Free Sci-Fi Writing Contests

This is a perpetual free contest for aspiring science fiction writers with a top prize each year of $5, 000. Established in 1983 by L. Ron Hubbard (science fiction author and founder of Scientology), the contest claims, with considerable credibility, to be "the most respected and significant forum for new talent in all aspects of speculative fiction."

No entry fee is required, and all rights in the story remain the property of the author. All types of science fiction, fantasy and dark fantasy are welcome. No poetry or stories for children.

Entries may not have been previously published in professional media. To be eligible, entries must be works of prose, up to 17, 000 words in length.

The Contest is open only to those who have not had professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment, and at least 5, 000 copies, or 5, 000 hits.

There shall be three cash prizes in each quarter: a First Prize of $1, 000, a Second Prize of $750, and a Third Prize of $500, in U.S. dollars or the recipient's locally equivalent amount. In addition, at the end of the year the four First Place winners will have their entries rejudged, and a Grand Prize winner shall be determined and receive an additional $5, 000. All winners will also receive trophies or certificates.

Four deadlines a year: December 31, March 31, June 30, and September 30.
Winners and finalists may be included in the annual Writers of the Future Anthology.
There's also an Illustrators of the Future contest for new and amateur science fiction and fantasy artists.

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Shandy Lawson talks Fiction Locker, a writing website for teens  — Hypable
I can't answer as many of those questions as I'd like, so I thought if I put all of those answers in one place, along with stuff like regular flash fiction contests, writing prompts and featured columns by guest authors, I might be able to create a ..

Q&A

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Do writing contests seem biased against sci-fi?

I've been looking at the lists of winning entries for writing contests, and see lot's of slice-of-life, or childhood memory winners. So far, I haven't seen a single sci-fi winner even though the contests are open to all genres.
I've been finding that a lot of people don't consider sci-fi to be a "legitimate" form of literature...as if it should stay in the realm of comic books.

Science fiction is a different animal and the contests that support sci-fi are usually specifically for that genre.
There's a different mind set for both readers and writers of sci-fi. If you did a study, you'd find they are interested in both history and the future. Most have some college. And they all have a sense of humor and a good command of the language. They question. "Why?" is a very common word.
Unfortunately not all readers can ask "Why?" and they are uncomfortable with the question. They also don't like "If." They are far more comfortable with "When" and "Was." Unless a co…