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 2017 contest launches on March 10th, and closes it April 10th. The theme for 2017 is “Renewal”:
Take that however you will – a new beginning after a nuclear war, a birth of a werewolf baby, the reforging of a fantasy sword, etc. It’s up to you. We’ve posted some samples by ineligible writers here.
We’ll be accepting stories 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 and in race. The stories can also fall anywhere across the spectrum romance-wise – romance is fine, but stories can also be genre driven with no romance at all.
- We have four main criteria by which each story will be judged:
- Is there at least one queer character and obvious queer content?
- How well does the story incorporate speculative fiction (sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror) tropes and concepts?
- Is the story well-crafted, with a plot, a beginning, a middle, and an end?
- How well/cleverly is the theme used in the story?
We’ll announce the first batch of winners – the stories selected for the anthology – after the judging is complete.
Next we’ll announce the judges’ choices – five stories that didn’t quite make the top three, but that each judge thought deserved special mention.
We’ll also tease you with the illustrations for this year’s book.
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.
- The story 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 story must somehow embrace/explore the theme of “renewal”.
- The story can be with or without a queer romance, HEA not required, but must have queer characters and content.
- The story should be speculative fiction – all flavors of sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror accepted.
- The story 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 story meets all the qualifications is at the discretion of the judges.
- One entry per person.
- Entries are due by midnight Pacific on 4/10/17.
- Entries should be sent in our template format – PLEASE USE THE WORD TEMPLATE BELOW. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 $50, $30, and $20 respectively; everyone who is chosen for publication will receive a free copy of the eBook. No royalties will be paid.
- 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.
- Authors agree to first publication rights on the blog if chosen as a winner or as a “Judge’s Choice”. Authors agree to exclusive publication in QSF anthology for 12 months, with author’s right to publish elsewhere returned after the end of the 12 months after publication date. MCB/QSF retain the right to sell the work for 36 months after publication.
- The judging panel will choose works from all entries submitted to create an eBook and paperback with Mischief Corner Books.
- 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 trouble downloading it, message J. Scott Coatsworth on FB and I can send you a copy. You can also email me at email@example.com.
For our first year, the theme was “Endings”. To see the top three stories and the three honorable mentions from 2014, click here.
To see the rest of the submissions from 2014 (where the authors gave us the go-ahead to post them), click here.
For the third year, the theme was “Flight”. To see the winners and honorable mentions from 2016, click here.