Competition Guideline and rules:
- By entering, you are agreeing to the following:
- All stories to be written in English. To help standardize all entries we have provided a template below.
- Pulp Fictional - Manuscript Template - Please save your manuscripts as per the instructions below.
- Entries should be sent to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' with the following in the subject line - for Flash Fiction entries please show, FF_your name_story title and for Short Story entries show, SS_your name_story title. The title of your manuscripts should match.
- Please leave a short bio in the email that we can use in the event you get placed.
- Stories must be your own work and not have been published, in any way, online or in print, or won any other competitions.
- This is an international competition and anyone over the age of 18 can enter.
- Simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you withdraw your entry if it wins, or is placed in, any other competition.
- By entering the competition you are agreeing to have your story published, if placed, in our anthology, giving Pulp Fictional.com right to publish it in any format. If we decide not to publish an anthology (for whatever reason), all placed stories will appear on this site for visitors to read, along with your bio's and links to other stories you may have self-published.
- Copyright remains with the author.
- You can enter as many times as you want but must pay each time.
- There is no theme but the stories must be in the genres we like - see below.
- What we DO want - Horror, the supernatural, thrillers and suspence, crime, believable fantasy, urban legends and the unusual. You can throw in a touch of humour if you want and use a mixture of genres.
- What we DON'T want - Non-fiction, erotica, sexy vampires or warewolves, romance, children' stories, poems, politics, fanstory, superheroes, or anything other than what is mentioned in our DO list. -- Think Dcary and Unuerving, Strange and Unusual.
- Don't even bother entering if your story contains - Extreme violence towards children, women or animals. Descrimination or hate towards anyone from anywhere for whatever reason. Any text that could be construed as detrimental to anyone in anyway will be replaced with another if the story is chosen. Swearing is fine as long as it goes with the essence of the story and is not overused. Extreme profanity may be watered-down.
- All entries must be stand alone stories with a beginning, a middle and an end. (With a twist preferably)
- The judge's decision is final.
- Until further notice you can send two stories for the price of one in both contests - two Flash Fictions or two Short Stories. Both stories must be submitted together at the same time in the same email.
- Entry fee is £6.00 for flash fiction and £6.00 for short stories, paid via paypal. Go to our shop (via the 'Category' drop down menu at the top of any page) and choose an icon that suits your entry option.
- Submissions will be your paypal confirmation email forwarded to us along with your story or stories.
- Your fee goes towards the prize money, paying our reading panel, judges, admin and advertising.
- We haven't got the resources at the moment to contact every unsucessful entry, or give reasons why their story failed to reach our longlist. Longlisted entrants will be notified that they have now entered the short list stage and will appear on this site.
- Our Flash Fiction competition runs from August 1st until January 31st each year, and our Short Story competition runs from January 1st until May 31st each year. Prize money to be paid on publication of our anthology.
- Remember. We only want your best work. Good luck, everyone.
What makes a good story?
Well, for us, a good plot is essential, as is believable dialogue but, the only way of knowing if your writing is any good is to get other people to read it, like family and friends. Creative criticism, before submitting your masterpiece for a competition, is a good way of improving, or tweaking it, before you send it off to fend for itself in a sea of others.
Saying, 'That'll do", will never win competitions so don't rush things. Read it and re-read it. Ask yourself questions as you go.
Can any over complicated, wordy, sentences be streamlined so they flow better for the reader?
Am I using too many words to describe something?
Does my dialogue make sense?
Are there any spelling mistakes? Everybody makes them so don't get too obsessed, just weed out as many as you can find.
Are there any plot holes and does the story make sense?
Am I using the word 'and' too often?
Get the above wrong and you risk making it hard work for the reader to stay focussed. No one likes re-reading complicated sentences or being forced to frown, bemused, at weak dialogue.
Its the same for competition judges. Force them to stop reading and they'll stop reading. Full stop. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make your story the best it can be before sending it in.