Thursday, January 15, 2015

Win fame and money and a pony

By Steve Weddle

Fiction contests are cool like fezzes. Why aren't you busy entering a few?

In case you haven't noticed, the new year just started. Time for some fresh things to do, new ways to spread your fictions.

Here are a few right off the Googles:

Zoetrope (July deadline) -- Ben Fountain judged the last one. He's kind of a big deal, according to the internet. I read a great Karen Russell story the other week from a "Best Of" antho. The story had first run in the Zoetrope mag. That's a swell spot.

And here's a cool way to make millions. Write your story and send it in to a contest. Win the contest, which includes cash money and publication. Then the story gets grabbed up by a "Best Of" antho and you get more cash. As editor of NEEDLE, I've had folks email me to say that once their story from NEEDLE got picked up by an antho, they got a four-digit publication check and emails from agents. I mean, heck, get those stories out there in some good places, folks. Wonderful things can happen.

OK. Where else?

Kenyon Review has a story contest up in February. Literary? Meh, I guess. I don't even know what that means anymore. Hell, there's a damn mess of killing in most of the literary stuff I've been reading lately. Might as well give it a shot.

Let's have a caveat, shall we? Mmmmm. Caveats. See, you should probably check prize money against entry fee. Maybe there's a ratio/formula to handle this, but you want to make sure it's worth entering. If the contest is $20 to enter and the prize is $100, then I'm probably passing on that -- even if they give you a subscription to Eastern Idaho Literary Quarterly in the fee. If it's $10 to enter and the prize is $1,000 and judged by Person You Have Heard Of, then maybe you want to hit that up, I don't know -- I'm not a scientist. Just keep all that in mind.

OK. Another one? Sure.

Glimmer Train has shortshortshort fiction contest up and is currently open to subs.

Here's a solid listing of upcoming short story contests, though most are heavily literary.

Thoughts on contests? Know of some good crime fiction ones coming up?


seana graham said...

I probably shouldn't mention it because it lowers my chances in case I enter it, but I learned about a cool contest from On The Premises which only requires you to use their premise. There is no fee. This time the premise is simply that you write about someone trying to learn something. That's it. They have a few things they don't want, like horror and kid's fiction but otherwise it's pretty broad. You can find out more about it HERE

Steve Weddle said...

That's great. Thanks

Al Tucher said...

Speaking of cash, how does $3500 sound? There's still time to enter the Nelson Algren Literary Awards, sponsored by the Chicago Tribume:

Steve Weddle said...

$3,500? holy shit snacks