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7 Classic Science Fiction Books Worth Revisiting

science fiction writing competition

Science Fiction stories delve into all things futuristic, technological, extraterrestrial — you catch our drift. Pivotal authors in the space include Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, Philip K. Dick, N. K. Jemisin, and countless others.

In celebration of both Asimov, his peers, and the entire genre, we’ve put together a collection of sci-fi books that are always worth rereading (or reading for the first time if you’re just getting into these magical worlds of tomorrow). From fun and fascinating intergalactic travels to dystopian futures that will leave you with much to think about, these sci-fi tales are fundamental to the genre.

Foundation Series – Isaac Asimov

science fiction writing competition

The Foundation series began as a few short stories published in the magazine Astounding Stories of Super-Science back in the 1940s and ultimately became an entire series of seven epic books. The tale is set in the distant future where a man named Hari Seldon has invented “psychohistory,” a mathematical means of predicting the future. 

Unfortunately, its predictions aren’t very flattering: They foretell a time when humanity will more or less revert back to the Dark Ages. These predictions get Seldon and his crew exiled to a distant planet known as “the Foundation,” where they attempt to shorten the period of decline to come. Apple TV+ also turned the series into a TV show and released the first season in 2021. 

Dune – Frank Herbert

science fiction writing competition

As fans of the 2021 Dune film may know, the story is based on the 1960s book by Frank Herbert and its sequels. Dune eventually became a bit like a literary version of Star Wars, as Herbert wrote six novels in the Dune series before he passed away. Later, his son Brian and author Kevin J. Anderson teamed up to produce numerous sequels and spinoffs based on the Dune -iverse.

The saga is set in a future where noble families rule different planets under a sort of intergalactic feudal system. In the first of the six foundational novels, readers are introduced to the heir of one such distinguished group, a boy named Paul Atreides whose family is charged with ruling a planet called Arrakis. When his family is betrayed, Paul embarks on a journey that blends everything from adventure to mysticism in one of the most epic sci-fi tales of all time. 

The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin

science fiction writing competition

While some earlier sci-fi classics tend to reflect women in the light of the times in which they were written, The Left Hand of Darkness is a whole other experience altogether. The 1969 novel follows the adventures of Genly Ai, an envoy who is sent to a stray world called Winter in an attempt to bring it back into the intergalactic fold. 

However, to stand a chance, he must overcome his own preconceptions when he’s confronted with a culture that exists entirely without gender prejudice. As Ai soon discovers, some of the creatures on Winter express multiple genders, while others don’t identify with any at all. If you’re a reader who loves to go deep, this one makes for a fascinating read. 

Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

science fiction writing competition

While the actual 1984 may have come and gone, the dystopian novel that shares its name remains a pivotal work of science fiction. The Atlantic notes that “No novel of the past century has had more influence than George Orwell’s 1984 ,” and this assessment is indeed a fair one. Published in 1949, the story follows Winston Smith, who lives under a totalitarian government in which “the Party” controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives. 

“Big Brother,” an invisible yet omnipresent leader, is always surveilling the populace to ensure that no one commits so much as a thoughtcrime, which involves no more than thinking of rebelling against the Party. When Smith dares to think for himself, he sets off on a haunting journey that transports readers to a world that’s all too easy to imagine actually existing. While this isn’t necessarily an easy read, it’s an important one that will stay with you for years.  

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

science fiction writing competition

Though you may not think you’ve heard of this one, it may be a bit more familiar than you think — it’s the inspiration behind Ridley Scott’s film, Blade Runner (1982). First published in 1968, the novel takes place in a dystopian 2021 where entire species have been eliminated by a global war. In an effort to replace live animals, which are highly prized, series of incredibly realistic androids have been developed, some of which are even fashioned after human beings. 

However, when the government becomes wary of these AI humans and their disturbing capabilities, it eventually bans them from Earth. Bounty hunter Rick Deckard is sent to “retire” any rogue androids that remain, which doesn’t prove to be an easy task. 

Kindred – Octavia E. Butler

science fiction writing competition

Kindred has become a foundational work of sci-fi and African-American literature alike. The story follows a modern young Black woman named Dana who is suddenly deposited back in time to the pre-Civil War South. Through a series of trips between that era and her own time, Dana is forced to contend with the horrors of slavery, racism and sexism while completing a series of tasks. 

Though each journey becomes more dangerous, Dana realizes that her own family’s future depends on their successful completion. First published in 1979, the novel remains relevant today with its skillful blend of romance, sci-fi, feminism, equality and adventure. 

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

science fiction writing competition

A Wrinkle in Time is a classic story of good vs. evil presented through an adventurous sci-fi lens. The tale follows a high school student named Meg Murray, her friend Calvin O’Keefe and her younger brother Charles Wallace. When the three are introduced to tesseracts (or wrinkles in time) by an unearthly visitor, they set off on a journey through time and space to rescue Meg’s missing scientist father.

Along the way, she learns a series of timeless life lessons about everything from the power of individuality to the resiliency of love. Appropriate for both young and adult readers alike, this one is a fun and fascinating tale that seems impossible to outgrow. 


science fiction writing competition

The Best Science Fiction Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy

Science Fiction

Manage a competition? Submit it here

science fiction writing competition

Join our short story competition

Submit a short story based on 1 of 5 weekly prompts. Winners get $250.

Showing 59 contests

Flash fiction competition.

Pigeon Review

A flash fiction competition in honor of the Pigeon Review Publication turning 1 year old.

Additional prizes

2nd: $75 | 3rd: $25 | Finalist & Top 3 Published

Entry requirements

Deadline: August 31, 2022 (Expired)

Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

Best Indie Book Award

The annual Best Indie Book Award® (or BIBA®) is an international literary awards contest recognizing self-published and independently published authors from all over the world. Entries are limited to independently (indie) published books, including those from small presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors.

Deadline: October 01, 2022 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

2nd Annual WCWF Writing Contest

Wine Country Writers' Festival

Fire up those pens and get those unpublished stories and poems submitted to WCWF 2nd Annual Writing Contest. Three winners in each category, publication in Anthology, and your own copy. Entries: $15 or two for $25.

2nd Place: $75 | 3rd Place: $50

Deadline: July 29, 2022 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

Time Travelers Contest

The theme of this contest is Time travel. To respect the theme of the contest, the main character or characters of your entry must go through a change of temporality and must have a significant impact on the plot. This change must occur in the story before the end of the fourth chapter and must be mentioned in your book description.

2nd: €750 3rd: €250

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 25, 2022 (Expired)

Fantasy, Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Beagle North Competition

Beagle North

The theme for Beagle North's short story competition changes quarterly. - Your story must be no longer than 2,500 words (not including the title) - Only one story permitted per person, each quarter - Stories must be in English

£20 Amazon Voucher

£10 Amazon voucher for 2nd and 3rd place

Deadline: June 30, 2022 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

The Dante Rossetti Awards

Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media

The Dante Rossetti Awards Categories are: Contemporary Young Adult; SFF & Paranormal; Dystopian/Edgy/Urban; Mystery/Thriller/Suspense; Historical Young Adult; YA Adventure/Romance. The Chanticleer Prize Package includes: A Prize Ribbon to use in promotion at book signings and book festivals Digital Badges for display on your website or incorporation into book covers Book stickers to identify your print books to bookstore shoppers as they browse.

