The 2015 BSFS Amateur Writing Contest is now open! You have until June 19th at 11:59 p.m. to submit your story.
The Baltimore Science Fiction Society holds its annual Amateur Writing Contest to promote the creation of quality genre literature in the state of Maryland. Anything that falls into the “speculative fiction” genre–science fiction and fantasy in all their forms–is welcome. Urban fantasy, hard science fiction, dark fantasy, it all counts as long as the work has a speculative element.
What are the basic rules?
You have to be 18 or over to enter, a Maryland resident or currently a student at a MD 2- or 4-year college, and you cannot either be a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America or have been published in a professional science fiction/fantasy magazine (“professional” as defined by the SFWA list here: http://www.sfwa.org/join-us/sfwa-membership-requirements/#shortfiction). This contest is to help amateurs reach the next level, not assist those who are already there.
Word minimum is 1,000 words. Word limit of 5,500 words. In other words, your story has to be at least 1,000 words, and cannot be more than 5,500. All submissions should be formatted using the standard short story submission format (courier font, 12 size, double spaced, etc. see William Shun’s example here.)
“Before I placed in the contest, I didn’t really take myself seriously as a writer; writing was one of those things that I enjoyed and did when I got around to it, but I never went out of my way to make time for it and I didn’t really think of myself as a writer. Placing in the contest, attending Capclave, and participating at Balticon changed all that. I take my writing much more seriously now. I think I’ve written as much in the past 18 months than in the preceding 5 years or so. I’m even about 40,000 words into the rough draft of a novel, which I don’t think ever would have happened without getting the extra push for BSFS. You mentioned in the page for the original contest that you wanted to help amateurs reach the next level, and you absolutely did that for me.” – Rachel Kolar, 2013’s second place winner
For more information, visit The Baltimore Science Fiction Society.