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Monday, July 30, 2012


Once again, it's time for Calliope magazine's annual fiction contest.
I like to bring this competition to folks' attention because it's open to novice and experienced writers alike, the judging truly is fair and impartial, and Calliope is a not-for-profit organization designed to aid and encourage interest in reading and writing.

Will I be submitting an entry this year? No. But, only because my story "The Caretaker" won first place in last year's contest.

Check out the guidelines and rules, and I hope to read your winning story!



Deadline: OCTOBER 15, 2012

Gadget/gizmo: A small device with a practical use, but often thought of as a novelty. What’s yours? A can opener, iPad, Swiss Army knife, e-reader, Slice-o-matic? Whatever it is or its role, the item(s) must be mentioned in the story. Make your story come alive with sharp characterization, vivid imagery and artistic use of language. Winners will not be separated into categories, but entries will be compared to others within their respective genres for judging purposes. Neatness and manuscript presentation count.

Word Count: Up to 3,000 words.

All types of fiction (including genre) accepted: this includes general audience/mainstream; magical realism; science fiction, fantasy, light horror, mystery, romance, or cross-genres thereof; young adult and juvenile. NO picture books. NOexplicit sexual content, excessive profanity, gory violence and/or extreme horror, please.

Entry forms/fees:
No entry form required. Entry fees: Calliope member/subscribers—$5 first entry; second entry free; $3 for each additional entry. (Write “Member” on upper right corner of title sheet.) Non-members: $10 fir st entry; $5 for each additional story. Maximum: five stories per entrant. Membership special: Send $20 and receive a one-year subscription to Calliope (4 issues) and one free entry. Make checks or money orders (in U.S. Funds only) payable to: Writers' SIG. (We will also accept fees in mint, U.S. stamps in lieu of checks or money orders.) To make payment via PayPal, go to, click on “send money,” and enter when asked “which vendor.”

How to Submit/Format:
Entries accepted from June 15 to October 15, 2011, and must come by regular mail. No other method will be accepted. Use standard manuscript format: 1” margins, double-space for stories more than 500 words. Name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and title of story should be on a separate cover sheet, stapled to the manuscript in upper left corner. Print only title and page numbers on manuscript. State “End” below last sentence of story.
Work must be original—no reprints. Winners must retain sufficient rights for publication in the Winter 2012/13 issue of Calliope, or their entries will be disqualified.

Although final determination depends upon the total amount of entry fees received, a minimum $50-1st Place, $25-2nd Place, and $15-3rd Place is the goal.
Gift subscriptions to Calliope will be at the editor’s discretion. All winners and honorable mentions will receive certificates suitable for framing. Other prizes depend on donations received.
Receipt of entry will be acknowledged if an email address or a self-addressed postcard is included; manuscripts will not be returned.
All stories submitted will be considered for future publication.
Include a SASE for the winner’s list, and receive a free mini-critique of your entry.

Winners will be notified by mail or email; state preference on cover sheet. Formal announcement will appear in both print and electronic versions of the Winter 2012/13 issue, together with the First through Third Place winning stories. Other winning stories will be published in appropriate subsequent issues. We use one-time rights only.

About The Judging:
Winners will be selected by the Fiction Editor, with comments, opinions and concurrence solicited from other Calliope editors and/or others the Fiction Editor deems appropriate. The decision of the judge will be final; every attempt will be made to render a fair and unbiased decision.

Mail entries and fees to:
Calliope Fiction Contest
5975 W. Western Way PMB 116Y
Tucson, AZ 85713

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