Deadline: August 30, 2022 (Expired)

Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

Claymore Award

Killer Nashville

Created in 2009, the Killer Nashville Claymore Award assists new and rebranding English-language fiction authors to get published, including possible agent representation, book advances, editor deals, and movie and television sales. The contest is limited to only the first 50 double-spaced pages of unpublished English-language manuscripts containing elements of thriller, mystery, crime, or suspense NOT currently under contract.

Possible contract with Mystery Writers of America

Deadline: April 01, 2023

Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller

Globe Soup are looking for the best flash fiction of no more than 800 words. The competition features a secret location in which all participants must set their story. Participants can get extensive feedback on their entry by joining Globe Soup's writing group and free entry to their monthly micro fiction contests and other opportunities to win cash prizes!

Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Caledonia Novel Award

Now in our ninth year of competition, we are an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished and self-published novelists in all genres for adults and YA. This year's judge is Charlotte Seymour, literary agent at Johnson & Alcock. On top of the £1,500 top prize, the best entry from the UK and Ireland will receive a place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Free place on a writing course at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre.

Deadline: November 01, 2022 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult, Romance, Suspense

First 5 Pages Prize

Stockholm Writers Festival

SWF is proud to launch the First 5 Pages Prize to mark our 5th anniversary. Dazzle us with your brilliance. Delight us with your wit. Deceive us with your dastardly plot-twists. There will be one Grand Prize winner chosen from all entries. The winner will receive: $1000 cash, a ticket to SWF22, a pitch meeting with an agent conducted over Zoom, two night’s accommodation at a boutique hotel, and a full developmental edit donated by Reedsy, the industry’s leading platform for writing services.

A full developmental edit donated by Reedsy & pitch meeting with an agent

Deadline: January 31, 2022 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Fire up those pens and get those unpublished stories and poems submitted to WCWF 2nd Annual Writing Contest. Three winners in each category, publication in Anthology, and your own copy. Entries: $15 or two for $25. See the contest rules and enter now. Blind Judging.

Publication in an anthology

Science me a Story

Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK (SRUK)

This competition was created with the aim of promoting scientific outreach in a fun and engaging way, appropriate for primary school children. The ultimate goal of the contest is to promote scientific spirit and inspire the generations that will build our future. We hope to achieve this through the communication of scientific achievements, findings, methods, and anecdotes in the form of short stories.

£150 and £100 runner ups

Deadline: April 24, 2022 (Expired)

Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story

Creative Writing Ink Short Story Competition 2022

Creative Writing Ink

We're looking for short stories of up to 3000 words. Stories can be any theme, genre, or subject - the world is your oyster! Top prize is £1000, plus a free creative writing course of your choice and publication on our site. Two runners-up will receive £200 each."

Free creative writing course, publication online

Deadline: September 30, 2022 (Expired)

Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Short Story, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult

Imagine 2200

The Imagine 2200 contest calls for short stories that envision the next 178 years of equitable climate progress. We seek cultural authenticity, rich characters with intersecting identities, and stories that challenge the status quo (which accepts extraction, oppression, and violence).

2nd: $2000, 3rd: $1000; finalists will receive $300.

Deadline: May 05, 2022 (Expired)

Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

The 2022 First Chapter Book Contest

TheNextBigWriter, LLC

Have a book or a novel idea you've been noodling? Enter your first chapter into the Booksie First Chapter Contest and see how it does. You don't need to have finished the book. You don't even need more than the first chapter. We're looking for a start that will grab our attention, that is original, that is well written, and that makes us want to beg you to see what comes next. And for those we find, we'll provide some awards to inspire you to finish writing the book or, if finished, to help get it published.

Gold contest badge.

Deadline: May 14, 2022 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Novel, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

The George Floyd Short Story Competition Vol2

Nottingham Writers' Studio

We’ll be taking stories of up to 5,000 words, on the theme of the environment and the ongoing climate crisis. Entrants can write in any genre. There is no fee to take part and we’re offering cash prizes to every successful applicant plus publication in our next anthology. 1st - £250 2nd - £125 3rd - £75 Runner up - £15

Publication in anthology - Earth 2.0

Deadline: February 28, 2022 (Expired)

Crime, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Season Themes

HAVOK Publishing

HAVOK is a constant flash fiction contest, with rolling deadlines. Each season is split into monthly competitions with thematically connected prompts in a range of genres.

Publication in an anthology. Potential for larger gift card wins.

Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Short Story, Thriller

Book Pipeline Unpublished Contest

Book Pipeline

Launched in 2014, Book Pipeline connects writers worldwide with publishers, editors, agents, and the film industry. Through two submission platforms—Unpublished and Adaptation—the company seeks both new and established authors. For over 22 years, Pipeline has bridged the gap between up-and-coming writers and the industry through a unique, long-term, hands-on facilitation process. The result thus far has been $8 million in scripts sold to studios and networks since 1999.

Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Queer Sci-Fi Flash Fiction Contest

Queer Sci-Fi

Every year, QSF holds a flash fiction contest to create an amazing new anthology of queer speculative fiction stories. We ask authors to do the nearly-impossible – to submit a sci fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror LGBTIQA story that has no more than 300 words. The theme for 2022 is "Clarity".

Top 3 stories published in an ebook

Deadline: May 01, 2022 (Expired)

Flash Fiction, LGBTQ, Science Fiction

Uncharted Magazine Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Story Award

Uncharted Magazine

We invite writers to submit to the Uncharted Magazine Science Fiction and Fantasy Prize from August 1 to September 30, 2021. We’re excited to offer the winner of this prize $3000 and publication, while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive publication and $300 and $200, respectively along with publication.

Publication in Uncharted Magazine

Deadline: September 30, 2021 (Expired)

Fantasy, Science Fiction, Short Story

Bristol Short Story Prize

Tangent Books

Welcome to the Bristol Short Story Prize – an annual international writing competition open to all published and unpublished, UK and non-UK based writers. Stories can be on any theme or subject and are welcome in any style including graphic, verse or genre-based (Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Romance, Children’s etc..) .

£500, £250, £100

Deadline: May 04, 2022 (Expired)

Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult

The Rubery Prize

Rubery Book Awards

The Rubery Prize is a prestigious international book award seeking the best books by indie writers, self published authors and books published by independent presses, judged by reputable judges. Through our reputation of finding quality and outstanding books we aim to bring recognition to the works that win and heighten an author's profile.

£200, a write-up

Deadline: March 31, 2022 (Expired)

Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult, Romance

IFW Sci-Fi First Pages Contest

Institute for Writers

Can you establish your science fiction world and pull a reader into your story in the first 1,000 words? Submit the first 1,000 words of your unpublished sci-fi manuscript aimed at an adult (or young adult) audience for your chance to win the grand prize.

