We're having a new flash fiction contest! Not just one, but three - one for each podcast. Details copied from our forum below!
- Stories will be posted anonymously, with the identity of the author revealed only after a story is knocked out or wins the competition. Any real attempt to identify authors prior to the story losing or winning shall be deleted. While we cannot stop authors from trying to rally support from third party sites (blogs, livejournal, twitter, etc.), we discourage it and ask that they just point to the contest in general. We reserve the right to take action against stories where support is clearly being rallied. This contest is to be won on the merits of the relative stories, not on the fact that Tim Pratt wrote it.
- Each podcast-specific contest will be run by the editors and moderators of said podcast, along with any others that they dutifully and publicly appoint as deputies. Those involved in the running of a contest shall not submit to that contest, but may submit to contests being run by others. Should one of their stories be part of a tie, they will automatically lose.
- We encourage constructive discussion about the stories posted in this contest — it's good for the community, and helpful to the authors, especially new ones.
- Normal forum rules remain in place. Please keep your commentary honest but constructive. "I didn't like this story at all; the characters were flat and nothing really happened" is a fair comment. "This story was a piece of crap; I had to fumigate my computer to get the stink out" is just a flame and will be deleted. Don't be insulting, and please attempt to explain why you liked or didn't like a story. If you can't, it may be better to not comment at all.
- Creating multiple accounts to vote for a story will get you banned from the forums.
- Submissions for the Podcastle (hereafter PC) contest shall open on April 1st and close on April 30th.
- PC contest begins May 1st.
- Submissions for the Pseudopod (hereafter PP) contest shall open on May 1st and close on May 31st.
- PP contest begins June 1st.
- Submissions for the Escape Pod (hereafter EP) contest shall open on June 1st and close on June 30th.
- EP contest begins July 1st.
CONTEST SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
- The Submission period will be one month from the opening day of each contest.
- Should the volume of submissions be such that our inbox overfloweth, we reserve the right to prematurely end the submission period with a 72 hour warning in this space.
- The stories shall not exceed 500 words
- Two stories per person per contest. (You can sub to all three contests for a total of six stories.)
- Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with "EP FLASH: Title of Story" in the subject for Escape Pod contest, "PP FLASH: Title of Story" for Pseudopod, and "PC FLASH: Title of Story" for PodCastle.
- Included the body of the submission email should be the title, byline (your legal and proper name), an email address we will be able to contact you at in the next few months, and, of course, the text of your story. DO NOT SEND THE STORY IN AN ATTACHMENT. The byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when either the story fails to advance, or ultimately wins. Feel free to request a pseudonym for the byline, but we will need a legal name if you win for prize purposes.
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will receive a contract and audio produced version of their story aired on the respective podcast for the current flash story rate. Additionally, 2nd & 3rd place will receive: one free EA t-shirt of your choice, and a voice mail greeting recorded by the host of the podcast whose contest you won. 1st place will receive all of that plus a complete set of archive discs from your choice of one of our podcasts.
- For acceptable content and definitions of genre, see the "What We Want" section of the respective submission gudelines for each particular podcast. Escape Pod: go here. Pseudopod: go here. PodCastle: go here. The editors and moderators may decide that a submission belongs in another contest, but will generally be fairly tolerant of edge cases (eg, dragons fighting spaceships can go in Podcastle unless it's a completely mundane explanation for the space-dragons). They reserve the right to exclude entries that they deem objectionable.
- Stories will be posted in groups of around 6-10, grouped together when they were submitted.
- Each group will be posted in a separate subboard under the Flash Contest II forum in the Escape Artists forums.
- These subboards will be visible only to forum members -- if you are a guest you must register to see them. This should preserve the unpublished status of the flash pieces if the authors choose to submit them elsewhere after the contest.
- Each group will be posted approximately 48 hours after the one prior to it.
- Each group will consist of the stories and one poll thread.
- Members can vote for up to two or three stories per group, depending on the size of the group. You can change your vote until voting ends seven days after the group is posted.
- Depending on the number of groups, there will be a number of semifinals before the final poll. Each of these runoff polls shall run for seven days, and the final poll shall run for seven days. Stories will be moved from their original groups up to the semifinal and final round subboards as they survive.
- The name or pseudonym of the author of a story will be posted after the story fails to advance or wins.
- Semifinals shall consist of the top three entries from four rounds and shall be created after voting finishes in the last group. Should the number of groups be less than four, semifinal rounds of three will be created.
- Once voting in the last semifinal round is closed, the top three stories from every semifinal round will move up to the final poll. The final poll will be used to determine the first, second, and third place prizewinners, and shall last for one week from its creation.
- If there is a tie for any of the places when voting has ceased are locked, then the editors shall act as tiebreakers. (This shall be the only circumstance in which the editor or moderators shall vote.)
- Winners will be announced here, on the blog, and on the podcast, and the authors will receive contracts and prizes as described.
And one last bit of boilerplate: We reserve the right to change the rules depending on circumstances and with notice in this thread, though the democratic intent of the contest shall remain intact. The numbers contained above are mainly slightly educated guesses, and prior to the Podcastle contest posting I'll be back to post what they'll actually end up looking like.
Please blog, tweet, email, send postcards, telephone, and otherwise get the word out.