Short story competitions for sci fi and fantasy writers

SpecFicNZ, the New Zealand association for science fiction, fantasy and horror writers, has announced its first two short story competitions for 2014:

World War I Centenary – Short Story Competition

2014 marks 100 years since the beginning of WWI, and to commemorate the occasion SpecFicNZ challenges you to explore historical fiction – with a twist.

New Zealand-born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is SpecFicNZ’s guest judge for this competition. She is looking for stories that reinterpret or reimagine any aspect of WWI from a speculative fiction perspective.

While classic war stories are welcome, we also encourage writers to think beyond the front line, from the experiences of those who remained at home (and what became of those homes) to the medical experiments and advances necessitated by wartime injuries – and the deadly pandemic that followed the end of the war.

Length: 1,000-5,000 words
Genres: All, with elements of science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror
Topic: World War I
Submissions: Sent as an .rtf document to SpecFicNZ, following standard manuscript format but with no author identification in the manuscript (so that entries can be judged blindly). One submission per person, please.
Deadline: Midnight NZST, 25 April 2014
Prizes: 1st place $50; 2nd place $25; 3rd place $10.


Shortcuts Competition

SpecFicNZ is partnering with Paper Road Press on an all-new novella competition.

Paper Road Press is launching an ebook-only line of New Zealand-themed short fiction, Shortcuts, and SpecFicNZ is happy to offer our members the chance to be offered a publishing contract for the debut line-up, along with cash prizes.

Publisher Marie Hodgkinson is looking for science fiction, fantasy and horror stories that are inspired by or engage with any aspect of Aotearoa New Zealand. “This country has a great history of science fictional and fantasy writing. Our Shortcuts series is intended to encourage writers to be inspired by the extra-ordinary possibilities of our land, history and cultures.”

Length: 10,000 to 20,000 words
Genres: Fantasy, science fiction, horror, slipstream (mix-and-match!) of any variety, in a New Zealand or New Zealand-inspired setting.
Content exclusions: Paper Road Press is not looking for erotica, or stories with sexual violence or gratuitous violence.
Submissions: Please send your submission to SpecFicNZ as a rtf (rich text format) file, following standard manuscript format but without any author identification in the manuscript. This is to ensure that your manuscript can be judged blindly. Your e-mailed entry should have the subject line Shortcuts Contest: (Title of the Work).
Deadline: 31 July 2014
Prizes: First prize $100; second prize $50; third prize $25. Winners may also be offered a publishing contract with Paper Road Press.

For more information about these competitions please visit

SpecFicNZ competitions are only open to SpecFicNZ members. For information on how to join, please visit

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JJ is a writer by night, & a Product Manager by day. She loves young adult and children’s fiction and is the co-founder of NZ Booklovers. She has a Masters in Creative Writing, and is an ex-English tutor. She lives in Auckland with her husband, daughter, and two chihuahuas.

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