Critique from an IFW Instructor

Deadline: August 31, 2021 (Expired)

Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology Contest

Insecure Writer's Support Group

The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprint Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. This year's genre is sweet romance, and the theme is first love.

Publication by Freedom Fox Press

Deadline: September 01, 2021 (Expired)

Fiction, Science Fiction, Romance

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Grammar Guide

23 Science Fiction Writing Contests

Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang

Speculative Fiction Author

science fiction writing contests

If you love writing science fiction and fantasy, submitting your work to a contest can be a fantastic way to progress on your writing journey.

With luck, you can get your stories published, achieve literary recognition, and even win cash prizes.

We’ve compiled a list of 23 legitimate, high-quality science fiction and fantasy writing contests that you can enter in 2022 and 2023.

These contests are open to short stories, flash fiction, and/or poetry. It’s worth noting that some of these literary contests accept multiple genres, which means there are some sci-fi contests you can submit your fantasy stories to, and vice versa.

Make sure you read both sections of the article so you don’t miss anything!

Sci-Fi Writing Contests

Fantasy writing contests, why you should enter science fiction writing contests, l. ron hubbard’s writers of the future contest.

The Writers of the Future Contest is the most enduring and influential contest in the history of science fiction and fantasy. The contest is held once every three months, with a generous $1,000 prize.

science fiction writing contests l ron hubbard writers of the future

New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest

The NESFA contest is a short story contest for beginning writers and judges provide feedback for all qualifying contest entries.

According to their website, they’re looking for “engaging openings, good character development, well-structured plotting, powerful imagery, witty or humorous language, unique word or phrasing choices, and convincing endings.”

F(r)iction Lit Fall Contest

F(r)iction is a literary magazine that often publishes genre-bending stories. This year, they’re running a short story contest in which Ken Liu is one of the guest judges, which means this year’s contest is a great option for sci-fi and fantasy authors .

According to their website, “experimental, non-traditional, and boundary-pushing literature is strongly encouraged. Show us your wildest and weirdest!”

​​Commonwealth Short Fiction Prize

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is an annual short fiction contest administered by the Commonwealth Foundation.

If you’re a short story writer and a citizen of a Commonwealth country, this contest is a fantastic option, with a generous £5,000 cash prize for the winner. It’s not specific to science fiction or fantasy authors , but speculative fiction writers are welcome to enter.

The Roswell Award

The Roswell Award is an annual science fiction contest with a $500 prize, co-presented by Sci-Fest L.A. and the Light Bringer Project. This is a great option if you like using your writing to unite the worlds of science and art.

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award is an annual contest, co-hosted by the National Space Society and Baen Books, for stories about manned space exploration. If you’re interested in the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science, this is a great option that pays professional rates.

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Create the Future Climate Writing Competition

The Create the Future Climate Writing Competition is a contest for short stories and poetry related to the future of climate change. It’s a great opportunity to submit a story or poem that also makes a social impact.

Mike Resnick Memorial Award for Short Fiction

The Mike Resnick Memorial Award is an annual contest for science fiction stories. Arc Manor, the publisher of Galaxy’s Edge magazine, judges the submissions.

QueerSciFi.com Flash Fiction Contest

QueerSciFi (QSF) holds a flash fiction contest every year to create an amazing new anthology of queer speculative fiction. This contest only accepts flash fiction of up to 300 words, so if you write LGBTQ+ characters and you like to keep your stories short, this could be the contest for you! The theme for 2022 was “Clarity.”

Fix Climate Fiction Contest

Fix was founded on the premise that promising solutions to the climate crisis exist—they just haven’t gained enough momentum to take off. Every year, they hold a writing contest for science fiction stories that envision a world with better climate solutions.

There’s a slightly different theme every year, with the theme for 2022 being “Imagine 2200.” If you’re interested in climate fiction, this could be a great option for you!

Sapiens Plurum Short Fiction Contest

Every year, Sapiens Plurum holds a short fiction contest that opens on Earth Day each year. Each year has a slightly different theme that has something to do with sustainability. The 2022 theme was “inventing beautiful futures.”

Havok Flash Fiction Contest

Havok is open to flash fiction in all kinds of genres, especially fantasy! They arrange publication periods into seasons, and each season has themes that each last about a month. For example, their “Season Eight: Vice & Virtue” season includes themes like “Cowardice / Courage,” “Rage / Peace,” and “Selfishness / Sacrifice.”

science fiction writing contests havok flash fiction contest

Prose Weekly Challenge

Prose, a social network for readers and writers, offers weekly challenges meant to spark your creativity. This is a fun, low-stakes challenge, with a small cash prize to sweeten the deal, and it’s open to all genres of fiction.

Write the World Young Writers Contest

If you’re a young writer aged 13–18, the Write the World contest is a great option for you. They’re not just contests, they also serve as mini workshops, because every story you submit will receive peer review by authors, writing teachers, and other experts.

Contests vary each month, but sometimes the theme is related to science fiction, sometimes to fantasy, and sometimes to other genres.

Creative Writing Ink Short Story Competition

The Creative Writing Ink short story competition is a contest for short story writers all over the world. Stories can be on any subject, theme, or genre. This year’s judge is Kerry Hadley-Price, and all submissions are judged anonymously.

Dream Foundry Contest for Emerging Writers

The Dream Foundry writing contest is an annual contest for “writers who are relatively new to paid or incoming-earning publication of speculative short fiction in English.” Winners get featured at Flights of Foundry, an annual convention where professional writers, artists, and editors come together to discuss speculative fiction.

science fiction writing contests dream foundary contest for emerging writers

National Fantasy Fan Federation Short Story Contest

The National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) operates a short story contest every year for amateur writers of fantasy and science fiction. It’s free to enter, and the winners receive a small cash prize.

Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) hosts the Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest every year for writers between the ages of 14–18.

Baen Fantasy Adventure Award

Baen Books hosts the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, which “recognizes the best original adventure fantasy short story in the style of fantasy greats like Mercedes Lackey, Larry Correia, Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, Elizabeth Moon, Andre Norton, Brandon Sanderson, J.R.R. Tolkien, and David Weber.”

Parsec Short Story Contest

Parsec Ink holds an annual contest for fantasy, science fiction, and horror short stories from non-professional writers, with a small cash prize for the winners. There’s a different theme every year.

science fiction writing contests parsec short story contest

BSFS Amateur Writing Contest

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) Amateur Writing Contest is open to up-and-coming writers over 18 years old who are residents of Maryland.

According to their website, “the judges are looking for stories with gripping openings, good world building, interesting characters, strong plots, powerful images, biting satire, good word choice, and touching endings.”

British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition

The British Fantasy Society (BFS) holds an annual contest for fantastical short stories. Each year, they choose a different panel of professional writers to judge the submitted stories.

