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News: Semifinals of the Podcastle Flash Fiction contest are wrapping up. Final starts August 24th
 
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Author Topic: Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest 2016 - Submission Rules  (Read 11763 times)
eytanz
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« on: January 11, 2016, 03:42:25 PM »

A special Flash Fiction contest portal will open at 00:01 on 15 January and close at 23:59 on 15 Feburary. If the portal disappears, submissions are formally closed and will not reopen.

You can find the portal at https://escapepod.submittable.com/submit



In order to be a valid submission to the contest, each story must adhere to the following rules:

1. The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Google Docs.  

2. The story must adhere to the general Escape Pod submission guidelines. Most importantly, it needs to be a science fiction story; other genres, including horror and fantasy, are discouraged. As a general rule, we will take a very liberal view of what constitutes science fiction, but authors should note that past experience shows that stories which attempt to skirt the genre restriction tend to fare badly in the voting.

3. The story must be original and previously unpublished. Stories will be posted on a members-only portion of the forum, so first publication rights will not be spent if your story does not win.

The person submitting the story must be the story's author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story. A story that is derived from a previous published work in another format (i.e. not a short story) is fine (assuming doing so isn't in violation of copyright, obviously).

If you are not sure whether your story counts as published or not (for example, if an earlier version has appeared on your blog but nowhere else), please write (PM or send a query to eytan@escapeartists.net with the subjectline "QUERY") and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous Escape Artists contest.

4. Each author may submit ONE story to the contest. Note that this is a change from previous contests.

5. The story should be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.

6. Included the body of the submission should be the title and the text of your story. Any byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when either the story fails to advance, or ultimately wins. Feel free to request a pseudonym for the byline, but we will
need a legal name if you win for prize purposes.

7. The top three winning stories will be published as part of a flash fiction episode on Escape Pod, and the author will be paid $30, making this a pro-rate publication. In past contests, the editors sometimes approached authors of additional stories and purchased them as well. This may or may not happen this time, at the editors' discretion.

8. Authors under 18 are welcome. By submitting, any author under 18 asserts they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian with whom Escape Artists, Inc. can enter into a contract on behalf of the author.

9. Entries in the contest will be judged completely anonymously, with all authors on equal footing regardless of whether or not they are already published elsewhere or if they have any association with EA. In the interest of transparency, the following people have access to the submission portal, and can see the names of authors (and therefore are prohibited from participating): Norm Sherman, Nathaniel Lee, Graeme Dunlop, Eytan Zweig. Note that staff on EA's other podcasts, and other forum moderators, have no access to this information and may choose to participate if they wish.


Please blog, tweet, email, send postcards, telephone, upload your conciousness to the matrix, and otherwise get the word out.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 07:18:19 AM by eytanz » Logged
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2016, 10:35:16 AM »

Can the amount of pay be added to the rules?
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Jec
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, 11:06:50 AM »

I am excited to enter this contest again.  I need a win! 
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South of No North
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 11:51:03 AM »

I know the PseudoPod Contest was huge but I'm sorry this is only one story. The benefit of two stories was the continuing hope that the 2nd story might have a better reception.
But I also understand, getting through all of the stories in the PP contest was a task that ended with no energy to do anything else, couldn't read my current book and unable to do any thing productive and only wanted to rest my burned out eyes....however, it still was a lot of fun.
So my unasked for vote is to allow TWO submissions per author.(so I won't have to always wonder if I should have submitted the other one)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 11:52:52 AM by South of No North » Logged

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eytanz
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, 12:00:55 PM »

Can the amount of pay be added to the rules?

It's in the submission guidelines linked above, but I will add it to the rules as well.
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eytanz
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, 12:06:58 PM »

So my unasked for vote is to allow TWO submissions per author.(so I won't have to always wonder if I should have submitted the other one)

The decision to only allow one submission per author was not an easy one for us to make - but our current goal is to run more frequent contests, and that means that we need to make sure that each contest proceeds relatively quickly and doesn't become a chore for the voters. One story per author seemed the best and fairest way to do so.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 12:38:26 PM »

Can the amount of pay be added to the rules?

