the Fourth Bewildering Stories Contest
General Contest Rules|
Rules for Submissions
The theme of Bewildering Stories’ Contest 4 is parody. Write us a parody of anything, in any genre, in any mode — from tragedy to comedy or anything in between.
General Contest Rules
- Duration: Contest 4 opens with issue 268 and closes with the appearance of issue 278 (February 11, 2008). Voting closes with the appearance of issue 280 (February 25).
- Theme: The Contest entry must be a parody, i.e. an imitation of some other writing, usually but not necessarily for comic effect. If it happens to be satire as well, i.e. a mordantly humorous critique of cultural mores, that’s incidental.
- Source: The object of the parody must be identified by author and title. We’ll also want the URL of an on-line text, if one exists.
- Anonymity: authors’ bylines will be revealed only after the contest closes.
- Voting is done on a “vote as you read” basis. An e-mail ballot is located at the bottom of every entry.
- Please indicate the title you are voting on, otherwise the Contest manager will have no way of knowing what it is.
- You may change your vote twice about any entry; after that, the last vote stands.
- Readers are encouraged to make comments. Indicate on your ballot if you would like them forwarded to the author. The authors will be encouraged to reply directly to readers’ mail.
- Authors may vote for their own entries, but that vote won’t count.
Rules for Submissions
- Length limit: 2,000 words.
- Submission limit: two entries for any author. You may send a third entry provided you withdraw one of your previous entries. After that, no; things get too complicated.
- Guidelines: Bewildering Stories’ submissions guidelines apply to all entries. Please format the texts according to our sample page.
- Pre-publication: All submissions must be new to Bewildering Stories. Sorry, the Contest will not reprint stories previously published here.
- Contact: All entries must be sent directly to the Contest Manager, Clyde Andrews. Please do not send submissions to Bewildering Stories; they will only be delayed and may get lost.
- acknowledge receipt. If you haven’t heard back within three days, please inquire.
- screen the texts for length, relevance to the topic, and compliance with our Submissions guidelines. Contest entries do not get the same editorial attention as regular submissions to Bewildering Stories. Please proofread your entry carefully; punctuation and grammar that are consistently faulty will be cause for a rewrite.
- forward the entries to the Bewildering Stories’ managing editor, who will post them more or less in the order received. Please be patient: entries cannot appear instantly.
Writing Pastiches offers some very practical tips on writing parody and pastiches.
Classical literature is fair game. However, you may want to think two or three times before parodying anything in Bewildering Stories or the work of someone you know personally. Imitation is supposed to be the highest form of flattery, but it isn’t if the flatteree thinks you’re having fun at his or her expense.
Ásgrímur Hartmannsson parodied a story of Michael J A Tyzuk’s in “Weekender,” but he cleared it with Michael first, and Michael was a good sport about it.
What are the rewards and prizes? Besides Bewildering fame, that is? Who knows? We shall see!
Submissions link: Clyde Andrews, contest manager