Pulp Idol 2008 short story competition

This competition is now closed.
The closing date was midnight at the end of Tuesday 3 June. Entries received after that point - even if you get an automated receipt from the email entry system - will not be counted.

We are now in the process of judging all the submitted stories .

For the last two years, SFX has been running a short story competition, which we dubbed Pulp Idol - you may have seen the two volumes of short stories that were given away with the magazine. It proved so popular, that we are of course running it for a third year running. It's time to ask yourself the question: "Could I become a published author in 2008?"

As before, your task is deceptively simple: please write a science fiction or fantasy short story of 1000 to 2000 words. The best stories will be collected in a book, given away with an issue of SFX later this summer. You’ll find full terms and conditions and details below. Entries should be submitted by email here . The competition closes on 3 June 2008 .

We wouldn't expect you to submit your story without some assistance along the way so the next few issues of SFX will be offering up advice from authors, agents, editors and publishers. They'll be discussing the art of writing short stories with us, and offering guidelines on getting in to print and the current state of the SF market. All valuable information even if you're not planning to enter this year. We'll also be running much of this material, in Q&A form, on the website over the coming weeks, so keep coming back here to get more tips and inspiration.

(This year the competition is sponsored by Dungeons & Dragons .)


*The winner will be proclaimed SFX Pulp Idol Winner 2008. Hurrah!
*The winning story will be printed as the lead story in our SFX short story compilation published and distributed with SFX magazine in the summer of 2008, along with 10 runner-up stories. The winner and his or her story will be identified as the winner in that collection.
*The winner will receive six copies of the SFX short story compilation book free of charge for his or her own personal use.
*The winner will receive an exclusive piece of framed artwork, inspired by or illustrating their story, by a professional illustrator commissioned by the folk on SFX.
*The winner will receive a free year's subscription to SFX magazine.
*Note: ten runners-up will be identified as such and will have their stories printed in the SFX short story compilation, but will not be entitled to anything else.

*SF, fantasy or horror stories between 1000 and 2000 words in length from UK entrants of over 18 years of age, to be emailed to us ( sfxpulpidol@futurenet.co.uk ) by midnight at the end of 3 June 2008.
*They must be wholly your own original and previously unpublished work, and you must be an amateur author.
*Subject to our competition terms and conditions, you retain copyright, but we can edit and print your stories for the purposes of this competition.
*We'll announce the winner within three months of the closing date.

*Stories must be between 1000 and 2000 words in length. Stories will be considered invalid if they are longer or shorter than that.
*All stories must be received by no later than midnight on 3 June 2008.
*Stories must be written in English.
*No fan fiction. The settings and characters comprising the stories must be the entrant’s own wholly original work. The entrant must not base his or her story in an existing fictional universe (eg. Star Trek or Buffy). The stories must not be wholly or substantially copied from or influenced by any other material.
*No erotica, no slash fiction and no excessive references to sexual or violent practices should be contained within a story. The tone of each story must be appropriate for a general news-stand audience.
*No standard fiction, crime or romance to predominate in your story. SFX is a fantasy and SF publication. Thus: the hook of your story should be science fiction, fantasy or horror.
*You must be a previously unpublished fiction author. If you've had non-fiction or academic work published before, that's OK. If you've had your fan fiction or personal fantasies published for free on a website somewhere, that's OK (as long as you don't try to enter the same thing in this competition, see the next point). However, if you've had a story published in a national magazine or newspaper, or ever made any cash out of a piece of fiction, you are not eligible. By the way, runners-up in previous Pulp Idol competitions may enter again, we're all right with that.
*The stories themselves must be wholly original work written specially for this competition, and subject to the point above must not have previously appeared in any form (no small press, no other magazine, no personal website, no other collection or competition).
*We cannot offer individual feedback on stories.
*And we don't publish fiction at any other time of year, so please keep your non-Pulp Idol stories to yourself, m'kay?

Entries must be submitted electronically, either in the form of a plain text file, a Microsoft Word document, standard PC-compatible email body text, or HTML. Entrants should not send their story in any other program format – we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to open it, and unreadable files will be considered invalid. All story documents must include the entrant’s name and contact details. The address to email stories to is sfxpulpidol@futurenet.co.uk. See the magazine for other details. Please note that this competition is now closed for entries.

1. These rules and any other rules specified by Future Publishing Limited or any of its group companies (the “Company”) from time to (“Competition Rules”) apply to any competition which is run by or on behalf of the Company (“Competition”). By taking part in a competition, you agreed to be bound by the Competition Rules and by the decisions of the Company which are final in all matters relating to the Competition. The Company reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and/or winner in its absolute discretion for any reason and without notice in accordance with the Competition Rules.

