Announcing the First Annual Fiction Vortex Horror Contest

UPDATE (Sept. 15): Submissions for the horror contest are now closed. While we still receive horror submissions, we will accept far fewer, and accepted stories will be posted according to our regular editorial calendar.

Greetings to everyone navigating the Fiction Vortex. Mike here. I come with great news, and a little bit of backstory.

During one of our many staff conference calls, which usually consist of me proposing ideas and Dan saying it will never work, the old Voice of Reason himself surprised me by expressing a desire to spice up our process, to try something new and exciting. Here’s about how it went:

Dan: We need to do something to spice up our process, something new and exciting.

Mike: Yeah? I thought we had a lot of exciting stuff. Move it, you idiot!

Dan: Excuse me?

Mike: Oh, sorry, not you. I’m driving. The person camped on a green light in front of me.

Dan: No problem. Glad to see you’re getting control of that road rage issue.

Mike: Yeah, making leaps and strides. So what exciting things did you have in mind?

Dan: I don’t know.

Mike: Let’s do a contest.

Dan: We already do a contest each month.

Mike: Let’s do a special contest. Halloween’s coming up. Let’s do a contest in October. Horror.

Dan: It’ll never work.

Mike: C’mon, it’s Halloween. Plus Jon knows a lot about horror. Let him judge and what not.

Dan: Are you sure? You know what happens when Jon reads too much horror.

Mike: Uh, yeah… Bwuh. Who else could be the judge?

Dan: I don’t know many horror writers. I’ve deliberately distanced myself from them. Might be closeted serial killers.

Mike: That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s just as likely that the sad looking kid bagging your groceries at Walmart is a serial killer.

Dan: Which is why I get my groceries at Trader Joe’s. Statistically, there’s a much lower rate of homicidal tendencies among hipsters.

Mike: …

Dan: So do you know any horror writers?

Mike: Let me think. I guess I know this one guy who’s a Stoker Finalist. And then there–

Dan: Wait. Did you say know a Stoker finalist?

Mike: Sure! C’mon over into my lane! Plenty of room for your huge truck and my small car…

Dan: Mike, focus!

Mike: Yeah, I drive a Focus.

Dan: No. Focus on the conversation. You know a Stoker Finalist?

And that’s what eventually led to this announcement:

Fiction Vortex is holding its First Annual Horror Contest

Celebrity Guest Judge:

Michael R. Collings, 2012 Bram Stoker Finalist in two categories

Nine horror stories will be published in October 2013, (usual terms and conditions apply). Because it’s a special occasion, we’re also increasing the normal rewards.

Cash Prizes:

Additionally, two honorable mentions will each receive an e-copy of Writing Darkness by Michael R. Collings


DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 29 15, 2013 @ 12 PM US Mountain Standard Time
*Please remember to include ‘Horror Contest Submission’ as the subject when you submit.

2 replies
  1. Francisco Castillo
    Francisco Castillo says:

    Can the amount of words and content be upgraded or at least it being a horror contest, can the words be more “harsh” or “bad” shall we say?

    • admin
      admin says:

      No. Our guidelines stay the same. We understand a lot of modern day horror relies on vulgarity and gratuitous violence, but we don’t think that is necessary at all. However, we understand there are some stories that do artfully put violence and vulgarity to use. We are always willing to read a story, but if we find it overly graphic we will reject it or ask for edits. Maintaining our standards is part of who we are, we have no desire to change that.

      As for word length, 7500 makes for a very long short story, usually far longer than it needs to be.

      Thanks for the question.


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