To be a valid submission to the contest, each story must adhere to the following rules:
- The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Google Docs.
- Each author may submit only ONE story.
- The story must adhere to the general Escape Pod submission guidelines. Most importantly, it needs to be a science fiction story; other genres, including horror and fantasy, are discouraged. As a general rule, we will take a very liberal view of what constitutes science fiction, but authors should note that experience shows that stories that attempt to skirt the genre restriction tend to fare badly in the voting.
- The story must be original and previously unpublished. Stories will be posted on a members-only portion of the forum (http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php), so first publication rights will not be spent if your story does not win. If you are not sure whether your story counts as published or not (for example, if an earlier version has appeared on your blog but nowhere else), please write (PM or send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "QUERY") and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous Escape Artists contest.
- The person submitting the story must be the story's author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story. A story that is derived from a previously published work in another format (i.e. not a short story) is fine (assuming doing so isn't in violation of copyright, obviously).
- The story must be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.
- The title and the text must be included in the body of the submission. Any 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.
- Authors under 18 are welcome. By submitting, any author under 18 asserts they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian with whom Escape Artists, Inc. can enter into a contract on behalf of the author.
Winners will be paid $30, making this a pro sale of at least six cents a word.
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