Here’s my 6-monthly list of free to enter science fiction competitions in alphabetical order.
a) Baen’s Bar – still going as strong as ever – see here. The editor goes through the subs and if you’re lucky enough to catch his eye it will get published with a fee being paid. Be warned, he has very few slots available. But you do get critiques of what you submit from fellow writers.
b) Gernsback Writing Contest. This is new, starting this month. Their first competition is looking for stories between 1,000 and 2,000 words on the theme: ‘What will our solar system look like 250 years from now?’ [In 2265… which is exactly where one of my heroines lurk time-wise.] See here for details. It closes on 31st July or when they receive 100 stories, whichever is the sooner. The are hoping to have a competition twice a year. However the theme is likely to change for each competition – unless they prove me wrong.
c) James Patrick Baen Memorial Writing Contest that looks for hard, near future, space-based science fiction – deadline normally 1st February 2016. Word count limit is 8,000. See here.
d) James White competition- this is an annual competition – although the site says they will open for submissions in May, they have not yet posted the closing date, but is likely to be December – please do not take my word for it. See here. Word count limit 6,000.
e) Writers of the Future contest – up to 17,000 words and many budding science fiction writers have worked their through their echelons Open for one story per quarter – unless of course you are successful! Their year ends 30th September. Its forum can be found here.