Cymera, Scotland’s Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing and Shoreline of Infinity, Scotland’s award-winning science fiction magazine are teaming up again to host our short story competition in our quest to discover new writing talent right here in Scotland.
2020 has changed everything, and now more than ever we are looking forward to 2021. But some things won’t go back to “normal” or “like before”- some for the better and some not.
Our Theme: After the Plague
What could life in a world, any world, after a global life-changing event be like? How will we be living, young, adult, mature – what are the possibilities?
Remember, we are looking for a speculative story. Explore this future world through the eyes of your character, tell us their story.
Engaged in, expressing, or based on conjecture rather than knowledge.
The Cymera Prize for Speculative Short Fiction is open to any unpublished writer living in Scotland at least 14 years of age.
Submissions are open from 1st January 2021 until 6pm GMT on Sunday 4th April 2021.
The winning writer 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 will be published in the Shoreline of Infinity Magazine (Cymera Special), and the author will receive a complimentary copy. They will also receive a complimentary ticket to a Cymera writing workshop of their choice.
The two runner-ups will receive free tickets to two festival events of their choice.
We will also celebrate our competition and its winners in a special event, where the winning story will be read out by professional actors.
What are the submission dates?
Submissions are accepted until:
6pm on Sunday 4th April 2021
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The competition is open only to writers who are unpublished and who live in Scotland.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?
If you are 14 and older on the final submission date of Sunday 4th April 2021, you can submit a story.
Are there word length limits?
Maximum of 2,000 words
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)
- 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
- Note the word lengths limits above
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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The Award administrators will respond as soon as possible