tell us about either side – how innovation will destroy us, or how it might save us. Whether your innovation is scientific, paranormal, horrific or magical, we want to see it.

We’ll be accepting works from across the queer spectrum, and would love to see more entries including lesbian, trans, bi, intersex and ace protagonists, as well as gay men. We also welcome diversity in ability (physical and mental) and in race. We had our most diverse set of entries yet in 2019 – let’s keep up the trend!

We always get tons of gay sci fi shorts, so if you try something different, you have a better chance of standing out.

Try for something unique – take the road less traveled.

We’d also love to see more fantasy and horror stories, though we’re still happy to get sci fi and paranormal too.

We welcome strictly genre stories and stories with romance in the mix.

We have four main criteria by which each work will be judged:

  • Is there at least one queer character and/or obvious queer content?
  • How well does the work incorporate speculative fiction (sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror) tropes and concepts?
  • Is the work well-crafted, with a plot, a beginning, a middle, and an end?
  • How well/cleverly is the theme used in the work?

We’ll announce the first batch of winners – the works selected for the anthology – soon after the judging is complete.

We’ll also tease you with the honorable mention winners for this year’s book.

Then we’ll announce the judges’ choices – five works that didn’t quite make the top three, but that each of the judges thought deserved special mention.

But the biggest event will be the launch of the book, when the top three winners will be announced.

So break out your writing pencil or laptop or whatever you use, and get ready to write.


Here are a few things that may help you if you are struggling with how to write a flash fiction work for the contest:

Official Rules

  • The work must be no longer than 300 words long, not including the title/byline. Longer entries will be rejected. We use Microsoft Word for our official word count.
  • The work must somehow embrace/explore the theme of “innovation”.
  • The work can be with or without a queer romance, HEA not required, but must have queer characters and content.
  • The work should be speculative fiction – all flavors of sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror accepted.
  • The work should be a standalone – not connected to any series or universe.
  • The winners will be chosen by a panel of five judges.
  • Whether a submitted work meets all the qualifications is at the discretion of the judges.
  • One entry per person.
  • The contest officially begins on 3/1/19. Entries are due by midnight Pacific on 4/10/19. We do accept early submissions.
  • Entries should be sent in Word format. We’re not picky about the spacing or indents, etc, but 12 pt. Times New Roman is appreciated, and please do NOT use tabs. Send your work to [email protected], with the email subject line “QSF FLASH FICTION CONTEST: TITLE, AUTHOR”, replacing TITLE and AUTHOR with your own.
  • The top three winners will receive cash prizes of $75, $50, and $25 respectively; everyone who is chosen for publication will receive a free copy of the eBook. No royalties will be paid.
  • A group of runners-up will be chosen – stories with high point scores that may or may not also be winners. There is no monetary reward for this distinction.
  • Each of the judges will also select one work for special recognition as a “Judge’s Choice”. There is no monetary reward for this distinction.
  • We will send you a release when we receive your work. If your work is selected for publication, you agree to grant exclusive publication rights to Queer Sci Fi in this year’s QSF flash fiction anthology for 12 months from the anthology publication date. Your right to publish your work elsewhere will automatically revert back to you at that time. You also agree to grant Queer Sci Fi the right to sell your work non-exclusively for 36 months after the publication date, after which we will relinquish all rights to the work. Note: If your story is not selected for the anthology, the rights automatically revert to the you upon notification.
  • The judging panel will choose 120 works from all entries submitted to create the eBook and paperback anthology for sale.
  • We don’t have the resources to provide personalized commentary or critique for every story that is not chosen for the anthology, but rest assured, we appreciate every entry.

If you have any questions, you can email me at [email protected].

Good luck!

Previous Editions

We’ve now run the contest five times, and put out books showcasing the best stories from Discovery and Flight (now out of print) and Renewal, Impact, and Migration.

For our first year, the theme was “Endings“. To see the top three stories and the three honorable mentions from 2014, click here. (16 entries). To see the rest of the submissions from 2014 (where the authors gave us the go-ahead to post them), click here. Scott chose this theme.

For the second year, the theme was “Discovery“. To see the winners and honorable mentions from 2015, click here. (115 entries). Mark chose this theme.

For the third year, the theme was “Flight“. To see the winners and honorable mentions from 2016, click here. (172 entries). Angel chose this theme.

In year four, our theme was “Renewal.” For the list of winners, click here, and for samples written by the organizers, click here. (207 entries). Ben chose this theme.

Via: Queer Sci Fi.

Contest: Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest 2020

Deadline: April 15th, 2020
Prizes: The author of the winning story will receive a $1000 prize, and nine finalists will receive $100 prizes.
Theme: We are looking for short stories that help us imagine how humans can live within Earth’s planetary boundaries—at the individual level, yes, but more importantly at the level of organizations, communities, and societies, and at the level of a global human civilization.

Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest 2020

Welcome to the Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest, presented by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University.

Inspired by the incredible international response to our climate fiction contests in 2016 and 2018, we are proud to announce our third contest in 2020—a momentous year for climate action, and an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine how humans will live on this planet in the future.

Work will be selected and judged by Claire Vaye Watkins, a Guggenheim Fellow, winner of The Story Prize, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and author of Gold Fame Citrus, a climate fiction novel that was named a best book of 2015 by The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and NPR. Claire will join an interdisciplinary group of judges with expertise in climate science, sustainability, creative writing, and environmental literature.

