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Taking Submissions: SQ Mag Story Quest Contest: Unlikely Partnerships

October 31, 2015


Deadline: October 31st, 2015
Payment: $15 and contest winners for the top 3 selections

For 2015’s Story Quest Competition we want to look at the unlikely, the neglected, the untried.

We are looking for either:

– unlikely partnerships between characters, species, the smashing together of worlds, cultures, ideas
– unlikely genre partnerships, those we don’t see often or at all

For combination number two, at the mag we don’t often see fairytale crossovers (we’d love some more diverse voices), steampunk, true romantic horror, Western crossovers, mysteries. Whatever you can think of, we’ll read. Just make it a story that makes the judges eyes bug.

Submission Period

Opens 1 September 2015 and closes 31 October 2015. Short listed stories and winners will be announced mid to late November 2015. It is free to enter.

All submissions must be entered online using the Submittable System.Click here to submit. Please note that this is a third party system that will store submitted short stories on their database.



Five or six stories will be short-listed, all of which will be published in SQ Mag in early 2016 – contract conditions for unsolicited entries strictly apply. Within the short list, 1st place will also be awarded US$100.00, 2nd place: US$50.00, 3rd place: US$25.00. All published short-listed stories will receive the standard US$15.00 SQ Mag payment. Authors who submit to the contest must have or nominate a PayPal account to receive their payments.

Submission Requirements

  • Shunn rules for presentation apply. Exceptions: Actual italics to be used and fonts can include Times New Roman, Times, Garamond.
  • 1000 to 3000 words only. No exceptions.
  • In line with SQ Mag being an original fiction market, no reprints will be accepted.
  • Authors are encouraged to submit their manuscripts in the form of English that they wish (for example, US English, UK English, Australian English). Short listed stories will be published in the same form.
  • Only one submission per author.
  • Stories may only be submitted in RTF format.
  • Story Quest is a mature writing contest, but violence, sex and language MUST be used in an appropriate manner to support the story and characterisation. Experimentation is encouraged, but it requires skill to deliver it in an effective manner.
  • It is stressed that the submission requirements and theme description be read carefully by authors submitting. Failure to comply with the requirements will result in rejection.
  • Staff members of IFWG Publishing, IFWG Publishing Australia, and SQ Mag, are ineligible to submit to the Contest. Authors who are in current contract for novels and collections with IFWG Publishing and IFWG Publishing Australia, are also ineligible to submit to the Contest.

Judging Process

  • Phase 1: Immediately after the Submission Period, IFWG Publishing representatives will read submissions and filter out those that do not comply to submission requirements, or that are obviously out of contention. Past experience suggests about half will be rejected.
  • Phase 2: Remaining stories will be catalogued and passed to all judges of the contest. Over an approximately two week reading period, a short list will be decided, usually of approximately 12 to 20 stories. Submissions will be presented to the judges without author names (anonymously).
  • Phase 3: Judges will arrive at a final short list and announce the winners.

Judges for 2015 Story Quest Short Story Contest

The Story Quest Contest has traditionally consisted of in-house judges (IFWG Publishing) and a guest judge. This year’s contest will have the following judges:

  • Gerry Huntman (Managing Director and Chief Editor, IFWG Publishing/IFWG Publishing Australia)
  • Sophie Yorkston (Editor-in-Chief, SQ Mag)
  • Esme Carpenter (IFWG Publishing)
  • Warren Goodwin (IFWG Publishing)
  • Fifth judge to be decided and announced

Via: SQ Mag.


October 31, 2015