Authorology Short Story Contest
Guidelines & Information

Contest Window:

August 1st and run through November 30th, 2020.


Winners Announced on Saturday, February 20th, 2021, at the 1st Annual Authorology Winter Gala and Book Launch Event. Location TBD or Digitally Hosted.

Entry Fee

$20.00 per story. Payments will be made on the Contact page. Please note in the form message area Authorology Contest Entry # - (Your First Initial and Last Name)​.

  • Example: Authorology Contest Entry #1 - J. Jordan​

Fee includes a complimentary membership in Authorology, a nonprofit literary arts organization headquartered in Houston, Texas, whose goal is to help authors improve their craft, build dynamic careers, and create mutually beneficial networks with other authors as well as industry professionals.

Contest Theme:

Journey Into the Fantastical

The focus of this contest is short stories that depict dynamic worlds of fantasy. Any and all subgenres of fantasy are welcome. The volume is designed for a general audience. Sexual content and violence may be presented but must serve the purpose of the story and not be presented just for shock value. Strong plot arcs, well-rounded characters, and richly vibrant fantasy elements are the primary elements judges will be looking for. The short story should show good command of grammar as well as spelling though professional copyediting is not necessary for submitting. 

The series of anthologies collecting the winners and honorable mentions of the contest will be titled "Journey Series". The concept of "journey" does not need to be present in a literal sense within the stories.


1st place=$300 plus medal, featured on, and publication in the contest anthology

2nd place=$150 plus certificate, featured on, and publication in the contest anthology

3rd place=$50 50 plus certificate, featured on, and publication in the contest anthology

Honorable Mentions=publication in the contest anthology

All Entries will receive feedback on the work from contest judges.

Contest Logistics:

There will be three phases:

Judging Phase: From December 1st through December 16th judges will read and score the contest entries. All entries will be sent feedback. Entries selected as potential winners will move into phase two.

Revision Phase: From December 17th through January 4th, entries selected will work with a developmental editor to make revisions to the story. The key purpose of this phase is to help authors get a sense of what working with content editors is like, an important part of all publishing processes.

Editing and Publication: From January 5th  through January 19th judges will select the winners as well as honorable mentions. Those stories will be sent to copyediting and formatting for compilation in the contest anthology, Journey Into the Fantastical.

Winners will be announced Saturday, February 20th, 2021, at the 1st Annual Authorology Winter Gala and Book Launch Event. Location TBD or Digitally Hosted.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Submissions should be no more than 7000 words and must involve the theme, Journey Into the Fantastical, in some way.

  • Author's may submit up to 3 stories for consideration; each entry must be submitted with a paid and verified entry fee.

  • In addition to the prizes, authors selected will also:

    • Be provided one free copy of the volume.​

    • Be able to purchase from Inklings Publishing as many copies of the anthology as they wish at 50% off retail price and resell the purchased copies while retaining all profits from said sales.

    • Retain all rights to their story for future or concurrent use. No exclusivity is required or requested.

    • Become a member of Authorology for one year with all privileges as provided on the membership page. 

Submission Format:

  • Send the story in a Word document no later than 11:59 pm CST on November 30, 2020.

    • Subject line of the email: Authorology Contest Entry # - (Your First Initial and Last Name)​

      • Example: Authorology Contest Entry #1 - J. Jordan​

    • Body of email: Provide PayPal transaction number as proof of entry fee payment. Entry will not be submitted for judging unless the fee has been verified.

    • If submitting more than one story:

      • Send each story in a separate email using the guidelines set forth above.​

    • Word Document, 12 pt Garamond font, double spaced

      • 1st Page should be a cover page to include:​

        • Title of story​

        • Word Count

        • Author's pen name, as you wish it to appear in the publication

        • Author's legal name if different from the pen name.

        • Author's contact details to include:

          • email address, telephone number, and mailing address​

      • 2nd Page begins the short story.

        • The title should be centered on the first line and the story should follow.

        • Short story should end on the second to last page of the document.

      • Last page should include a short biography of the author while exempting the author's name.

      • Header throughout should only include:

        • Title of the story​

        • Page number

Author's name should only appear in the first (cover) page of the submission. Judging is blind, any entry containing the author's name elsewhere on the document will be disqualified. Entry fee will not be refunded.

Any entry that does not strictly adhere to the guidelines provided will be disqualified and monies paid will not be refunded. No exceptions to the guidelines will be made.

About Inklings Publishing

Inklings Publishing is a small press headquartered in Houston, Texas, which has graciously agreed to manage the contest and produce the "Journey Series" for Authorology. You can learn more about them at