Uncharted Magazine Short Story Award

Uncharted is a pro-rate magazine that publishes science fiction / fantasy, thriller / horror, and mystery / crime stories. Every year, they run a short story contest open to all of those genres. According to their website, they’re looking for “stories that thrill us, that make us feel alive, that awaken our desires to explore and go on adventures.”

Entering a science fiction and fantasy short story contest can be a great idea for the following reasons:

why you should etner science fiction writing contests

On the other hand, it’s important to keep in mind that it takes a lot of luck to win a contest, since there are usually only a few winners chosen from among hundreds of strong contestants.

Always remember that it’s okay if you don’t win—just keep writing and submitting, and you might beat the odds if you persevere!

Which contests are you planning to submit to? Let us know in the comments.

Science Fiction Writers' Week

Hannah is a speculative fiction writer who loves all things strange and surreal. She holds a BA from Yale University and lives in Colorado. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her painting watercolors, playing her ukulele, or hiking in the Rockies. Follow her work on hannahyang.com or on Twitter at @hannahxyang.

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Writers & Illustrators of the Future

Welcome to the Writers of the Future

The most enduring and influential contest in the history of SF and Fantasy

L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest is an opportunity for new writers of science fiction and fantasy to have their work judged by some of the masters in the field and discovered by a wide audience.

No entry fee is required and entrants retain all publication rights.

Entries in the Writers of the Future Contest are adjudicated only by professional writers. Prizes of $1000, $750 and $500 are awarded every three months. From the four quarterly 1st Place winners each year, a panel of judges select one story as the grand prize winner. The writer of the grand-prize-winning story receives the L. Ron Hubbard Golden Pen Award and an additional $5000 cash prize.

Enter the Writer Contest

2nd Quarter 2023 Deadline: March 31, 2023

This Contest will run from January 1, 2023, through March 31, 2023.

Deadline is 11:59 p.m. March 31, 2023 Pacific Standard Time.

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Winners, archives, Hugo lists

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Reviews, articles, links

The 2022-2023 NESFA Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest is now closed.

The contest was open from july 1, 2022, through september 30, 2022. winners will be announced at boskone 60, february 17–19, 2023., the past winners are listed here., short story contest rules.

Welcome to the NESFA science fiction/fantasy short story contest. Note that there are some changes to last year’s contest rules. Please read these rules and, if you have any questions or concerns, ask us before submitting your story.

The purpose of this contest is to encourage amateur and semi-professional writers to reach the next level of proficiency. We will look for engaging openings, good character development, well-structured plotting, powerful imagery, witty or humorous language, unique word or phrasing choices, and convincing endings. This contest is intended for beginning writers. If you have received more than $1000 for your fiction writing from any source on the date you submit your story, and/or have published, in any paying publication, a novel or multiple shorter works adding up to more than 40,000 words you are no longer eligible. If you are unsure, send us your publication history.

The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2022 . All submissions must be made via email to storycontest@boskone.org in flat text, rich text, PDF, or any format readable by MS Word, Open Office, or LibreOffice. Please include your submission as a file attachment rather than in the body of the email. Story pages should be numbered, with the page number and the title of the story at the top of each page.

A qualifying story must have strong science fiction or fantasy elements and must be shorter than 7,500 words. Stories must be original works of fiction, submitted by their authors. No reprints, fan fiction, or poetry, please.

Please place your contact information (name, preferred email address, phone number, and preferred postal address — for possible awards) either in the body of the email with the story attached or in a separate attachment to the same email. Don’t put your personal information anywhere in your story. We want to judge your story on its own. We will not use your personal information for anything other than contacting you about this contest. Winners will be asked later for information they want to be part of any public announcement. Please note: Since we do not publish contest entries your name should not appear on the story anywhere. Pseudonyms are not useful for this contest.

The contest will be limited to the first 60 qualifying entries. While the deadline for submissions is September 30th, we may close off submissions for this year sooner if the response is larger than we expect.

We reserve the right to disqualify submissions on technical grounds (including, but not limited to: if we simply can’t read the format, if you send us a picture book, if it isn’t in English, or if it has no SF or fantasy elements, etc.). Our first readers may also disqualify your submission if, on a quick perusal of the first few pages, they believe your story contains too many flaws to be competitive in this contest. Yes, this is a judgment call. We urge you to have a trusted reader (such as a teacher, a writer, or even a literate relative) review your work for basic flaws in grammar, syntax, logic, and plausibility before you submit your story.

We’ll give you a chance to correct purely technical problems, but if the first readers reject your submission a second time, you are done for this year. You can try again in a future year, if and when we run this contest.

Judges will provide feedback for all qualifying contest entries sometime after Boskone. First-round judges will consist of NESFA members and volunteers. Winners will be chosen by a final panel of judges, including at least one professional writer.

The winner, runners-up, and honorable mentions will be announced during the awards ceremony at Boskone, in NESFA’s newsletter following Boskone, and in various electronic media, including e-zines, newszines, and the Boskone and NESFA websites, blogs, and Facebook pages.

The winner will receive a certificate of achievement, three NESFA Press books, and a free membership to their choice of the next Boskone or to the Boskone after that.

Runners-up will receive a certificate and two NESFA Press books. Honorable mentions will receive a certificate and one NESFA Press book.

Winner, runners-up, and honorable mentions will be encouraged to select their books at Boskone and either take them immediately or ask for them to be shipped later.

There is no entry fee. Please submit only one entry per author. Prize recipients may be required to sign an acceptance form for prizes won.

NESFA welcomes all writers and topics. We look forward to reading your submission and wish all of our writers good luck in this year’s NESFA Annual Short Story Competition.

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"Hugo Award", "Worldcon", and "NASFiC" are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary association. "NESFA" and "Boskone" are service marks of the New England Science Fiction Association, Inc.

Comments about this web page: [email protected] Questions about NESFA: [email protected] ; PO Box 809, Framingham, MA 01701-0809; 617-625-2311.

Publishers Archive

Publishing, writing, and literary prizes for Science Fiction/Fantasy Writing

Alberta Book Awards

The Alberta Book Publishing Awards are presented by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.Categories include: Children’s Books, Scholarly and Academic Books, Trade Fiction, Trade Non-Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Poetry and Editorial Excellence. To enter, publishers must have its chief o...

Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, named to honor prolific science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton (1912-2005), is a yearly award presented by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to the author of an outstanding young adult or middle grad...

Arthur C. Clarke Award

The prize am...

Aurealis Awards

Works must be published and available to the general public to be eligible. This includes self-published works. Unpublished ma...

Bath Novel Award

£2,000 international prize for unpublished or independently published writers of novels for adults or young adults. Judge: Susan Armstrong of Conville & Walsh Literary Agency. £22 entry fee per novel. First 5,000 words plus one page synopsis....

Bisexual Book Awards

Books can be submitted by the author, publisher or the Bi Writers Association (BWA). However, anyone may suggest a book for us to outreach. Any book with a bisexual or bi+ character, bisexual storyline, bisexual subject matter or bisexual themes can be submitted. The book award categories are open t...

