We’ve narrowed down the Cosmos Magazine Sci-fi Short Story Competition to just 4 entries.This wasn’t easy as there were a lot of highly imaginative and well written entries. Here’s some feedback from the competition that we hope you’ll find useful.
Firstly length. The winning story is going to be published by Cosmos Magazine, and in magazine publishing space is money, so every word counts.
Secondly endings! We can’t say it enough times, the ending of a short story is the most important and the most tricky part. It’s relatively easy to end a novel when you have a hundred pages to set up a clever plot. It’s much harder to end a short story with a sense of conclusion after only a few pages.
Thirdly, a lot of people seemed to feel that they had to invent futuristic technology in order for it to be a proper “sci-fi” story. Machines for reading dreams, predicting the future, machines for capturing souls - we were amazed at how awesome some of the inventions in this competition were. But despite that, we were still much more interested in stories that were about humans and society, not gadgets and technology. The most important thing, as always, is characterization. Regardless of how brilliant your inventions are, it won’t be enough if your readers have no desire to get to know your characters.
So congratulations to the following writers for making it onto the shortlist, and best of luck for the final round:
Congratulations to Chris Holzworth, who is the winner of the LBA Crime Fiction Competition, with his entry Naszca City Blues! Special mention must also go to Suzy Wild and Tom Callaghan, and their entries The End of the Belle Epoque and A Killing Winter respectively, for being chosen as the two runners-up.
The standard of entries to the competition were of an impressive standard. Thank you to all those who entered, and congratulations Chris, Suzy and Tom!
You can check out the winning entry, Naszca City Blues, here.
We are pleased to announce that Martin Mcnamara is the winner of the 2B Pictures Feature Competition, our latest Circalit Gold competition, with his script THE SHY RUSSIAN, the story of an ex-soldier who accepts a job he should never have accepted. Plans for Martin’s action-thriller screenplay to go into production are now being discussed over at the 2B film studio.
Congratulations, Martin! We wish you all the best as the project progresses. If you would like to read the winning entry, you can check it out here.
Cosmos, founded in 2004, is a literary science magazine with a global following, which covers everything to do with science and the future, from science fact to science fiction. We have now teamed up with Cosmos to host a sci-fi short story competition, to find interesting and innovative stories that make you think about the future in a different way. Simply write a sci-fi short story and submit it to us.
The winner will be printed in the next issue of Cosmos Magazine,and the two runners-up will see their work published on Cosmos Online.
What we are looking for:
Your innovative sci-fi short story
All work must be entirely your own
Entries must be 4000 words or fewer
Entries cannot be published elsewhere
Deadline: August 1st, 2012
For more information and to submit your work, please click here.
Eclectica Magazine, founded in 1996, is one of the longest running online literary publications. This ezine publishes quality literary fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and original artwork, and it has been particularly lauded for its short stories, winning the Independent Publisher Award in 2004 for the best fiction anthology.
Now Eclectica have teamed up with Circalit to host a flash fiction competition. Simply write a story on any theme in under 800 words. The shortlist will be determined by Circalit and then Mr. Dooley at Eclectica will select the top three stories. First place will be published in their October/November issue.
For more information and to submit your work please click here.
What we are looking for:
All work must be your own
Entries must be 800 words or fewer
Entries cannot already be published elsewhere
If your flash fiction is less than 1 page, please include a title page
You must review three scripts on Circalit in order to enter this competition
As promised, we want our readers and writers to have a say about which stories should be included in the first ever Circalit Short Story Anthology, published in Autumn 2012. To help you out, our in-house readers read all the short stories on the site and have compiled (in no particular order) a shortlist for you to look over.
Any comments and feedback are welcome here. If you have read a short story on Circalit that you love, but it is not on the shortlist and you want it to be considered, please let us know by posting a link in the Circalit Anthology forum.
We are pleased to announce that Jed Hirst is the winner of our most recent sci-fi short story competition! His nailbiting entry, The Forerunner, had the in-house readers at Circalit on the edge of their seats, as a lone scientist explores an unexpected and foreign structure in the solar system. A lesson to be learnt – don’t let sheer curiosity or vanity get the better of you, even when in outer space!
Congratulations, Jed! We hope that you find the free full feedback report from our new Staff Reviewer, Kathryn Taussig, useful. If you would like to read the winning short story, The Forerunner, you can check it out here.
