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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Steam Press Writing Contest

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Steam Press Short SF Story Competition

Steam Press, renowned for titles such as Mansfield with Monsters, The Prince of Soul and the LighthouseWind City, The Factory World,  DownMind and others, has been acquired by Eunoia Publishing.

Steam Press will continue to publish speculative fiction.

To celebrate Eunoia acquiring the company, Steam Press is running an international science fiction short story writing competition, with a prize of $USD500.00.

Entries must be 1000–1500 words, and should be science fiction, not fantasy. For more details and to submit your short stories go to: | Read More...

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SpecFicNZ Writers Well-Represented at Recent Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Sir Julius Vogel Awards


At the recent National Science Fiction Convention (Au Contraire 3) held in Wellington over Queen’s Birthday Weekend, the winners of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards were announced. The Sir Julius Vogel Awards recognise achievements by New Zealanders, both amateur and professional, in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres.

SFFANZ (Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand) President, Norman Cates, prior to announcing the awards, commented that SFFANZ was “delighted with the level of participation and interest in the awards from an impressively wide variety of people.” | 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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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!

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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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NZ Book Week and NZ Bookshop Day coming up!

The first New Zealand Book Week (26 October-1 November) and New Zealand Bookshop Day (31 October) are coming up!

There are heaps of (mostly free!) events planned all around the country (see links above) by Kiwi authors and indie bookshops. It’s a great time to pop into your local bookshop, post pics of your favourite NZ books, tell everyone about your favourite Kiwi authors, and generally celebrate the vibrant culture of books and reading we have here in Aotearoa. You can even create an event of your own! | 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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Interstellar Award for Speculative Flash Fiction

The international Interstellar Award for Speculative Flash Fiction will open for entries on 1 July 2015, of stories up to 1200 words. Please note this is a pay-to-play contest; the entry fee is AUD $9. First prize is $500; second prize $150; third prize $50.

‘Speculative’ is here defined as science fiction and fantasy, all sub-genres such as space opera, hard SF, soft SF, paranormal, steampunk, new gothic, supernatural, metaphysical fantasy, magical realism, and all hybrid genres, including new ones of your own making. The only proviso is that entries contain at least an element of the speculative. So whether you’re opening stargates, riding dragons, consorting with elves, or documenting a subtle anomaly in an otherwise mundane scenario, your story will be admissible. | Read More...

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Congratulations to our SJV winners!

Huge congratulations to our SpecFicNZ members whose works were winners of this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards! The SJVs recognise excellence in speculative fiction in Aotearoa and are named after the author of NZ’s first spec fic novel, Anno Domini 2000: A Woman’s Destiny (reviewed here).

Paul Mannering‘s book Engines of Empathy won Best Novel.

Juliet Marillier‘s book The Caller: Shadowfell won Best Youth Novel.

Lee Murray‘s story “Inside Fernade” won Best Short Story. | Read More...

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Announcing the National Poetry Day Competition 2014 Winners!

SpecFicNZ is thrilled to announce the  winners of the National Poetry Day Competition. Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to:

First place: The Sounds of Evolution by Piper Mejia

Second Place: Encore by Tim Jones

Third Place: A Toast to the Kreigles by Deryn Pittar

Thank you also to our wonderful judges, Lee Murray and Elizabeth Heritage, without whom we may not have been able to pick the best. Here is what they have to say about the competition entries:

Thank you to our poets who contributed their work to our poetry competition in honour of National Poetry Day. The judges had a wonderful session reading and discussing your poems, which ranged from a four line ditty to an ambitious thirty line world-building saga in the manner of Lewis Carroll’s The Jaberwocky. Given the speculative theme, poets tended to address ‘big picture’ concepts such as evolution, time and eternity over smaller ‘slice of life’ observations, yet all the entries received were evocative, thought-provoking and a pleasure to read. Of the winning three poems, we loved the simplicity of the onomatopoeic history of the world in The Sounds of Evolution, from its uncertain beginning with an ellipsis, to the ambiguous twist at the end of the poem. A fun read aloud poem, which we have awarded first place. In Encore, our second place winner, the tale of a rock band’s demise, the economy of words, simple verse, and clever interweaving of musical references hooked us in, and we liked way the reader was left with the idea that music transcends the life of the players. The third place winner, A Toast to the Kreigles, impressed us with its speculative content and especially with its wonderful neologisms, which had both of us longing for a swig of galleymop. Thank you to everyone who submitted, and congratulations to our three winners. | Read More...

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Celebrating NZ Poetry Day with a Competition


Send us your sci-fi sonnets, your fantasy free verse, your horror heptameters – it’s time for a poetry competition!

NZ Poetry Day is coming up on 22 August, so get writing – you have until 15 August to send us a poem. The rules are simple: your poem must have a spec fic theme; it must be under 30 lines long; and you have to send it to with ‘Poetry Competition’ in the email header.

First prize $30, second and third prizes $10 each. All three placed poems will be published on the SpecFicNZ blog on 22 August to celebrate NZ Poetry Day. | Read More...

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SHORTCUTS competition open for submissions


The SpecFicNZ SHORTCUTS competition in partnership with Paper Road Press opens today.

See the SHORTCUTS competition page for more information on what, and how, to submit. Entries accepted until midnight on 31 July.

Keep an eye on the Paper Road Press Facebook and Twitter feeds for idea prompts over the next week; and remember, if you miss this competition deadline, the open submissions period for this SHORTCUTS series closes on 1 October.

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