Blue Ridge Mountains CWC Directors Choice Awards

Past and present attendees of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference are eligible to submit their published work to this contest. ...

Book Excellence Awards

The Book Excellence Awards (www.bookexcellenceawards.com) is an international book awards competition. The Book Excellence Awards is dedicated to helping authors and publishers increase their visibility, credibility and book sales through extended support and resources on topics such as publis...

CALIBA Golden Poppy Awards

The members of CALIBA present The Golden Poppy Book Awards to recognize the most distinguished books written by writers and artist who make California their home. The Golden Poppies are given for books published in the following categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Cooking & Food, Mystery, Romance,...

CIPA EVVY Book Awards

The EVVY awards are open to any independently or self-published print book, e-book or audio book and may be submitted by the author, publisher or credited service provider (Illustrator, designer, editor, printer, consultant, etc). CIPA membership is NOT REQUIRED....

FAPA President’s Book Awards

Each year the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) sponsors the FAPA President's Book Awards, which recognizes book publishing excellence and creativity in design, content, and production for authors and publishers. This contest isn't limited to Florida, it is open to anyone thr...

Feathered Quill Book Awards

Feathered Quill Book Awards, a program run by Feathered Quill Book Reviews, a leader in online book review sites, awarding books with gold, silver, and bronze designations in a total of twenty-four categories. In addition, Feathered Quill also includes finalists – these are books with scores clos...

Florida Book Awards

The Florida Book Awards is an annual competition that exists for one purpose--to honor the best work written by Florida authors and about Florida culture in the previous year. Begun in 2006, the Florida Book Awards is the most comprehensive state book awards program in the United States, and the onl...

Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards

You have a great book, you’re looking for some recognition, and you want a wider audience to fall in love with it. That’s where Foreword’s annual book awards program comes in. The IndieFab Awards recognize the best in indie book publishing, and has been doing so for fifteen years. Our prestigi...

Genesis Contest

The ACFW Genesis Contest is for unpublished Christian fiction writers. With ten categories to enter, Genesis provides the opportunity for unbiased feedback on writers’ work by published authors and experienced judges, and the chance for finalists to have their work read by Christian publishing...

Georgia Author of the Year Award

The Georgia Author of the Year Awards celebrates the best literature by Georgia writers. Georgia Writers Association assumed responsibility for the Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) shortly after its founding in 1994. The awards were first given in 1964 by the Dixie Council of Authors and Jo...

Hugo Awards

The Hugos are World awards. Works are eligible when they are first publishe...

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award

The awards are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), with help from over 150 book publishing professionals includ...

Independent Publisher Book Awards

Kindle book awards.

The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book Awards is co-sponsored by book sites like Kindle Boards, Digital Book Today, World Literary Cafe, and Author Marketing Club. Any independent or small press author can submit books in the categories of Mystery/Thriller, Romance, Y/A, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Lit...

Maine Literary Awards

The 2018 Maine Literary Awards are open to all current Maine residents, including seasonal residents. All nominations to the Book Awards, regardless of category, must have been published during the 2017 calendar year. The editors (or lead editor) of books entered in the Anthology category must be Ma...

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume novel, or single-author story collection for adults published during the previous year that best exemplifies “the spirit of the Inklings”. Books not selected as finalists in the year after publi...

NAIWE 1st Annual Book Awards 2023

Winning a respected book award helps an author reach new audiences and boost sales. It also delivers a satisfying cap for all the hard work that goes into publishing a manuscript. If you have written a book that was published in the last five years, you are eligible to enter it in the NAIWE 1st...

National Indie Excellence Awards

The National Indie Excellence Awards exists to help establish independent publishing as a str...

Nebula Awards

The Nebula Awards are given annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) for the best science fiction or fantasy fiction published during the previous year. Nebula Award nominees and winners are chosen by members of the SFWA. Works are nominated each year between Novem...

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books in over 70 different categories, for the ye...

Prix Aurora Awards

The Aurora awards are run by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA), a federally registered non-profit society. The awards recognize the best Canadian professional and amateur (fan) achievements for the calendar year. The Auroras are only for Canadian citizens or permanent resi...

Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic

The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a juried award which recognizes exceptional writing in three categories: adult, young adult and short story. The awards are presented each fall to the best Canadian speculative fiction novel, book-length ...

The Dante Rossetti Awards

Chanticleer Book Reviews is looking for the best books featuring stories of all shapes and sizes written to an audience between the ages of about twelve to eighteen. Categories: Contemporary Young Adult SFF & Paranormal Dystopian/Edgy/Urban Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Historical Yo...

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award seeks to discover and honor the best books of the previous year....

Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is an annual award presented by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas to the author of the best short science fiction story published in English in the preceding calendar year. Nominations are only accepted from editors and revi...

Word Awards

The Word Awards was established to encourage the pursuit of excellence in the art, craft, practice and ministry of writing and help to raise the profile of Canadian writers who are Christian.The content of eligible entries must be consistent with a Christian worldview and the historic Christian trad...

World Fantasy Awards

The World Fantasy Awards, established in 1975, are presented annually at the World Fantasy Convention. The World Fantasy Award has been described as one of the three most prestigious speculative fiction awards. The nine awards are presented at the banquet of the World Fantasy Convention held each y...



Prize: £1,000.

science fiction writing competition


Prize: £1,000, early entry: £2.50 for one story, general entry: £5 for one story, late entry: £9 for one story, words: 5,000 (max), deadline: 23:59 (uk time) 6th mar, 2023, winner announced: 15th may, 2023, the challenge:.

All writers retain full ownership of their stories, including the winner. We only publish the winning story on our website. We welcome international entries!

It's time for another Globe Soup writing challenge!

For this short story challenge, all participants will be randomly assigned a science fiction trope. As soon as you receive your assignment you'll have until the closing time to write and submit a short story of no more than 5,000 words.

All we ask is that your story has your assigned science fiction trope woven into the plot somehow. How much prominence you give to the assigned trope is up to you, but it must be a significant part of the plot.

Science fiction can be written in any style or tone. It can be horrifying, humourous, romantic, fantastical, whimsical, or just literary.

Want to mix genres? That's fine too!

The science fiction tropes chosen for this year’s challenge are:

1. Cryosleep

2. space piracy, 3. terraforming, 5. time travel.

If you choose to participate in the challenge, you'll be randomly assigned one of these science fiction tropes.

How to Enter:

Please read the official rules of the contest here.

Buy a ticket. There are 5 tickets available: A, B, C, D, and E. We have mixed up the science fiction tropes to ensure that your assignment will be random! Meaning that the numbers and letters do NOT correspond. After you make the purchase you’ll be able to download your ticket. This download will contain your assigned trope and the submission instructions. If you want to submit more than one story with that assigned science fiction trope, simply buy another ticket of the same letter. If you want to submit more than one story, but with a different science fiction trope, simply buy another ticket of a different letter. You can buy as many tickets and submit as you many stories as you want.

