CYMERA Prize for Speculative Short Fiction in co-operation with Shoreline of Infinity

Cymera: Scotland’s Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing is committed to discovering and showcasing new talent right here in Scotland. For our writing competition,  we are teaming up with Shoreline of Infinity, Scotland’s award-winning science fiction magazine to discover the fresh voices on our doorstep.

Our Theme

Nothing inspires us more than the place where we live, or where we come from. Consequently we have chosen “Scotland” as the theme of our inaugural award. We hope this leaves lots of room for your imagination – we just ask that your story has at least one of the elements of the festival, namely: science fiction, fantasy and horror, and is speculative.

Speculative (ADJECTIVE)

Engaged in, expressing, or based on conjecture rather than knowledge. 

The Awards

The winning writers in each age-range category will be awarded £75

The stories that are selected for the shortlist will be published on the CYMERA website after the festival. The winner in each category will be published in the Shoreline of Infinity Magazine (Cymera Special). They will also receive a complimentary ticket to a Cymera writing workshop of their choice.

The two runner-ups in each category will receive free tickets to two festival events of their choice.

We will also celebrate our competition and its winners in a special event during the festival, where the winning stories will be read out by professional actors.

Entry instructions

What are the submission dates?

Submissions are accepted until:

6pm on Sunday 31st March 2019 ( 18 years and over)

6pm Sunday 28th April 2018 (14-17 years old)


Who can submit a story?

The competition is open only to writers who are unpublished and who live in Scotland. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for further information and clarification.

How old do I have to be to take part?

Prizes will be awarded in two age categories 14 to 17 years of age, and 18 plus.

So if you are between 14 and 17 on the final submission date of 31st March 2019, you can submit your story in the 14 to 17 Age category, and if you are 18 or older on that date, the 18+ category is for you.

How to Enter

Applicants are encouraged to make their submission via the online entry form below. If applicants are unable to access this, entries can be submitted by post via this form.


1. Read the Entry Terms and Conditions here thoroughly to check the author whose work is due to be submitted and their short story are eligible for the Award. Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of all the Terms and Conditions.

2. Format the short story as per the following instructions:

  • Written in English, Scots or Gaelic or other Scottish language (with translation in English)
  •  A maximum of 2,000 words
  • Font: Times, 12pt
  • Double spaced
  • Include a front page which details the Title of Story and the Word Count
  • Do NOT include author’s name or other identifying text anywhere on the story

3. Only one story per author

4. Save the short story in Microsoft Word.doc or .docx format with the Title of Story in the file name.

5. Submit the story via the online entry form below

Please note

  • Entries not submitted in accordance with the Entry Instructions and Entry Terms and
    Conditions will not be eligible for consideration.
  • No entries will be returned.

Any queries about entering the Award should be emailed to The Award administrators will respond as soon as possible

Sorry, we can't accept any more stories. The time has passed.