Why is it important to know whether your book is science fiction or fantasy? One of the most important reasons is for marketing purposes. Agents and publishers will want you to succinctly describe the genre your book fits into.
Fake contests and awards come in many different guises, but they all have a common goal—to take your money. Some are outright scams.
A fee-charging literary agency advertises a contest where the prize is agency representation.
Representation is indeed offered to everyone who entersbut the catch is that it comes with a hefty editing fee attached. Another agency uses a false name to run its contest. A contest is run by a company that provides coverage for screenplay authors.
An awards program touts its vision and independent spirit, and makes much of the benefits that prestigious awards can bring to your career. Winners who include just about everyone who enters have to buy it. Other contests are run by questionable or fee-charging publishers.
Some vanity publishers use contests to draw in paying customers. Then there are the contest mills, which make money on the front end, via entry fees.
By far the most common of the fake contests are those conducted by the vanity anthology companies. These companies publish collections of poems, short stories, or essays, which are sold not to the public, but to the contributors.
For a detailed look at how vanity anthology companies work, see the Vanity Anthologies page. Look for these warning signs: To maximize entries, profiteering awards and contests solicit entries.
An out-of-the-blue email urging you to enter a contest or awards program should always be treated with caution. Dozens or scores of entry categories. To maximize income, profiteers create as many entry categories as possible, and encourage multiple entries.
To avoid cutting into their profits, profiteers offer prizes that cost them little or nothing: Some offer little more than the supposed honor of winning the award. Opportunities to spend more money.
They also hawk stickers, certificates, critiques, reviews, and more.
Profiteers may deviate from this template to some degree: Unlike many other profiteers, JM Northern offers actual money prizes. But it can afford to: Even among profiteers, however, Jenkins is unusual in the amount of extra merchandise it hawks to winners. You can sample these poor-quality videos here.
Is It Worth It? Many writers see contests as a possible springboard to success—a way to add writing credits, or get closer to commercial publication, or promote a self-published book.
This can work if the contest is sponsored by an organization with standing in the publishing industry— the competitions run by Macmillanfor instance, where winning includes a publishing contract, or the Golden Heart Awardsa contest for unpublished book-length romance manuscripts conducted by Romance Writers of America.
In the film world, contests are more widely accepted as a way into the industry. But although there are more contest options for screenwriters, reputable contests are still greatly outnumbered by the pointless, useless, or deceptive ones.
Remember also that submitting an unpublished manuscript to a contest can take it off the market for weeks or months, since many contests demand exclusive submission. Also, depending on the contest, your chances of success may actually be a good deal slimmer than if you simply approached agents or publishers in the conventional way assuming your manuscript is marketable.
Finally, even your best efforts at due diligence may not keep you out of trouble.The award-winning Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, founded in The original publisher of Stephen King's Dark Tower, Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon, and .
The awards, inaugurated in by the monthly California Bay Area-based magazine Locus, recognize science fiction and fantasy literature.
The ballot, available for free and online voting (through April 15) to magazine readers, is seeded with nominees based on Locus’s Recommended Reading List, compiled by editors, . Manuscript Preparation (Standard Manuscript Format, Cover Letters, SASE’s) Writing Tips (How to Become a Writer, Basic Technique, Advice from Pros).
Science fiction and fantasy are genres where almost anything can happen — as long as the author can make it seem plausible, and as long as it’s part of a good story.
Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab.
Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. The World Fantasy awards are considered among the most prestigious awards given to speculative fiction (including science fiction and fantasy) This award began in , and is given yearly at the World Fantasy Convention.