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2016 N3F Amateur Short Story Contest
Story Contest Rules and Entry Blank
Now and then, it has been suggested to open the N3F Amateur Short Story Contest to professional writers, writers who have had one or two sales. I’ve never favored this. It is my opinion that we want new blood. We want to reward the new kids on the block. To be blunt, we want writing that is not that good. We want stories from people who don’t know their object from their subject, who don’t know where commas go, and who use apostrophes to denote plurals — but who have a story to tell. I want stories from guys nobody’s ever heard of…but in the years ahead, we will. Those who are already successful don’t need the encouragement of our little contest. If they were to enter the contest, the danger is that they’d win, every time, and crowd out the promising newcomer.
1. This contest is open to all amateur writers in the field, regardless of whether they’re members of the National Fantasy Fan Federation. For the purposes of this contest, we define an amateur as someone who has sold no more than two (2) stories to professional science fiction or fantasy publications.
2. Stories entered in the contest must be original, unpublished, not longer than 8,500 words in length—and must be related to the science fiction, fantasy, or similar genres in the opinion of the judge.
3. Email attachments of Word documents are acceptable for submission. Manuscripts on paper should be typed, single sided on 8 1/2″-by- 11″ white paper, double spaced, with pages numbered. The name of the author should not appear anywhere on the manuscript to ensure impartial judging. Photocopies are acceptable, if they are of good quality. Computer printouts must be legible.
4. Contestants can enter up to three stories. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) if you would like your story returned at the end of the contest. Stories will not be returned without an SASE. Do not send your only copy in case of accidental loss. We are not responsible for lost manuscripts.
5. Email entries will be accepted. Send to Jefferson P. Swycaffer at firstname.lastname@example.org. No guarantee can be made of email receipt. Privacy and property rights will be absolutely respected. No one other than the Short Story Judge will ever see the submission.
6. There are no entry fees.
7. Cash prizes totaling $100 will be awarded as follows: First prize is $50, second $30, and third $20. Honorable mentions and semi-finalists will receive a certificate of award.
8. Send all manuscripts to the contest manager: Jefferson Swycaffer, P. O. Box 15373, San Diego, CA 92175-5373; email@example.com. Emails with the story attached in word format are preferred. Paper manuscripts are acceptable. All entries must be received or postmarked no later than Dec. 31, 2016.
9. The Short Story Judge is a published science fiction professional, and also a loving fan of the sf and fantasy genres. All comments and critiques are solely the Short Story Judge’s opinion, but he promises to be constructive and polite.
10. The NSF may want to publish an electronic book including top entries from one or more years of publication. You will not be contacted about this until after the contest is over and prizes have been awarded. If we want to publish your story, you will have to sign over to us first world serial rights. Your willingness to do sign over rights cannot affect whether or not you win the contest. Royalties will be divided evenly between all contest writers once publishing costs are covered. Winners will be notified as soon as the judging is completed. Announcements and notifications of winning entries will be made in March 2016. Please take your time and submit your best work. You can resubmit stories previously entered. All entries will be kept confidential and will be judged fairly and anonymously. The deadline for all entries is Dec. 31, 2015. Good luck!
Please supply on a separate page the following information as your entry form.
Title of story (for identification):
Author’s name and address:
Author’s email address:
I have read the above rules for the 2016 N3F Amateur Short Story Contest, and I agree to them.
Mail to: Jefferson Swycaffer, P. O. Box 15373, San Diego, CA 92175-5373 ; or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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