FenCon and the Dallas Future Society are proud to announce the
return of the FenCon Short Story Contest for an eleventh year. We're once again looking for a science fiction or fantasy story on any topic.
Details and deadlines are below. Get writing!
PDF documents require the Acrobat reader available
from Adobe. Click here to download this free utility.
Members of FenCon and the Dallas Future Society
may submit one story at no charge. The entry fee for
non-members or additional stories by members is just $10
per story. Final judging will be done by top industry professionals and the
winners will be published in our 2014 Souvenir Program Book.
PDF problems? Save the entry form to your local hard drive by right-clicking on
this link and choosing "Save Link As".
All submissons must follow these official rules and include a completed
The contest entry deadline is July 20, 2014.
- The first place winner will be
awarded $50, a certificate, a FenCon 2015 membership, and
their winning short story will be printed in the FenCon XI program book.
- The first two runners-up will each be
awarded $25, a certificate, a FenCon 2015 membership, and
their stories may be printed (space permitting) in the FenCon XI program book.
- The other runners-up may
receive acknowledgment in the program book, space permitting.
- No person may win more than one prize in this contest.
Rules and Regulations:
- Entries must be either science fiction or fantasy, less than 5,000 words
long, and the original work of the person submitting them.
- Entries must conform to the Contest
Submission Guidelines and General Manuscript Submission
Guidelines detailed below.
- Any entry that does not conform to these rules may not be entered into the
contest, may not be returned, and may not be acknowledged.
- Members of FenCon or the Dallas Future
Society may submit one story at no charge.
The entry fee for non-members or additional stories by members is $10 per submission.
- Applicable contest fees may be paid through PayPal or by check sent to:
FenCon Short Story Contest
PO Box 701448
Dallas, TX 75370-1448
- The maximum number of stories any one person may submit is three.
- This contest is open to all amateur writers, defined as anyone who has not sold a story of
any length (from short-short to novel) to a professional publication before July 10, 2014.
Sale of poetry or non-fiction does not count. "Sold to a professional publication" means
being paid at least 3 cents per word. Electronic publications meeting these criteria count.
However, some electronic publication involves no promise to pay any definite amount by any
definite time; this does not count as a professional sale for the purposes of this contest.
- No person may win more than one prize in this contest, regardless of the
number of entries.
- Persons who have won first prize in any previous year of this contest are
ineligible. Persons who have won other prizes but whose stories have not been
published in our souvenir program book remain eligible. Once you've been published in our
book, it's time to move on to paying markets then fame, glory, debauchery, and rehab.
- Entries and fees must have been received no later than
July 20, 2014.
- FenCon may, at its own discretion, keep archival copies of contest manuscripts, but all other
copies may be destroyed. For your own protection, keep a copy of your manuscript.
No manuscripts will be returned. All rights will remain with the authors.
- The results of the contest will be announced during FenCon XI to
be held in or around Dallas, Texas, on September 26-28, 2014.
- Complete contest results will be available during the convention.
- In all cases, the decisions of the judges are final.
Contest Submission Guidelines:
- A digital copy of each contest submission story must be submitted in RTF
(Rich Text Format) in a separate email, with its own completed official Entry Form.
- The official Entry Form (available here)
serves as a cover sheet for your story. It must contain your STORY TITLE,
NAME, and CONTACT INFORMATION (including phone number, e-mail address, and
mailing address). You can't win if we don't know who you are.
- On each page of your story, include only the PAGE NUMBER
and your STORY TITLE, not your name or other contact information, as
described in the guidelines below.
- These special contest procedures allow the contest administrators to
anonymously circulate your story without the cover page to the judges, to avoid any
appearance of bias (in case your name is known to them). Only the contest administrator
will have the entry forms with your name and contact information until judging is completed.
- Submissions not meeting proper manuscript format as described below may
not be included in the contest.
- You must not submit the same work of fiction to both the short story
contest and to the writer's workshop. Any such entries may be disqualified.
- No "fanfic" or shared-worlds fiction. All work submitted must be the
original work of the submitting author.
- E-mail any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Manuscript Submission Guidelines:
This is a typical proper manuscript format that you, as a writer, should
use to submit your work to a publisher and must follow to submit to this contest:
- Begin your submission, and all subsequent chapters, approximately 1/3 down
- In the top left corner of every page, put only the title of your story.
(In a normal professional submission, you would include your title and last name,
as in "I, ROWBOAT/Doctorow", but for the purposes of this contest, you must use only
your story title.)
- Put the page number in the top right hand corner of every page.
- Double space your text. Indent paragraphs by .5".
- Margins should be at least 1" all around.
- You can italicize and/or bold text, when applicable, or underline it.
Both styles of indicating emphasis are acceptable.
- Use plain fonts. Preferred are Courier and Times (or Times New Roman).
- Use 10 point type for Courier, 12 point type for Times.
- Plain black text. No colored inks.
- Illustrations are not permitted. Text only, please.
These general standards may vary a bit from publisher to publisher and editor to
editor but remain substantially the same. They have evolved over many years, and there's a good reason
for them. Editors need room to make comments and proofreading marks (hence, the double-spacing).
Editors also need to retain use of their eyes (hence, the prohibition of difficult-to-read fonts, small
type, and so on). Use proper manuscript format for all of your professional submissions (and, of course,
this contest). Good luck!
2013 FenCon Short Story Contest Winners
The winners of our 2013 short story contest were announced at FenCon X, here on the FenCon website, in social media, and in the FenCon X Program Book.
- First Place: "Orbital Decay" by Michael Fair of Cedar Park, Texas
- Second Place: "Teeth" by Mark Carroll of Austin, Texas
- Third Place: "Recoleta" by Ash Robbins of Aubrey, Texas
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail Fran at