About the contest

The Fall 2018 contest will focus on science fiction short stories. Submissions will open on soon (keep up to date with news) and close on the midnight of January 16th of 2019. A Panel of judges will review each and every submission and decide on three winners who will each win a monetary prize, among other neat accolades exclusive to Writerbyte commemorating their stories. All stories have the potential of going on our website and will be given special accolades of their own to show participation. However, we withhold the right to deny a story from being hosted if we deem the story inappropriate (i.e. if the story did not follow the guidelines, rules, or theme) or if the story didn't meet a certain standard of writing (e.g. too many grammatical mistakes).

The Guidelines

The story must be considered of the science fiction genre, but can address any theme(s) it wishes! We highly encourage to consult this PDF in order to fully understand what we mean by science fiction. There are helpful references there, too!

Here is a list of constraints:

  • The story must be between 2000 and 6500 words.
  • The story must maintain a level of appropriateness suitable for most ages. Stories with pornographic, or sadistic components will not be able to win the contest or be hosted on the website. Adult, or divisive/contentious themes (such as discrimination, sexuality, etc) are permitted, but are expected to be explored in a mature, compelling way.
  • The story must be submitted within the time window (October 2018 to January 15th, 2019).
  • Plagiarisms or obvious rip offs of any kind will be immediately disqualified.
  • Corrupted files, or files that cannot be opened, will have to be disqualified.

About Multiple Entries (added November 6th, 2018)

You may enter as many individual stories as you want, provided they're reasonably different from each other. Every individual entry will require an entry fee. We won't factor in how many times a person has entered a story when choosing the winners.

If your story has an interesting structure (example: if you write several stories, but it should all be interpreted/experienced as one), you do not need to enter multiple times. If you're afraid of any confusion, we invite you to write a sort of "cover letter" at the beginning of your document wherein you elaborate the structure of your story.

About the Rights to Your Story (added December 21st, 2018)

By entering our contest and submitting your story to us, you are giving us the right to publish that story on Writerbyte.com. You retain full rights to the story—you may publish or sell it elsewhere, enter it in another contest (as long as their rules allow it), etc without needing to credit us in any way. We will fully support the creative rights and intellectual property of the author as an individual separate from Writerbyte.

Choosing the winners

Here is a list of things we will consider when choosing the winners:

  • The Quality of Grammar and writing. We reward talent, readability, and the time taken to edit and polish.
  • Plot and Characters. We reward complex, compelling characters and a sensible, comprehensible, interesting plot.
  • How well it uses (or integrates with) the Science Fiction genre.

These rules are subject to change at any time. Any major change will include an explicit message stating when something was changed.

The Judges

Christopher Cybusz

Founder of Imaginous Media, Contest Organizer.

Kassandra Alarie

Literature Student, writer, avid reader.

Nabid Ahmed

(Guest Judge) Avid reader, writer.

Nathan Reid

(Guest Judge) Avid reader, Sci-fi enthusiast.

The Prizes

First Place

  • A base prize of $300.00 (USD). This prize goes up 5$ for each submission after the first 20 submissions.
  • The story will be labeled and archived as the first place winner of this contest.
  • A custom cover to the story.
  • Various other exclusive prizes and accolades as the website grows.

Second Place

  • A base prize of $100.00 (USD). This prize goes up 5$ for each submission after the first 20 submissions.
  • The story will be labeled and archived as the second place winner of this contest.
  • A custom cover to the story.
  • Various other accolades as the website grows.

Third Place

  • A prize of $50.00 (USD).
  • The story will be labeled and archived as the third place winner of this contest.
  • A custom cover to the story.
  • Various other accolades as the website grows.

Honorary Mentions

  • The story will be labeled and archived as having stood out in this contest.

All participants who have their stories published on Writerbyte will be fully credited with the pen name they optionally set while submitting their story. If no pen name is given, your real name will be used.

What is Submittable, and why do we use it?

In order to run the contest as fast as possible, we chose to use Submittable's built-in payment processing system and forms in order to handle the submission process for the contest. Submittable requires you to create and account with them, and we hope that this extra process doesn't deter people from participating in the contest. We aim to have a built-in system for future contests, where you won't necessarily need an account to participate!

In order to give the best user experience possible and to potentially save money, we will be using a custom build submission form directly on the website. There will be no price changes and we will try and implement plenty of tools to help you submit your story.

Submissions are live. Visit the submission page.

Refunds (added December 21st, 2018)

We will not be providing refunds. Because of the nature of this contest, we ask that all entries be final.

How we use the submission money

There is a cost of $10.00 (USD) in order to enter the contest, and for the sake of transparency, we'll discuss exactly where that money goes. All four judges are volunteers and receive no compensation directly from the money earned from the contest. 100% of the money for the first 20 submissions is used to cushion the cost of the base prizes. Afterwards, the money made from every submission (after processing fees) is split evenly and added into the first and second place prizes in the form of $5.00 (USD) increments.

This model is subject to be altered for future contests, however our policy of transparency will not.