22nd Annual Parsec SF/Fantasy/Horror Short Story Contest

The theme for the 2018 contest is: FLAWED REFLECTIONS. This may be used literally, metaphorically, etc. Your interpretation of the theme must be integral to the story and not just mentioned in passing.

Contest opens: January 1, 2018 and closes April 14, 2018. There is no fee to enter and all entrants will be notified of the results by June 16th.

Word count for all entries: No minimum, no more than 3500 words.

Genre: All stories must be of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror genres.

Publication status: Stories must be original, unpublished, and unsold to any other market. Manuscripts should be double-spaced and written in Courier or Times New Roman font. Acceptable formats include .doc, .docx, and .rtf.

Prizes and Eligibility: The contest is open to non-professional writers (those who have not met eligibility requirements for SFWA or equivalent: sale of a novel or sale of 3 stories to a large-circulation publication (http://www.sfwa.org/about/join-us/sfwa-membership-requirements/). Previous first-place winners and current contest coordinators are ineligible to enter.

Requirements: The winning story will be the one that most effectively uses the contest theme as a key element. First-place receives $200 and publication in the 2017 Confluence program book (http://parsec-sff.org/confluence/). Second-place receives $100 and third-place receives $50.

Submission to the contest implies consent for publication, but all rights revert immediately to the author upon publication. Coordinators/Readers screen the entries and the ten best submissions are then read by the judges. Decisions of the judges and coordinators are final.

Number: A maximum of 2 submissions is allowed. Submit each one separately.

Judges for the 2018 Contest:


J.D. Barker (Jonathan Dylan Barker) is an international bestselling American author whose work has been broadly described as suspense thrillers, often incorporating elements of horror, crime, mystery, science fiction, and the supernatural.



Barbara Doran is a writer of fantasy, SF, mysteries, both mainstream and pulp.




Larry Ivkovich is a former IT professional and the author of several published science fiction, fantasy and horror short stories and novellas. His debut urban fantasy novel, The Sixth Precept, was published in 2011 by IFWG Publishing, and his fantasy novel, Blood of the Daxas, was published by Assent Publishing in 2014.

How to Submit:

Electronic submissions will be accepted through Submittable: (Opens January 1, 2018)

If this is your first time using Submittable, you will need to create a FREE account with them. Instructions for this will appear after you hit the submit link. It’s easy and quick.


Send snail mail entries to:

Kevin M. Hayes
Confluence Short Story Contest Coordinator
2705 Miles Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15216

Any questions, email Kevin at: kevinmhayes01@gmail.com