Calls for Submission Competition Announcements Cons Contests Short Story Writing Competitions 

LexiCon Announces Short Story & Drabble Competitions

LexiCon, the 38th New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, are pleased to announce details of two competitions being run as part of the convention: the Short Story and Drabble contests. There will also be competitions for Art, filking, and costuming, with details to come.

SpecFicNZ are proud to support these competitions, and hope that many of you will enter.

Short Story Competition

In association with SpecFicNZ.


The winners will be selected from the shortlist by our Guest of Honour, Seanan McGuire. Pre-judging will be carried out by Andi Buchanan and Cassie Hart, the LexiCon co-chairs and editors of the Sir Julius Vogel Award winning anthology Tales for Canterbury. | Read More...

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Winners – Clawsome Dragon Limericks Contest

Clawsome Dragon Limericks Winners

Phantom Feather Press received a hoard of dragon limericks from all around the world. The verses made them roar and laugh, and on occasion, breathe fire. So many of the limericks were clawsome! Contestants made a fangtastic effort! Some of the finalists are SpecFicNZ authors.

The winners ( 1st, 2nd & 3rd places) will soon receive a voucher for the e-book Clawsome Dragon Limericks. All winners, honorable mentions and finalists have their limericks in the e-book and their names in the table of contents.Drgaon Limericks | Read More...

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Calls for Submission Competition Announcements Contests 

SpecFicNZ Flash Fiction / Poetry competition


Flash Fiction / Poetry competition

Closes midnight 24th October 2016

Entry is free to members of SpecFicNZ. A fee of NZ$15 per entry applies for non-members.

Conditions of Writing Competition:

  • Create an original flash fiction story or poem (not published anywhere else) with the theme:


  • Your piece of writing, including the title, must be no more than:
  • 1000 words for flash fiction
  • 300 words for poetry
  • Your piece may include elements of speculative fiction (this includes elements such as: supernatural, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and/or weird)
  • Entry is free for SpecFicNZ members and $15 for non-members
  • Maximum of one entry per person in each category (flash fiction and/or poetry)
  • All entries must be received by 12 am (midnight) NZST on Friday 24th October 2016


  • be typed using Times New Roman font, 12pt
  • be formatted with 1.5 line spacing
  • be paragraphed
  • be written in English as the main language
  • be accurate in spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • include: your full name, personal email address, word count and title at the top left hand corner of your first page (see template below)
  • Identifying information will not be seen by judging panel

SpecFicNZ Flash Fiction/Poetry submission template

Full name (to be used in publication):

Contact email:

Word Count:


Please confirm that:

  • you are the author of this work                             Yes / No
  • has not been published anywhere else                Yes / No

Entry Instructions:

  • Put your full name, Title of Text, and category (Flash or Poetry) in the subject line of your email
  • Attach as a .doc or .docx file
  • Email your entry to:


*           All judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into | Read More...

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Au Contraire III Short Story Award Results

Given the short submission window, Dan and I were delighted with the response to this speculative writing competition, receiving 37 entries of an extremely high quality. The stories were wide-ranging in theme and style, although there was a definite nod to science fiction, world-building, and stories with darker aspects. Exactly the kinds of stories we like! While it made for a weekend of excellent reading, it also made it especially hard for us to whittle the list down to just six finalists. Those shortlisted stories were forwarded to Arthur C. Clarke shortlisted writer, Phillip Mann, who had the difficult task of making the final decision. | Read More...

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2016 Au Contraire SFF Short Story Award

Short Fiction Contest 2016 Banner V3 copy

Au Contraire 3 in association with SpecFicNZ present:

The 2016 Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Award

as part New Zealand’s 37th National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention

Judge: Phillip Mann
Arthur C. Clarke-nominated author of the world-building classic The Disestablishment of Paradise.

Pre-judging by award-winning editing team, Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray.


