300 Word Flash Contest!

Hi all,

I announced this in the intro to last week’s episode, but got distracted and didn’t put it into written form here. Until now.

With the aid of an anonymous donor, Escape Pod is presenting a contest for the best SF story of 300 words or less. There are no restrictions on theme, plot, or structure. The goal is simply to present a strong idea-based story in the minimum space possible.

To enter, simply send your name, address, and the title and story to contest@escapepod.org. Please look at our submission guidelines for formatting instructions. This is effectively an Escape Pod story submission; only the selection process is different. Please send a maximum of three stories to us. If you happen to have a trunk full of really short pieces, select your three best.

After you’ve sent your story, I’ll strip your name from it and post it to a members-only area on the Escape Pod forum. Because it won’t be publicly viewable or searchable, it shouldn’t count as ‘published’ by anyone’s guidelines, and you’ll retain all rights to the story. Interested forum members will be able to review the stories and comment on them. On February 1, I’ll create a poll (or a series of polls, if there are too many entries) and invite people to select their favorites.

The highest-rated story will receive an Escape Pod contract to run their story as flash fiction at a rate of $100. That’s five times our standard flash rate.

The second-highest rated story will receive a contract at a rate of $50.

The third-highest rated story will receive a standard flash contract, and so will any others that I, as EP’s editor, think are excellent choices for Escape Pod.

The stories will then be produced in audio and will go out on Escape Pod’s feed, and be made available for any other non-commercial use as specified in our Creative Commons license.

The deadline is January 31, 2007. Anything we receive after that will be forwarded back to our usual submissions process.

Sound like fun? Any questions?

Go to it, and we look forward to seeing your (very short) work!

Comments (26)

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  1. slic says:

    One quick point – you mentioned in the podcast a max of three submissions per author (I’m guessing to avoid getting an avalanche of entries from the same person). Is that still true – I didn’t see it in the info above.

  2. SFEley says:

    Oh, good point, slic. Edited now. Thanks!

  3. Looks like I beat Will Ross to the question – no restrictions at all?

    This includes the Seven Dirty Words, correct?

    -ls 100WS

  4. SFEley says:

    Yes, though if those are the only seven words in your submission you probably won’t win. >8->

  5. Will Ross says:

    Simon’s here? Oh HELLS no. *Cracks Knuckles*

    “Sounds like them boys is about to have an old fashioned write off.*

  6. Damn. There goes my stirring flash piece about aliens wielding a Tourette’s syndrome-inflicting neural cannon.

  7. Sarah says:

    Just a double-check – is that “SF” as in science fiction or speculative fiction? Are you accepting fantasy flash, too?

  8. Wow this sounds like fun. I am sure I will be submitting something.

  9. Philbob says:

    Quick thanks for giveing me an excuse to right without the ushual panick attack i get when ether i atemt to create anything in text noramly.
    300 words is just below the point where words can gang up on a person and start to be really scary.

    If you havent guessed im pretty sevearly dyslexick but love storys and excape pod has been a god sent i love it 1 good story after another.
    thanks to excape pod iv descovered geek foo and a host of other sights thanks soo much for all you do and keep up the good work.

  10. Laieanna says:

    Yay! More stuff to pile onto my procrastinating self!

    I have a question. For those of us who have our own story reading podcast, can we post it on there before the contest or should we wait till after?

    Love your podcast, Stephen. You were one of the firsts that made me obsessed with this community.

  11. SFEley says:

    Answers to questions:

    Sarah: We do mean SF in the “speculative fiction” sense, not strict science fiction. If it fits in that broad range of stuff that Escape Pod does, we want to see it. >8->

    Laieanna: That’s fine with us. We buy non-exclusive audio rights, so it doesn’t really matter whether the story’s run someplace else before. And thanks!

  12. Marshal says:

    Is the forum post up yet. What is it (will it be) called? Can we vote for our own stories?

  13. Shaw says:

    Are we using approximate word counts? Is it ok if i submit a story that is, say, 319 words?

  14. John Doe says:

    Where’s the forum? Am I missing something?

  15. Will Ross says:

    The forum is in a “Child” forum that can only be seen after you sign up for the forums.

  16. peggy says:

    if my storie was once in an ezine can I still submit it tou?

  17. peggy says:

    man I hate it when I don’t check for errors and also I see my question was already answered..how do you spell..Duh! 🙂

  18. […] I finished a story last night.¬† Granted it’s only 300 words but it’s the first story I’ve finished in quite a long time so I’m feeling very pleased.¬† It was written for Escape Pod’s flash fiction contest.¬† […]

  19. Gary says:

    Question – If I gut what I think is a good 800 word “flash fiction” story to make it meet the 300 word limit for this contest … could I still submit the 800 word version for consideration for your regular podcast?

  20. SFEley says:

    Gary: Um, sure. I guess. But not at the same time, please.

  21. Gary says:

    Maybe that seemed like a strange question.
    It’s just that I’m gaining a whole new respect for the art of being short and concise in story telling without being cold and sterile! 🙂
    Kudos to everyone who has pulled this off so far.

    Trying to say so much in such a short form, I am reminded of a place I worked where management threw a bunch of us creative “art types” in with a bunch or tie wearing/cubical dwelling/super genuis/technolgy developer types.

    It ended up working out beautifully but I think the pinnacle was when we managed to convince each of these tech types to explain their new technology and how it would effect society .. in the short form of Haiku!

  22. Phil Rossi says:

    …does the deadline expire tonight at midnight?

    Makin’ sure 🙂

  23. I won the National Flash Fiction contest (NFFC), can I still enter?

  24. Martin says:

    Sentimental and nostalgic. Great.

  25. sad says:

    very bad