Make sure you download your ticket right away. The link expires in 24 hours. If your link has expired, please contact us and we’ll send you your ticket directly.

Join the Community:

All participants can join our Members-Only Facebook Group. Here you can meet other writers taking part in the challenge, ask questions, and get advice. The Globe Soup team are also on hand to offer any support and guidance you may need. At the end of the challenge you can even get extensive feedback on your story or stories. The community aspect of these challenges is often the best part!

Plus, we run free monthly mini writing contests in the group, exclusively for members, with additional cash prizes up for grabs. Once you're a member, you're a member for as long as you want. This means that you'll have access to a network of like minded writers and free entry to our mini contests for life.

Feedback From Previous Challenges:

"This was tremendous motivation to continue writing and I will always be grateful for the encouragement that Globe Soup has provided me. Globe Soup has also managed to create a wonderful community of writers who motivate and inspire each other. I'm very thankful to be a part of this community." — Nimisha, Mumbai, India

"This competition helped me reignite my passion for writing, so much so that it has started some new writing projects for me.” — Rachel, United Kingdom

“Really enjoyed that it gave me a steady and clear writing goal!” —Fódhla, Ireland

“I wouldn’t have been confident enough to start my MA in Creative Writing if it hadn’t been for Globe Soup. Such a great group to be a part of." — Fhionna, Clyde Valley, Scotland.

“I won’t ever forget that first win, it was an amazing feeling!! (I was in floods of tears, my husband didn’t get why!) You set me on my writing journey and so so much has grown from that first seed of belief, thank YOU!!! — Katrina, Llanfairpwll, U.K.

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Book your free admission ticket now to visit the museum. Schools and groups can book free tickets here . 

Science Fiction Debuts Writing Prize

Calling all budding science fiction writers! To celebrate the opening of  Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination , we’re joining forces with major publisher Hodder & Stoughton  to launch a new writing prize. 

Please note that the deadline for the Science Fiction Debuts Writing Prize has now passed.

From Arthur C Clarke to Octavia Butler, from Star Wars to Dune , science fiction creators have long imagined and built new worlds to better understand our own. 

This summer we’re championing science fiction writers and hope to uncover exciting new talent across the country. Submissions are now open for the inaugural Science Fiction Debuts Prize.

First place

The rest of the shortlist will receive a cash prize of £800, and feedback from the judging panel. 

How to enter

science fiction writing competition

Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination

In this immersive genre-defying exhibition you will embark on a once in a lifetime adventure through the cosmos to explore visions of the future through the science of today.  

Science Fiction: Gift Vouchers

Give the gift of space travel this Christmas and treat loved ones to an out-of-this-world experience at the Science Museum.

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Be inspired by these extraordinary books and exhibition catalogues designed to fascinate and create wonder.

science fiction writing competition

Early Deadline in 26 days




Grand JurorS

science fiction writing competition

ScreenCraft is honored to welcome writer, director, and producer duo Scott Beck and Bryan Woods whose credits include the A QUIET PLACE franchise, 65 starring Adam Driver, and THE BOOGEYMAN based on Stephen King's short story, as our special Grand Jurors!

science fiction writing competition


science fiction writing competition

Scott Stoops

science fiction writing competition


science fiction writing competition


science fiction writing competition


science fiction writing competition

Grand Prize

Runner-up prizes, feature winner, tv pilot winner, previous success stories.

Calvin Starnes

2022 Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Calvin Starnes

Signed with a literary manager

"When the phone isn't ringing, and your work isn't selling, it's very easy to doubt — to wonder, "Am I good at this?" "Was I ever good at this?" And that's not something you may be able to answer. After some initial success and some near misses (hits?), I felt like my star had completely burnt out. And, just before the ScreenCraft win, I had parted ways with my long-time manager, so in many ways, I felt like I was back at the beginning, staring at this impossibly steep mountain, having to climb it all over again. I’ve been aware of ScreenCraft for a long time and have entered the competition over the years. And, in a crowded field, ScreenCraft has always come across as one of the legit organizations in the contest space. I enjoyed chatting and working with ScreenCraft."

Nicole Cohen

Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Nicole Cohen

Signed with Manager at Heroes and Villains Entertainment

"This is my first script, so I was brand new! I’d always wanted to write, but hadn’t put myself out there yet. So taking the step to open my work up to contests was a vulnerable one. After winning, I grew confidence and a thicker skin. I spoke with a producer from my jury who was generous and encouraging, and found my manager whom I adore, as well as the producers who are developing my script into a feature. It is truly a lifelong dream realized. Put yourself out there. It is NEVER too late. I’d recommend ScreenCraft to anyone to hone their skills, work on receiving feedback, and find support and connections in the industry. The ScreenCraft staff and judges are amazingly kind, and their website and emails are a great source of education. What a precious resource for screenwriters starting in the industry!"

Jackson Murray

2019 Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Jackson Murray

Hired to write a feature for an acclaimed director

"I grew up in a lower-middle-class household outside a God-fearing rural community in western Wisconsin. Both of my parents grew up on farms and most of my relatives still work in the agricultural field. Suffice to say, the career path of “screenwriter” seemed nothing more than an absurd pipe dream from the moment the thought entered my brain. I started at the very bottom of the proverbial barrel, with no connections, little in the way of support, and barely a sliver of light to give me hope down in the mire — the only thing I could do was write myself out.  The biggest things that drew me to ScreenCraft were the general word-of-mouth and the amount of genre specificity baked into the competitions to ensure you’re swimming in the right pool. Weeding through screenwriting contests to find the right ones, especially early on in your career, can be daunting; I’ve found that the ones with concrete anecdotal support from real people in your community are often the best bets and ScreenCraft was the cream of the crop in that regard. The most important thing I’d love to impart on myself a few years ago is to reach out to more peers. The connections that have been the most fruitful have been those with fellow filmmakers. "

Nabil Chowdhary

Nabil Chowdhary

Signed with Manager at Sugar23

"I was in constant communication with the ScreenCraft team, seeking advice and looking for guidance on how to navigate this very new situation for me and they couldn’t have been more helpful. I was fortunate enough to win the Sci-Fi competition and within 24 hours had been contacted by several managers who had seen someone re-tweet the notification of my win. A few weeks later I signed with my manager. A month later I had agents. Three months after that, I was flying into LA where I took around 40 generals in the space of two weeks (!). And it all started by taking a chance, a lot of luck, and this competition."

