1. What is Speculative Fiction?According to Wikipedia: "Speculative Fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature."
2. How do I know if I am qualified to enter? We use the Active Member Requirements for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) to determine ineligibility for In Places Between. In other words, if you qualify for their terrific organization, you are NOT eligible to enter our contest.
This is the SFWA definition: Active Members:
Three Paid Sales of prose fiction (such as short stories) to Qualifying Professional Markets, with each paid at the rate of 5¢/word or higher (3¢/word before 1/1/2004), for a cumulative total of $250, minimum $50 apiece; or
One Paid Sale of a prose fiction book to a Qualifying Professional Market, for which the author has been paid $2000 or more; or
One professionally produced full length dramatic script, with credits acceptable to the Membership Committee.
For more information on Qualifying Professional Markets",
3. I have a great poem about a robot and his dog, based on a Ray Bradbury short story published before your judges were probably born. Can I enter it? Yes, but it won't be considered for a prize nor given a critique. Short stories only. Original short stories. Please and thank you.
4. I always put my name on the first page of my stories, to protect my rights. Will that be okay? No.All identifying marks must be removed or your story will be disqualified. Include your full contact information in the body of your email. This is a bit different from standard short story submission format. For that standard, please see William Shunn's Guidelines.
5. How do I know that the judges aren't biased? They are. They will only be looking for entertaining and well-written stories.
6. How much is the entry fee? There is no entry fee for this contest.
7. Can I enter a story I have already published on my blog? No.The key word here is "published". Your story must be UNPUBLISHED.
8. Who are you to judge me? Youare not being judged, your writing is.
9. I always submit my stories printed on my lucky papyrus paper. Will that be okay? No. It will be a waste of very cool-sounding paper. Electronic submissions only. This means sent as an RTF or TXT attachment to an email. We have cancelled our Post Office Box so there isn't even a snail-mail address for you to send it to.
10. I'm a very creative writer and leave things like correct spelling to editors. Will this affect my chances of winning? Yes. Although the judges will be evaluating your story, they will also be looking at your professionalism. Only send your best.
11. My story is not written in English. Since there are many online translators available, do you mind taking care of the translation for me? No. Non. Nyet. Sorry. This is currently a contest for English-language short stories only. Please send only your best available English translation.
12. Last month I submitted my story to Most Fantabulous Stories Magazine. Can I submit it to "In Places Between" just in case Most Fantabulous doesn't want it? No. No simultaneous submissions. This is a common policy within the publishing industry, especially in the pro markets.
13. My story is fantastic, but it is 200 words longer than the contest maximum of 5000 words. Is it still acceptable? No.Please go back and try to edit out 201 words. Most stories can use a little trimming anyway.
14. If my story doesn't win, should I quit writing? No. Never let the opinions of others control your passion. If you love to write, write.
15. I'm a stand-up comic who needs some feedback on some new jokes. Can I send them? Yes, but unless they're in the form of a speculative fiction short story, the judges might laugh out loud, but they won't give you any feedback nor consider them for entry into the contest.
Please forward all further questions regarding the competition to: ipb (dot) contest (at) gmail (dot) com,
with "CONTEST QUESTION" in the eMail subject line.
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