It's in the submission guidelines linked above, but I will add it to the rules as well.

The guidelines linked above don't include flash fiction, and both Pseudopod and Podcastle pay lesser amounts for flash fiction, so the answer is not at all clear even for someone like me who is familiar with the casts' guidelines.  

I am making a market listing for it at the moment, too, and the answer to that question determines whether it's listed as Pro or Semi-Pro.  The Pseudopod Contest was listed as pro because it paid $30, which came out to at least 6 cents/word for any story within the word count limit.

ETA: I see the update now, thanks!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 12:47:24 PM by Unblinking » Logged
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 12:49:28 PM »

And the listing!  Smiley

http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/market.aspx?mid=4650
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South of No North
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, 07:36:40 PM »

So my unasked for vote is to allow TWO submissions per author.(so I won't have to always wonder if I should have submitted the other one)

The decision to only allow one submission per author was not an easy one for us to make - but our current goal is to run more frequent contests, and that means that we need to make sure that each contest proceeds relatively quickly and doesn't become a chore for the voters. One story per author seemed the best and fairest way to do so.

I don't doubt much thought went into the decision and all in all it is probably the correct one.

More but quicker contests should keep the energy level up.

Good luck with your massive undertaking.
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"Yes, of course I can blame you. Without them, where would all of us outlaws be? What would we have? Only a lawless paradise...and paradise is a bore. Violence without violation is only noise heard by no one, the most horrendous sound in the universe." --The Chymist by Thomas Ligotti
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2016, 10:48:20 PM »

As it is only one story this time, any chance the word count can get extended to 700 words, or even 600 words?
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benjaminjb
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2016, 11:52:09 PM »

Personally, I would like to see a future contest where each submitter got to submit 1/2 a story, which would force collaboration.
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Not-a-Robot
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2016, 02:56:01 AM »

I would like to see FFCs more often, so I don't mind the one entry rule (Just my un-asked-for opinion).

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eytanz
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2016, 05:28:30 AM »

As it is only one story this time, any chance the word count can get extended to 700 words, or even 600 words?

Not for this contest, I'm afraid. We had the word count at 750 in the last contest and the consensus among the editorial staff (and myself) was that it was too long, and the decision was made to hold this one at 500 words. It's important to remember that the word count doesn't just affect the voters in the contest, it has an effect on the production of the winners episode later.

That said, every time we have a contest we try to learn lessons from the previous ones, and after this one is over we will definitely evaluate the effect of all our decisions, and the word count for future contests will definitely be under consideration.
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Drewbikscube
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2016, 06:53:52 PM »

No prompt?
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eytanz
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2016, 06:48:16 AM »

No prompt?

Our contests never have prompts beyond the genre.
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Tango Alpha Delta
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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2016, 07:50:41 AM »

I'm just happy to be ready for this one (still kicking myself for missing the Pseudopod FFC deadline).

Question: is there an age limit for membership/participation? My 13-year-old has a story ready for the PodCastle contest.
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eytanz
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2016, 08:46:13 AM »

Question: is there an age limit for membership/participation? My 13-year-old has a story ready for the PodCastle contest.

I'm not sure - I'll check with the editorial staff and get back to you.
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Chuk
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2016, 01:52:20 PM »

Submission guidelines on Submittable still say "Each author may submit up to two stories."
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eytanz
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2016, 03:49:01 PM »

Submission guidelines on Submittable still say "Each author may submit up to two stories."

Thanks for catching that - it's a cut&paste error from the Pseudopod contest. We'll fix it as soon as we can.
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eytanz
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2016, 11:58:41 AM »

Note some revisions to the rules above:

- Added a clarification on which members of EA are ineligable to participate
- Added a clarification about participants under 18
- The payment for winning entries will be $30 regardless of word length (this was the maximum possible if we had gone by EA's normally payment scale, as written before).
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