Jonathan WC Mills

Jonathan WC Mills

Finalist script, RUSALKA, now in casting and production

"I had some early success, that lead me to believe it all might come easy for me, but when it didn’t pan out and I faced the rather difficult realization I was not going to break early. This was was my first big hurdle, I had to answer the question, “Can I persevere? Am I in this for the long haul?" I persevered. And I am still grinding. Screencraft provided a real point of validation. As a repeat finalist it has offered me some “proof“ that my work can stand up to both scrutiny and competition. That’s a great feeling. Secondarily, it gave me another reason to reach out to potential agents and producers, which absolutely proved useful. "

Margaret MacDonald

Margaret MacDonald

Signed a shopping agreement

"I think my career has had a lot of little breakthrough moments. You encounter "No" all the time and the only way to get past all the "No" is to keep putting yourself and your work out there until someone says "Yes! I love it!". Every time I've encountered a road block I just go back to my work, remind myself what I found so exciting about it when I created it, and then take that enthusiasm on to the next opportunity. Your passion about your work is what breaks down any wall you encounter. That's how I've made my breakthroughs, and they've usually come from totally unexpected places. I was drawn to ScreenCraft because it offers such a diverse array of genre and format competitions and feedback. I write a lot of mixed genre material and getting ScreenCraft feedback is a great way to feel out if my scripts are leaning in any particular direction and how to maximize that through my storytelling."

As Featured In

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science fiction writing competition


Sci-fi & fantasy articles.

Screenwriting Wisdom from Auteur James Cameron

Screenwriting Wisdom from Auteur James Cameron

January 8 | by Ken Miyamoto

What screenwriting lessons can we draw from the words of one of our generation’s most visionary auteurs — James Cameron? While most know of his...

The Craft and Rules of Worldbuilding in Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Craft and Rules of Worldbuilding in Science Fiction & Fantasy

March 16 | by Ken Miyamoto

What are the best ways writers can begin the worldbuilding of their science fiction and fantasy stories? J.R.R. Tolkien created a long-ago land called Middle...

101 Epic Sci-Fi Story Prompts

101 Epic Sci-Fi Story Prompts

March 1 | by Ken Miyamoto

Do you want to write in the sci-fi genre but need help conjuring compelling stories and concepts? Sometimes reading simple genre prompts is the easiest...

Exploring the 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey Part 4: Meeting the Mentor

Exploring the 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey Part 4: Meeting the Mentor

January 24 | by Ken Miyamoto

We dive into this archetypal story structure according to Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey and Christopher Vogler's interpreted twelve stages of that journey within his...

The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: 

In addition to the scoring criteria for the script, ScreenCraft may conduct interviews and send questionnaires to learn more about the entrant, their voice, perspective, and goals to help identify the winning projects. Top scripts are ready by the industry jury who votes for their favorite scripts at their sole discretion.

Mentorship Selection:

Criteria for Winners and Finalists:


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Open Competitions

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Deadline Reminders

Maximize your entry, writer recommended feedback.

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Amanda Dettrick

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Writing competitions, success stories.

© 2023 ScreenCraft | An Industry Arts Company

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See Competition Central   |   Upcoming Competitions   |   Past Competitions

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Science Fiction Competition 2021

SHORT STORY — An imagined future.

Jun 14 - Drafts Due for Expert Review

Jun 22 - Competition Deadline

Character Study (PDF)

Essential Elements of Story (PDF)

Interview with Ursula Le Guin (PDF)

Meet Best Peer Review Winner Eloise Burger!

July 28, 2021

There is often a false dichotomy of fan versus critic—the fan is there to enjoy, and the critic is there to provide negative feedback. But Best Peer Review winner, Eloise Burger, reminds us that the best critics are actually fans! “Allowing yourself to get fully absorbed in a piece before you start critiquing allows you to pick out the good things more easily,” she says. “If you visualise your intention as an editor as ‘I am here to criticise, not to enjoy the writing,’ you’ll miss out on the best parts of the work.”  Read on to get more of Eloise’s great tips on peer reviewing and writing, plus her book recommendation! 

Meet Science Fiction Competition Winner Zara Vale!

July 19, 2021

At Write the World, we firmly believe that no matter how much you plan and outline a piece, you don’t truly know what you want to say or how to say it until you start putting the words down on the page. Science Fiction Competition winner Zara Vale (Australia) perfectly illustrates our point: his impressive use of second-person narration in his prize-winning piece was discovered through the writing process. “I started writing the piece once I had a concept for the overall story,” he explains, “but I had to keep hitting backspace because something didn’t feel right … I thought that second person would be fun to experiment with.”  We talk to Zara about the inspiration for his piece, his tips for worldbuilding within a word limit, and his writing goals for the rest of the year! 

Science Fiction Competition Winners Announced!

July 2, 2021

From a destructive memory drive to a disappearing city, from a world behind screens to a mutant on the run, your entries for our Science Fiction Competition offered distorted realities and new visions. Thank you for plumbing the depths of your imaginations to take us out of this world! See Guest Judge Amie Kaufman ’s winning picks, as well as the finalists!

See the Winners!

Q&A with Science Fiction Competition Guest Judge Amie Kaufman

June 8, 2021

Writing a short story that takes place in our world is tricky enough, but when you’re trying to build a brand new world within 1,000 words for our Science Fiction Competition , you have an extra challenge on your hands! Luckily, our Guest Judge Amie Kaufman , the New York Times bestselling author of YA Science Fiction, has great advice for worldbuilding with brevity: “Resist the urge to explain everything to the reader. You can trust them to make some leaps, and it’s okay if they don’t know all the details about your world.” Learn more about Amie’s journey as a sci-fi author and get more great tips for your competition entry! 

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science fiction writing competition

Write Out of This World: Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story and Comic Contest provides an opportunity for tomorrow's storytellers to create, improve, and share their work with the world (and beyond)!

HUGE NEWS! Write Out of This World now includes a comics track! Creators submitted a science fiction or fantasy comic to this year's contest. See some of the winning comics and stories below.

science fiction writing competition

Congratulations to our 2020 Winners! 


1st Place: “ Yuni: The Last Warrior ” by Saanvi Shah   2nd Place: “ Life Needs Water ” by Lukáš Michal Hlaváč 3rd Place: “ The Frames ” by Nathan Brown

1st Place: " Lazy Sunday ” by Cecilia Ayres 1st Place: " The Harvester ” by Caroline Shirley 2nd Place: “ Hunting Medusa in 2099 ” by Ricardo Gurango 3rd Place: " The Rule Benders " by Camila Figueira


1st Place: " The Treehouse " by Elizabeth Keller 2nd Place: " Festival of Lanterns " by Ava Lee 3rd Place: " Infinite Death " by Sophia Smith


1st Place: “ Jurassic Friends ” by Kate Carmichael 2nd Place: “ Adela and the Dragon ” by Maya Shukla 3rd Place: “ The New Planet ” by Jamie Engler

1st Place: “ Transformation ” by Tayen Asplin

1st Place: " The Centricapead " by Veronica Johnson

Postponement Announcement 

Write Out of this World is postponed for the 2020-2021 school year.  It is our intention to bring the program back next year with expanded elements and additional mentorship opportunities.  

Between now and next fall when the program will relaunch, we want to make adjustments and improvements to the program. If you have participated in the program in previous years, please take a few minutes to fill out a short survey to give us your feedback about Write Out of This World and help us create the best creative youth development program ever!  

