This contest provides a forum for new talent of any age and gives them a chance to learn about the publication process and its requirements. The submission requirements are not negotiable, nor should this contest be used as a required class exercise by teachers. Teachers, please encourage your students to enter our contest but don’t make it a homework assignment. Entries must be science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural, and alternate history in short fiction, poetry, or comics.
All entries remain the intellectual property of the writers, although by entering this contest the writer gives GPS limited rights to share a winning entry.
2020 Contest entries accepted starting January 1, 2020
- The winner of each Youth Division will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate, with a second $50 gift certificate being awarded to the winner’s school.
- The Poetry Division winner will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate.
- The general winner of the Open Division will receive a $75 Amazon.com gift certificate. The Scott Imes Award winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from Uncle Hugo’s.
- The Graphic Novel (Comics) Division winner will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate.
Dates to keep in mind
We will start accepting entries for the 2020 contest on January 1, 2020.
The deadline for entries to be emailed as attachments to writingcontest @ geekpartnership.org is by 11:59 pm CDT on May 1, 2020.
Winners will be notified by the end of June, and publicly announced at the Opening Ceremony of CONvergence in August, 2020.
Winning entries will be shared on the this webpage by the end of September.
Please select a division to enter. You may only enter one short fiction division. You have the option to also enter a poem in the Poetry Division and/or a short comics in the Graphic Novel (Comics) Division.
- Open: Short fiction only. Open to writers of any age. There will be TWO (2) winners chosen from this category. The Open Division winner will be chosen from all entries.
- An additional local writer will be chosen from contestants residing within 200 miles of Geek Partnership Society to receive the Scott Imes Award. This award proudly honors Scott Imes, a major force in the Twin Cities’ science fiction reading and writing community who passed away in December 2001. For over two decades, Scott Imes worked at Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore and promoted the speculative fiction genres. His recommendations served those far beyond its doors.
- Poetry: Poems only. Open to writers of any age.
- Youth 1: Short fiction only. Open to writers 13 years of age or younger as of May 1, 2020.
- Youth 2: Short fiction only. Open to writers 14-16 years of age as of May 1, 2020.
- Graphic Novel (Comics): Short comics only. Open to writers of any age.
Two or more qualified writers or editors will evaluate each submission. All works will be screened to ensure they meet the contest rules and submission requirements stated above. The judges will NOT read any entries that do not meet these guidelines.
If you have questions, please contact the Writing Contest Coordinator at writingcontest @ geekpartnership.org.
- All entries must be original unpublished works by nonprofessional (amateur) authors.
- All entries must have science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural, or alternate history elements.
- Only one entry per person for the short fiction divisions (Open, Youth 1, and Youth 2), and you may only enter one short fiction division.
- Only one entry per person for the poetry and graphic novel (comics) divisions. Because these are different formats than short fiction, writers may enter these divisions in addition to one of the short fiction divisions.
- There is NO entry fee for any submission.
- Division winners from the previous year are not eligible to win in the same division the following year but are allowed to enter a different division.
- Entries must meet the contest rules and submission requirements or they will be refused.
- By entering the contest, the author of a winning entry gives permission to GPS to publish their entries both online and in print as determined by GPS and any future anthologies of winning entries.
Cover page required for each entry
A cover page is required for each entry and needs to be a separate page so it may be separated from the entry. The cover page should include the following information.
All divisions’ cover pages:
- title of entry
- division entered: if a youth division, additional information is required; please see below
- word count for short fiction or poems OR the number of pages for short comics
- writer’s name
- writer’s complete mailing address (street, city, state, zip code)
- writer’s email address
Youth divisions’ (writer is 16 or younger) cover pages ALSO require:
- writer’s age
- writer’s birth date
- name of a parent or guardian
- email address of a parent or guardian
- name of school
- city where the school is located
Short fiction and poetry entries
Entries must be an attachment to the email and in a word processing format with extensions such as .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf. We cannot accept PDFs, .odt files or shared Google documents.
Entries must be 5,000 words or fewer.
Entries must formatted as follows:
- 8.5″ x 11″ size
- 1 inch margins
- Minimum 11 pt font
- Black font in Arial, Verdana, or Times New Roman
- Numbered pages
- Entry title should appear on each page of the manuscript
- Author’s name should only appear on the cover page
Graphic novels (comics) entries
Entries may be submitted in either digital or paper format. You may collaborate with one other person. Since the prize is one $50 Amazon gift card, this award may be shared or we can divide it into two $25 Amazon gift cards.
Paper entries must be black and white on A4 paper and limited to 10 pages or less. They should be photocopies of original artwork. Paper entries will not be returned.
Submitting your entries
Mail paper entries to Geek Partnership Society, 1121 Jackson St Northeast, Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55413. They must be postmarked May 1, 2020 or earlier.
Digital entries should be scanned and submitted by emailing attachments to email@example.com.
2019 Writing Contest Winners
Youth I: “Monsters in the Mind”, by Elise Beishline
Youth II: “Immortalized in Metal”, by Loryn Smith
Poetry: “The Top”, by Ethan Beutel
Open: “I See Death”, by Patrick MacDonald
Scott Imes Award: None
2018 writing contest winners
Graphic Novel: Edison Siow for Morning Call
Open Division: Greta Timmins for You Will Remain
Poetry: Olivia Campbell for Tranquility
Scott Imes Award: Cassidy Brzycki for The End of the World (Read: “par·ent·hood”)
Youth I: Poem Schway for Hero
Youth II: Lucia Paul for Dancing On Their Graves
2017 writing contest winners
Graphic Novel: Yap Yingtong and Shin Jiyeon for “500 Light Years to You”
Open Division: Ben Clement for “What’s Needed”
Poetry: Pat Harrigan for “Things Your Child Was Not Meant To Know”
Scott Imes Award: K. M. Clantoren for “Diogenes the Goat”
Youth I: Lucy Cross for “Gray”
Youth II: Hannah Staton for “Out of the Gates of Heaven, Locked in the Gates of Hell”
2016 writing contest winners
Graphic Novel: Mengshi Huang from Illinois for “Avenger of Dissemblance”
Open Division: Pat Harrigan from Minnesota for “Earthlings on Fire”
Poetry: David Lohrey from Florida for “Mindful”
Scott Imes Award: Jordan West from Minnesota for “Three Minute Mark”
Youth I: Breanna O’Bryan from Kentucky for “The Magic Pen”
Youth II: Jared Murphy from China for “The Tragedy of Senibor”