  • First Prize: $250, and publication in the Au Contraire 3 Convention Programme
  • Second Prize: NZ$100, and a selection of print books to be awarded at Au Contraire 3
  • Third Prize: NZ$50, and a selection of print books to be awarded at Au Contraire 3

All cash prizes kindly donated by SpecFicNZ, New Zealand’s national organisation for writers of speculative fiction


  1. Entry is free, but entrants should be current members of SFFANZ, or registered to attend the 2016 national conference Au Contraire 3. A link to SFFANZ can be found here. A link to the Au Contraire 3 membership page can be found here. Entrants need not be members of SpecFicNZ. A link to SpecFicNZ’s homepage can be found here.
  2. Submitted stories can address any theme providing it is speculative (science fiction, fantasy, horror or any sub-genre is acceptable), and should have a word count of 3000 words or less.
  3. Original stories only, no reprints or simultaneous submissions, please.
  4. Writers are welcome to submit more than one story.
  5. Standard formatting:  Arial or Times New Roman, 12pt, 1.5 spaced, indenting for paragraphs, with the story title and numbering included as page header. Submissions are blind, so your name should only appear in your cover email and NOT on the manuscript.
  6. Stories for an adult audience are fine, but those with gratuitous sex, gore and violence are unlikely to be shortlisted.
  7. Please send your stories as a .doc or .rtf attachment to: with Submission: Your Story Title in the subject line. (Remember to ensure that your name or email address DO NOT appear on the manuscript).
  8. Competition closes at midnight 31 March 2016. Entries received after this date will not be read. All participants will be notified of the results by late April, 2016.

**Please note that entry to the award automatically assumes that the winning entrant will allow first print publication of their story by Au Contraire 3 in its Convention Programme to be distributed to convention members (all other rights to be retained by the author). | Read More...

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2016 Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Award: Call for Submission

From Au Contraire 3, this year’s National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention:

Short Fiction Contest 2016 Banner 3 (1)

2016 Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Award, in association with Au Contraire 3, New Zealand’s 37th National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention

Judge: Phillip Mann, Arthur C. Clarke-nominated author of the world-building classic The Disestablishment of Paradise.

Pre-judging by award-winning editing team, Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray.

Prize: NZ$100, story publication, and a selection of print books to be awarded at Au Contraire 3 | Read More...

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Anthologies Competition Announcements E-books SpecFicNZ Writing Competitions 

Three spooky SpecFicNZ stories for NZ Bookshop Day

Winners of Spooky Bookshops Challenge Announced!


We are thrilled to announce the winners SpecFicNZ’s Spooky Bookshops Challenge:

First Place “The Shelver” by Piper Mejia
Second Place “The Bookshop” by Jane Percival
Third Place “The Box” by I.K. Paterson-Harkness

A huge congratulations to Piper, Jane, and I.K. for three gripping page-turners!

specficnz shorts cover2

SpecFicNZ has published the three winning stories in an ebook as SpecFicNZ Shorts to coincide with NZ Bookshop Day, which falls on Halloween this year. | Read More...

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Competition Announcements Writing Competitions 

SpecFicNZ’s Spooky Bookshops Challenge


This year, Halloween falls on NZ Bookshop Day. To celebrate this fortuitous collision, we’re challenging our members to write short stories that combine the two. Send us your stories of spooky bookshops, booky spooks, or spooked books* and be in to win $100!

*Yeah, you know what, we’re going to leave it to you writers to come up with plots.


Length: 1000–2000 words
Deadline: 30 September
Theme/genre: Stories should feature both bookshops and Halloween/general spookiness. All genres fine—scare us, or make us laugh! | Read More...

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Ebook Cover Competition

cover comp

We’re back with another competition, and this time we’re thrilled to once again be working with Dunedin-based cover designer Kura Carpenter to give you an opportunity to win a beautiful (or scary, or exciting, depending on your preferences) new cover for your work. As her testimonials from clients around the world show, Kura has a keen sense for attracting readers with her design.