For other opportunities related to science fiction, fantasy, and comic content, check out the following options:  

Write Out of this World would not be possible without our beloved community partners and local resources Check out their websites for information about their programs that relate to WOOTW content:   SPL  KingCo Bureau of Fearless Ideas   Ada’s Technical Books   Outsider Comics Geek Girl Con   Emerald City Comic Con Norwescon   Jack Straw Cultural Center  



1st Place: “ When The Needle Touches Your Skin " by Evelyn Bieniawski 2nd Place: “ Carma and The Dragon " by Fiona Ayres 3rd Place: “ If She Were Here " by Nadia Rose Tabbara

1st Place: “ Faux Freedom ” by Ehinowen Uwa 2nd Place: “ Three Friends ” by Tess Halpern 3rd Place: “ The Execution of Katie Stirn ” by Naomi Delavan

1st Place: “ Watches ” by Eleanor Cenname 2nd Place: “ The Power of Friendship ” by Daphne Land 1st Place: “ The Earth Fighter ” by Eileen Miller


1st Place: “ The Harpy’s Familiar " by Vivian R. Tynes 2nd Place: “ Letting Go ” by Sylvia Petrescu-Prahova 3rd Place: “ 38 Minutes ” by Ava Gharib

1st Place: “ A Dragon’s Seasons ” by Varenna Ronald 2nd Place: “ Ember and the Temple ” by Cecilia Ayres 3rd Place: “ The Unfortunate Disappearance of Ms. Ellison ” by Edan Gortzak

1st Place: “ Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary ” by Daphne Land 2nd Place: “ Galatea ” by Ken Cummings 3rd Place: “ The Burning Line ” by Kenny Goliff


1st Place: " In the Heart of Zeena " by Della Abler 2nd Place: " Feelings " by  Oliver Ahrens-Siegel 3rd Place: " Waves " by Charlotte Durham

1st Place: " The Legend of Raan " by Alex Olson  2nd Place: " Moorhen " by Kate Okerstrom 3rd Place: " DING " by Glenn Crum

1st Place: " Come Fly With Me " by Aidan Linder 2nd Place: " And the Stars Sang " by Trinity Hunter 3rd Place: " The Last Interrogation " by Dakota Li


1st Place: " Ordinary " by Edan Gortzak 2nd Place: " Stella " by Amelia Jones 3rd Place: " Train 362 " by Cordelia Rodriguez

1st Place: " In Which Phyllis B Takes Over The World " by Elise Hebert  2nd Place: " The Night Was Theirs " Violet Keteyian 3rd Place: " 5:15 " by Jinho Kwak

1st Place: " The Temple of The Lost Gods " by Tully McCombs 2nd Place: " Unlikely Gifts From A Reaper " by Megan Bass 3rd Place: " Buffer " by Ava Cline


1st Place: " The Wall " by Joanna Vahey 2nd Place: " The Wood of Hoods " by  Megumi Whisman 3rd Place: " Floor A, -2 " by Adrienne Stern

1st Place: " Beyond the Window " by Tucker Cornell  2nd Place: " Rematerialize " by Mark Polyakov 3rd Place: " Famous " by Jose Luis Gandara

1st Place: " 60 seconds " by Rowan Hurt 2nd Place: " Fraigslist " by Amelia Miller 3rd Place: " Empty Space " by Ava Cline


1st Place: " Mongie the Kookie " by Chee Ong 2nd Place: " Macaroni and Mars Don't MIx " by  Anna Holbrook 3rd Place: " November's Save " by Sophia Baldwin

1st Place: " Humanity " by Rowan Hurt 2nd Place: " The Flower of Skye " by Shayla McCombs 3rd Place: " Omega " by Sophie Lee

1st Place: " Devotion " by Carly Cooper 2nd Place: " Somewhere Only We Know " by Camille Lemire 3rd Place: " Names in Stone " by Sophia Harris


2nd Place: " Buddy " by  Lauren Debord 3rd Place: " Emma And The Flower Kingdom " by Allenamae Dodd

1st Place: " The Legend of Ra " by Cleo Fuller 2nd Place: " In The Dark I See " by Madeline Rainwater 3rd Place: " Colony " by Brendan Lancaster

1st Place: " Wish Catcher " by Nan Wu 2nd Place: " Tsubasa " by Mia Smith 3rd Place: " The Legend of Ayeddis " by Megan Gleason

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  2. Prophecy and God's Will in Tolkien

  3. UCSD Alumni Science Fiction Authors

  4. Anne Elicaño Shields reads at The Creative Future Writers' Award Showcase 2022

  5. Tolkien's Dwarves and Creation in Imitation of God

  6. Bigyan Prasange : Kalpobigyaner Duniya


  1. How Do You Write Analyses for Science Projects?

    A data analysis is where you discuss and interpret the data collected from your project and explain whether or not it supports your hypothesis. The analysis may discuss mistakes made while conducting the experiment or ways in which the proj...

  2. What Are Examples of Everyday Science?

    Examples of everyday science include watching bread rise, making carrot cake from real carrots and seeing the way a recipe changes from the original ingredients to the finished product. The most common examples of everyday science lie in no...

  3. 7 Classic Science Fiction Books Worth Revisiting

    Science Fiction stories delve into all things futuristic, technological, extraterrestrial — you catch our drift. Pivotal authors in the space include Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, Philip K. Dick, N. K. Jemisin, and countless others.

  4. Best 59 Science Fiction Writing Contests in 2023

    Showing 59 contests · Elegant Literature's Contest For New Writers. Elegant Literature · Geminga: $250 for Tiny Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, or Art. Sunspot Lit.

  5. Best 59 Science Fiction Writing Contests in 2023

    Flash Fiction Competition. Pigeon Review · Best Indie Book Award. Best Indie Book Award · 2nd Annual WCWF Writing Contest. Wine Country Writers' Festival · Time

  6. 23 Science Fiction Writing Contests

    Sci-Fi Writing Contests · L. · New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest · F(r)iction Lit Fall

  7. Writer Contest

    L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest is an opportunity for new writers of science fiction and fantasy to have their work judged by some of the

  8. Short Story Contest

    Short Story Contest · The 2022-2023 NESFA Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Story Contest is now closed. · The contest was open from July 1, 2022, through September

  9. Literary Contests

    Literary Contests - Science Fiction/Fantasy Writing · Alberta Book Awards · Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction · Arthur C. Clarke

  10. Science Fiction Challenge

    Plus, we run free monthly mini writing contests in the group, exclusively for members, with additional

  11. Science Fiction Debuts Writing Prize

    Writers can submit their entries via the Hodderscape website · Submissions close at midnight on 30 September 2022. · Applicants will be able to submit entries of

  12. Sci-Fi & Fantasy Screenplay Competition

    Whether you're writing a contained science fiction drama, epic fantasy

  13. Science Fiction Competition 2021

    Science Fiction Competition 2021. SHORT STORY — An imagined future. See Published Writing. Can you envision a future dramatically changed by technology

  14. Write Out of This World

    Write Out of This World Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Contest encourages young writers and provides an outlet for their creativity.