2. All entries must reach our email address (SFXPulpIdol@futurenet.co.uk) no later than midnight at the end of 3 June 2008. Only entries received at the email address specified above will be considered. Late or incomplete entries will be disqualified. Proof of posting (if relevant) shall not be deemed proof of delivery. No responsibility can be accepted for entries which are lost, delayed, misdirected or corrupted during delivery to the email address specified for any reason whatsoever.

3. The overall winner will be notified personally as soon as practicable once a decision has been taken. (At our discretion we may also notify the runners-up, but this is not guaranteed.)

4. The name of the winner and details of their entry will be posted on the SFX website (www.sfx.co.uk) as soon as practically possible after a decision has been reached.

5. The competition is open to all GB residents of 18 aged over except employees of (a) the Company; and (b) any third party appointed by the Company to organise and/or manage the Competition; and (c) the Competition sponsor(s).

6. Entrants must be previously unpublished fiction authors, as specified in the General Rules section above.

7. Entries must be submitted by an individual (not via any agency or similar and collaborative works are not permitted) and unless otherwise stated, are limited to one per household. Prizes may be provided by a third party sponsor of the Competition. The Company reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute any prize with cash or a prize of comparable value.

8. The winning entry will be that which has met the entry criteria and which most closely meets the Competition criteria specified.

9. One winning story will be picked. The winning story will be that which met the entry criteria and which most closely meets the Competition criteria specified. The panel of judges will contain at least one independent person from outside the SFX team. 10 runners-up stories will be chosen and those stories will also be printed in the SFX short story compilation. The panel’s decision will be final.

10. By entering the Competition you:
(a) grant the Company, any third parties appointed by the Company for the purpose of organising and/or managing the Competition and the Competition sponsor(s) permission to use your name and likeness for the purposes of organising and/or managing the Competition, for announcing the winner of this Competition and for related promotional purposes;

(b) grant the Company and any Competition sponsor(s) the right to use your personal information to send you information about their respective products and services which may be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive this information, please indicate this in your email by saying NO MARKETING STUFF PLEASE at some point in your entry email.

(c) accept that all entries will become the property of the Company upon receipt and will not be returned. You will retain all rights you have in the copyright and other intellectual property rights comprising the story but, by entering the Competition, you grant the Company and its licensees the free of charge right to republish the story;

(d) waive your moral rights or similar rights in your story whether such rights arise pursuant to the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 (the “Act”) or equivalent legislation anywhere in the world; and

(e) warrant to the Company that: (i) the story is wholly original to you and not wholly or substantially copied from any other material, (ii) that the entrant owns all intellectual property and proprietary rights in the story; and (iii) that the story does not contain any material which is or could be obscene, offensive, defamatory, discriminatory, causes injury, invade the privacy or otherwise infringes or violates any statutory law, common law, regulatory or intellectual property rights of any third party.

11. You may be offered the chance to subscribe for a free newsletter or other service of the Company but failing to do this will not disqualify you from a Competition.

12. If you are a winner, you may have to provide additional information (including, without limitation, proof of age or identity) and/or complete additional documents and return them to the Company within a specified period. Failure to provide additional information and/or complete additional documents within the required time period, or notification returned as undeliverable as addressed will result in your disqualification as a winner and an alternative winner will be selected.

13. The name(s) of the winner(s) and details of the winning entry or entries will be sent to anyone who requests the same within three (3) months of the closing date of the Competition. Requests should be sent to the postal or email address for competition entries and, if postal, should be accompanied by an SAE.

14. If you are a winner of a Competition: (a) the receipt by you of any prize is conditional upon you complying with any and all applicable laws, rules and regulations including, without limitation, the Competition Rules; (b) you acknowledge and agree that neither the Company or any Competition sponsor(s) or any of their employees, agents or subcontractors shall have any liability to you whatsoever in connection with your use and/or possession of your prize, provided that nothing in these Competition Rules shall exclude or limit the liability of any party for personal injury or death caused by negligence or for anything else which cannot be excluded or limited by law.

15. Unless otherwise stated, the Company is the promoter of the Competition.

16. If any of these rules are deemed to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable, the affected rules shall be deleted from these Competition Rules but the remaining rules shall continue in full force and effect.

17. These Competition Rules and each Competition are governed by English law. Any disputes arising between the Company and any third party in relation to these Competition Rules and/or a Competition shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales (save that the Company shall be entitled to take action against a third party in any other jurisdiction).

Pulp Idol 2008 is now closed for new entries.
The closing date was midnight at the end of Tuesday 3 June. Entries received after that point - even if you get an automated receipt from the email entry system - will not be counted. We are now in the process of sifting through all your submitted stories.