My short story, Blind Loyalty, received an honorable mention in the second quarter 2012 Writers of the Future contest. I found out about the award a bit sideways because of a glitch in the notification system. A friend saw my name listed on the blog: http://www.writersofthefuture.com/node/725. However, yesterday, my beautiful certificate (pictured here) arrived in the mail, so I would have found out soon anyway :).
Writers of the Future (WotF) is a wonderful speculative fiction contest where writers who have not managed to break into the pro publications can be measured against other non-pro writers. The competition is steep, both because there’s an element of luck in getting to pro level and because of the sheer number of people who submit to the contest. At the same time, any placing level, honorable mention being the lowest then silver honorable mention and so on, is an indication that the story stood out among a thousand submissions or more.
If you haven’t given this contest a try, and you’re still eligible, I highly recommend it. The coordinator, Joni, is a delight to talk to, always encouraging and helpful, the prize money should you reach a prize level is significant, and the recognition is a wonderful thing. It is one of the few contests where you compete only with people in relatively the same situation as you are and yet with enough submissions to make the competition fierce and a win significant.
Like any other submission, the judges are human so it’s subjective, so not catching the judge’s eye does not mean the story is horrible necessarily, but it’s worth taking a second look if you never place.
Here’s the most important part of it though. The contest runs annually on a quarter system. Whether you place or not, if you are actively trying for the contest, you will be polishing and submitting a minimum of four stories a year. And once those stories are polished and ready to go, whatever the response you get from WotF, as long as they don’t publish it for you of course, you can easily turn those stories around and try for other markets. “Worst” case scenario, your stories find homes in pro markets and you’re no longer eligible to submit.
So are you taking your place in the submissions for WotF? And if not, what are you waiting for?