All genres are welcome. The author of the winning story will receive a $1000 prize, and nine finalists will receive $100 prizes. The winning story and finalists will be published in an anthology by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University.

The Provocation

The beating drum of the climate crisis is a constant reminder that our planet is a closed, limited system, and that we’re currently living far beyond its boundaries. We are looking for short stories that help us imagine how humans can live within Earth’s planetary boundaries—at the individual level, yes, but more importantly at the level of organizations, communities, and societies, and at the level of a global human civilization.

What would our world look like if we actually respected and lived within planetary boundaries? How would we organize our homes, communities, cities, and nations? How would we live with and relate to each other at the global level? How might politics, culture, relationships, and identities—all of the messiness of human lives—change in a world where we’re grappling seriously with the climate crisis, and perhaps even trying to restore some of the damage we’ve already done to the planet and its ecosystems? What kinds of obstacles, conflicts, and transformations will arise during these humongous shifts? How can we ensure that a sustainable or even climate-positive future is also a just and equitable one?

Submission Guidelines

  • Submit up to one (1) work of short fiction with a maximum length of 5,000 words.
  • Your submission must be under 5,000 words.
  • Your submission must contain no identifying information (including your name) anywhere within the document.
  • Submissions that exceed 5,000 words or contain any identifying information about the author will be disqualified.
  • Submissions must be original work that has not been previously published in print or online.
  • While the presence of other languages in the text is acceptable, the majority of the work must be written in English.
  • Participants must be 18 years or older. U.S. and international submissions are welcome. ASU students and employees are welcome to participate.

The deadline for the submission is April 15, 2020 by 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time (GMT-7). Our judging process will be blind: judges will not have access to any identifying information about the authors, including their names, places of origin, or ages.

To read Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction, Volume II, which collects the grand prize winner and finalists from our 2018 contest, visit

To learn more about the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative, visit If you have questions, email us at icf AT asu DOT edu.

Support for the 2020 Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest is provided by Ingka Group, the largest retailer and a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, operating nearly 380 IKEA stores in 30 countries. Learn more about Ingka Group and its commitment to sustainability at Ingka Group and its representatives will not be involved in the judging process, the decision-making around the winners of the contest, or the editorial process for the Everything Change book.

Via: Everything Change.

Taking Submissions: The Great Lake Drabble Contest #15

Deadline: September 30th, 2019.
Payment: 1 cent per word (1 dollar total.)

The contest ends September 30, 2019.

The Great Lake Drabble Contest #15

The Contest Theme: Treasure Hunt

We are looking for non-traditional treasures, a search that finds something unanticipated, of value. For example, in “Skylark of Space,” the civilization values salt above gold, and the people are not above melting down humans to recover the salt in their bodies.

The Contest Theme

“Treasure Hunt”

Publishing Details

Drabble Contests are edited by  Terrie Leigh Relf

The contest ends September 30, 2019.

Its format is perfect-bound trade paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, color cover and b&w interior.

How to Submit

Submit your work to [email protected]

In the subject line of the e-mail, put Drabble Submission plus your last name and the title of the work submitted.


“Drabble Submission: Asimov Nightfall – Contest #15”

Please make sure to put the Drabble Contest number in the subject line to make it easier to sort submissions.

Submit your drabble in the email body, please, and NOT as an attachment.

Next, make sure your contact information is in the email along with the approximate word count.


Edgar Montrose
1101 Kaboom Street
Mushroom, NY 12117
[email protected]
paypal [if any]: [email protected]

If your submission does not include your contact information, Alban Lake Publishing reserves the right to delete your submission unread and without notifying you.

Pay for drabbles is 1 cent a word, which means one dollar per drabble.

The first and second place winners will each receive one of our publications. Winners will be announced in the View from the Lake once the contest is ended and the submissions are all read.

We will publish the 20-25 best submissions. Each contributor will receive payment and a contributor’s copy, with the option to buy additional copies at a discount.

Via: Alban Lake Publishing.

Taking Submissions: Sub-Q Game Jam Flash Fiction “Love”

Deadline: December 15th, 2018
Payment: Original: $0.06 USD/word for prose; $0.03 USD/word for interactivity ($0.09 USD/word for both) Reprints: $0.03 USD/word for prose; $0.015 USD/word for interactivity (0.045 USD/word)

As we announced last month, from November 15 to December 15, we’ll be hosting a game jam open to very short pieces of interactive fiction or sequential art on the theme of love. We’ll also be accepting submissions for interactive fiction proposals through our Submittable portal for authors new to the idea of interactive fiction.

The catch? All those submissions must be limited to 1000 words of prose, or 9 panels, put before the player. (Full rules and conditions can be found at either of the links above.)

Altogether, we’ll choose four pieces from four different author/artist/developers to run in our February 2019 issue at our standard rates.

Since today is November 15th, that game jam and the submission window for proposals are officially open! Both will close for entries at the end of the day (Pacific Time) on December 15th, and we hope to be able to make our final selections by early January.

Links for both the game jam and the proposal submission window are above, or you can click through below!

Game Jam:

Proposal Submissions:

Our February issue will also feature a 1000-word-or-less game on the theme of “love” from two invited authors, to complement the entries we accept from the game jam and the proposal submission window. Those authors will be announced soon!

Excited yet? We know we are! We can’t wait to dive in to all the submitted games and proposals.

Got questions? Let us know on, or by e-mailing [email protected]

Via: Sub-Q.

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