We are currently accepting short story submissions for the Winter 2011-2012 Elephant Prize. Submissions must be under 7500 words. Multiple submissions are accepted: you may submit as many stories as you like.
There is a $10 reader's fee per entry. We understand the reluctance many writers have toward reader's fees. The contest entry fee allows us to pay out prizes and keep our site running. We try to keep our fees at a minimum. If you do not wish to pay the fee, you may still submit your story to us via Standard Submission, which implies no fee.
All contest entries are also considered as standard submissions and are eligible for the standard payment of $50 per story if accepted.
Contest submissions will be judged based on the criteria listed on our Guidelines page.
Contest prizes are as follows:
First Place prize is $500 and publication in In The Snake.
Second Place earns $125 and possible publication.
Third Place earns $75 and possible publication.
In addition, 10-20 finalists will receive certificates of honorable mention.
Contest begins on Tuesday November 15, 2011, and ends Monday January 16.
Winners will be announced on March 31, 2012
Guidelines for Fiction Submissions
We believe that every story is meaningful in that it is the expression of a creative human mind. However, not all stories fit our criteria for publication within In The Snake. There is no single formula or model for writing a good story, but here are a few suggestions based on what we look for as editors.
Above all else, we are looking for stories that have compelling plots. Such stories grab a readerâ€™s attention and connect to the reader through the events of the plot. Character development through conflict, climax, and resolution is essential.
We also look for what we call the â€˜X-factorâ€™. What makes a story stand out above others? This trait is loosely defined and can come from any number of elements such as a unique and interesting central idea, a powerful theme, or a strong connection to the protagonist.
We look for a well-developed theme. In most cases, the theme should be expressed through the events of the story and not through direct indication by the author. (Show it, donâ€™t Tell it.) Keep in mind that a theme is not a moral. We are not looking for lectures in morality. A theme may be simple or complicated; but it should be powerful enough to cause the reader to reflect on the story after reading it.
Every writer has a unique voice, and we enjoy discovering the diversity of style among the submissions that we receive. However, there are a few choices in style to avoid.
Avoid language that is flowery and ornate. Using a lot of long, eloquent words to describe a simple idea is not appropriate. A seasoned writer will know when to use poetic prose, and when to simply tell it as it is. Avoid longwinded descriptions, unless they are necessary.
Please do not include explicit sexual descriptions or excessive violence. (You may include encounters of a violent or sexual nature, as long as they are not explicitly described and are relevant to the plot.)
We are very interested in stories that focus on the evolution of characters, questions of identity, and perception of self. A good story will involve some form of identity crisis. Circumstances such as a new encounter or a changing world will force a character to take on a modified sense of identity; either by adapting to change, or rejecting it. A characterâ€™s identity should be established through the events of the story. Try to focus on the existential context, including the following:
State of mind
We look for stories that build strong, dynamic characters that reflect the nature of the human experience.http://www.inthesnake.com/http://www.inthesnake.com/contest/
Click on the link above and go to the contest official site