So if you have published, or will be publishing, a longer work (novelette, novella or novel) this competition is for you! | Read More...

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Summer Review Competition: Congratulations to our winner!

Congratulations to Mike Reeves-McMillan, who has been judged the winner of our Summer Review Competition. Mike reviewed Sir Julius Vogel’s Anno Domini 2000, widely considered New Zealand’s first science fiction novel.

David Larsen, judging the competition, described the winning review as follows:

“Entertainingly written, with the reviewer’s taste and preferences nicely foregrounded so readers can judge their likely level of agreement, and with a lot of interesting discussion of the book’s ideas. I would have liked slightly more on the actual story than “utopian; awful”, but the deep engagement with Vogel’s ideas makes it easy to accept that this is someone who’s given the book a decent chance, and concluded that the story really isn’t where the action is.” | Read More...

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Summer Review Competition

Our next competition is all about crafting a review. Choose a work of speculative fiction – preferably with a New Zealand connection – that you enjoyed, and write a review of 500-1000 words. Entries will be judged by David Larsen, freelance journalist and regular contributor to the New Zealand Listener and Metro.

A successful review:

  • Is clear and follows a well structured argument
  • Gives the reader a sense of what the book set out to do and how successful it was
  • Backs up claims made by the reviewer with evidence from the text
  • Gives a sense of the plot without spoilers
  • Is interesting to read
  • Demonstrates the relevant degree of familiarity with the genre
  • Comes to a clear conclusion, enabling the reader to decide whether they might like to also read the book.


This competition is open to SpecFicNZ members only – new members are always welcome. Email your review to specficnz.fiction(at)gmail(dot)com as a .doc .docx or .rtf file, no later than midnight on 14 February 2015. Include your name in the email but not in the attached document. Multiple submissions are permitted to a maximum of 3 – please send a separate email for each review. | Read More...

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Congratulations to our Spooky Stories winners!

Halloween adaptation of SpecFicNZ logo with text "Spooky Stories Competition"This Halloween, we asked for your spookiest stories, and you delivered. Judged by author Alan Baxter, the calibre of entries was high enough that we awarded two first places, to ‘The One’ by Jo Tomlinson and ‘Bridge’ by Dan Rabarts. Third place was won by I. K. Paterson-Harkness with ‘Bad House’. Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered.

Read on for the winning stories, and for Alan’s comments.

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Announcing the SHORTCUTS Novella Competition Winners

By Marie Hodgkinson, Paper Road Press

First things first: huge thanks to SpecFicNZ for hosting this competition, and to everyone who sent in a story. It is fantastic to see such a high level of support for a new publishing venture such as SHORTCUTS.

The first series of SHORTCUTS launches early next year and I am pleased to announce that the three stories below, the winners of the SpecFicNZ SHORTCUTS novella competition, will feature in the inaugural line-up:

In 1st place …


Lee Murray and Piper Mejia – Mika

Mika Tāura arrives in New York in the middle of a storm, accidentally kills a motorist, and lands herself with an injured child. What’s more, she’s missed her rendezvous, forcing her to go to Las Vegas in search of a man who claims to have the information she needs to save her sister’s life. | Read More...

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Spooky Stories Competition

Halloween adaptation of SpecFicNZ logo with text "Spooky Stories Competition"This Halloween, send us your spookiest specfic flash fiction of 300-500 words and be in to win. It’s the month for dark and scary stories, for writing about poltergeists and ghouls, ancient curses and some things which you just can’t explain…

Your work will be judged by Alan Baxter, author of the dark urban fantasy trilogy, Bound, Obsidian and Abduction (The Alex Caine Series) and the dark urban fantasy duology, RealmShift and MageSign (The Balance 1 and 2).

Winners will receive cash prizes of $30 (1st place), $20 (2nd) and $10 (3rd), and winning entries will be posted to this site. | Read More...

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