Short Story Competition

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 14, 2009

We’ve teased you long enough. Today is the day we launch our short story competition – Bootstrap SF.

First of all, a general outline of the rules – we’ll get to the competition specifics, later.

 

General Rules

• The competition is open to anyone currently living in the UK (don’t worry, rest-of-world – we’ll have something for you soon, too).
• Writers must not have had any short story sold to any publication for a professional fee. For the purposes of this competition, “professional fee” equates to 5p per word or more.
• There is no entry fee.
• The winning entry will receive £100.
• The winning entry and the 12 runner up entries will be published in the following ways:
• The winner will be published in issue 100 of Hub Magazine (August 2009), for which no further fee will be payable.
• The 12 runners-up will be published in Hub Magazine, for which no further fee will be payable.
• The winner and 12 runners-up will be collected in a paperback volume, and the authors will receive a copy of this volume. Further volumes will be made available at a discount (amount to be confirmed) to authors whose work appears in the book.
• Non-winning entries may be published in Hub Magazine, for which no fee will be payable.
• Writers retain full copyright to their works, but assign indefinite, non-exclusive print, electronic and audio rights to Right Hand Publishing Ltd (publisher of Hub magazine).
• Other general terms and conditions, as set out in the Competition Agreement (downloadable from here).
• The judges’ decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
• The judges will not be able to critique individual stories.

 

The competition:

Bootstrap SF: A Very British Future.

The British are an unusual combination of heroism and fatalism, humour and malice. Their Science Fiction is unique, blending pragmatism with sarcasm and death with laughter. For the British, Science Fiction is something subtler than the standard utopias and dystopias, something more concerned with exploring the future with a healthy cynicism. The genre faces stagnation. Fans who discovered SF in the Sixties and Seventies are now actively resisting the very progress that they embraced when they were younger, cutting out new audiences by relentlessly defending stories which have little relevance to newer, younger readers. SF has built a wall around itself, and for it to survive we must break it down.

Bootstrap SF is designed to please the core fans whilst attracting new ones. By focusing on British stories about people, characters, the audience doesn’t feel excluded if they don’t quite grasp the science behind the plot.

And the authors? The authors are new. Previously unpublished in the professional arena, these people are brimming with ideas and passion, and aren’t blinkered by decades-old notions of what SF should be. The authors are what’s happening right now in SF. And SF has always been about progress.

In short, Bootstrap SF is about British authors who love SF. New British authors. New British SF.

For an excellent example of bootstrap SF, see issue 76′s short story, Montgolfier Winter by

Alasdair Stuart.

 

 The Judges:

Hub staffers: Lee Harris, Alasdair Stuart, Ellen J Allen and Phil Lunt.

The winner will be chosen by Ian Whates. Ian is the Development Director of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), Overseas Regional Director of the Science Fiction Writers of America,

(SFWA), Proprietor and Senior Editor of independent publisher, Newcon Press, Editor of the BSFA news and media review magazine, Matrix and Co-chair of the NewCon Convention Committee. Oh, he’s also a writer with numerous professional short fiction credits, and a multi-book deal with Solaris.

 

How to Enter

 Your story must be between 5,000 and 10,000 words long. It should be sent as an RTF file to the competition address (see below). In addition, you should attach a copy of the Competition

Agreement to the same email. Your story will not be considered without these things.

Electronic copies only, please – hardcopies will not be accepted

.The story file should contain the following things:

Page 1

• Your name, address, telephone number, email address
• The title of the story
• How you would like your name to appear (eg. pen name if you use one)
• The word count
• The words “I agree to the terms and conditions set out in the attached Agreement”

 

Page 2 to end of story

• Your story.
• Single-spaced, 11 point Arial (or Helvetica).
• New paragraphs should be tabbed with no blank lines between (except to indicate a section break).
• If you want to indicate italics, use italics.
• If you want to use bold, use bold.
• If you want a dash – use a dash; do not use two hyphens –.
• Make sure you check the basics – spelling and grammar – before you hit “send”. We expect the odd typo, but if we get distracted by too many errors it won’t help your chances.

Send your entry by June 14th to: Bootstrap.sf@hubfiction.com .

Entries received after this date will not be accepted.

The winning entries will be announced by 31st August inHub Magazine.

 Good luck, and get writing!

 

Hub staffers: Lee Harris, Alasdair Stuart, Ellen J Allen and Phil Lunt. The winner will be chosen by Ian Whates. Ian is the Development Director of the British Science  Fiction Association (BSFA), Overseas Regional Director of the Science Fiction Writers of America

 

 

 

One Response to “Short Story Competition”

  1. Colum Paget says:

    From this line:
    The genre faces stagnation. Fans who discovered SF in the Sixties and Seventies are now actively resisting the very progress that they embraced when they were younger,

    This reads to me as a call to arms. This is exactly what I think is going on in the genre. The last really exciting thing to happen in SF was cyberpunk, and the old guard fought like hell against that. And cyberpunk itself is now 20 years old. Since then, what? New weird? Hmm.. is it really SF? Steampunk? Well, that was more fun first time around, when Wells and Verne and Shelley did it. Indeed, the fact that the new movements in SF are reselling our great-grandparents dreams to us, shows how big the problem is.

    I’d love to hear more of what the Hub team think about this, because I agree with what’s written here (and we all like to hear our own opinions confirmed ;-) ).

    Colum

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