Congratulations to Chris Smith for winning the Cofilmic Comedy Sketch Competition with his hilarious take on an ageing couple’s lunch date, ‘Lunch in Howarth.’ Chris’s sketch will be produced by our friends at Cofilmic, and it will be entered into the Cofilmic Comedy Festival. So congratulations to Chris, and good luck for the festival! If you have a comedy sketch that you’ve produced you can still enter it into the Cofilmic Comedy Film Festival here.
This was the enticing prompt for one of our recent writing competitions, launched when Circalit teamed up with American writer, Amanda Hocking. After selling over a million copies of her self-published books since 2010, Amanda Hocking is widely considered the exemplar of self-publishing success in the digital age. Naturally, we interviewed Amanda to find out how she did it.
The competition received many powerful entries and we are pleased to announce the following four winners:
My Twenty Killed a Kid – Bryan Costales (San Francisco, USA)
Hells Lies – haleyk8 (Hawarden, UK)
The Whitest Lie – Davo (London, UK)
What if your entire world was built on a lie? - loopylou124 (Leicester, UK)
We hope you enjoy your free copies of Torn from Amanda Hocking’s Trylle Trilogy, which are now being released in paperback for the first time.
A competition launched at the start of the year was truly “irresistible”. Having teamed up with Irresistible, a production company that focuses on creativity and passion, Circalit users were encouraged to try their hand at writing and submitting a short script. The irresistible incentive? The winner of the competition would have their original script made into a short film by Irresistible.
In February, Allan Payne, who submitted Cupid Wears a Balaclava, was crowned the winner. Presented with the log line, “you know it’s true love when you’re not even bothered you may get your head caved in at any second”, it is no surprise that this short script caught the eye of the judging panel over at Irresistible. Only 6 pages in length, this well-written romantic drama, which documents Josh’s life-threatening trip to the shop with an interesting twist, is certainly worth a read.
We are pleased to announce that Cupid Wears a Balaclava has now gone into production. Congratulations, Allan! Special thanks must go to Paul Maynard at Irresistible, who directed the film and made this all possible.
Budding screenwriters, there are still just over 2 days left to go until the deadline to enter our latest exciting competition! One lucky winner will have their TV pilot episode reviewed and critiqued by Nick Santora, who has written for/produced some of the biggest TV shows of the past two decades, including Prison Break, The Sopranos and Law & Order. Two runner-ups will also receive signed copies of the original Prison Break script.
There is no entry free, so you certainly don’t want to miss this exclusive opportunity! Community voting will decide the shortlist, and then the winner will be selected by Circalit staff reviewers. Want to be sure that your script is up to scratch before entering? Get a feedback report first.
Finally, things to remember:
All entries are FREE
Your submission must be a TV episode (preferably a pilot)
Your submission must be your own original work
Only the first 50 pages will be assessed but you are advised to aim for no more than half an hour in length (roughly 30 pages)
T.V. pilots with franchise potential will be given preference
As you may have noticed we’ve been doing a few comedy challenges on our Twitter page lately, and we just love reading the hilarious responses we’ve been getting. The latest challenge was to think of a spoof book title that has the name of a drink in it, e.g. The Last of the Mojitos. Here are some of our favourite entries:
@DaveJBurnham - Tequila Mockingbird
@redzed333 - Gone with the Wine
@mockwriter - The Cognac Of Monte Cristo
We’re going to be doing to be doing loads more throughout the year so be sure to take part by following us on Twitter.
We’re incredibly excited to announce that this Autumn we will be releasing the first ever Circalit Anthology, showcasing the best short stories and prose on the site. Any short story uploaded onto Circalit is automatically eligible and will be considered for publication. There will also be a round of community voting where you get to voice your opinion on which stories should/shouldn’t be included. Join us on Facebook or Twitter to keep updated.
The shortlist for the storyworld competition has been announced! Congratulations to the following writers for making it onto the shortlist - each of these writers has put a lot of love and sweat into building a complex storyworld that operates across different media devices and platforms:
After the interview stage, one of these will go on to win the £6k development fund and get their storyworld produced! So good luck to you all.
The Immersive team have also very kindly made sure that everyone who entered the competition will get some feedback on their script. The feedback will not be posted publicly so if you would like to receive your feedback please email julian(at)portalentertainment.com with the name of your script.