Friday 16 September 2016

Birdcatcher Books 2016 Short Story Award

Birdcatcher Books 2016 Short Story Award

The 2016 Award is open for entries from 1st July.

Please click the button below to subscribe to our competitions newsletter. That way you will be the first to receive all the information about this year’s competition.

(NOTE: This is NOT the same as our general newsletter, the sign-up button for which is in the right side bar.)

Meanwhile, to get you thinking, here are some of the Terms and Conditions (to get the full T&C and entry form, you will need to sign up for the newsletter, above.)

By submitting an entry to the Birdcatcher Books Short Story Award 2016, you are agreeing to be bound by the following Terms and Conditions.

Entrants must sign up for Birdcatcher Books competition newsletter, and upon confirming their subscription will receive detailed instructions on how to submit their entries. Newsletter subscribers are free to unsubscribe at any time, but by remaining subscribed they will be able to receive the announcement of winners and also details of future competitions. Entrants are responsible for ensuring that they whitelist so that they receive our email.

The competition is open to Australian residents aged 18 or over on 1st July 2016, except direct relatives of the management of Birdcatcher Books or the judges. Winners of the 2015 Award are not eligible to enter in 2016, but will be eligible again in 2017.

The competition will commence on 1st July 2016 and close at 5pm Melbourne time on 30th September 2016. Any entries received outside of this time frame will be disqualified. Shortlisted entries will be announced via the Birdcatcher Books competition newsletter on 25th November 2016, and winners will be announced in the newsletter and on the Birdcatcher Books web site on 20th December 2016.

First Prize is $250, Second Prize is $100, Third Prize is $50. Short listed entries will be published in an anthology to be released mid-2016 in both print and digital formats (conditional upon there being sufficient entries of a suitable quality.) Authors whose entry is published in the anthology will be able to include a brief biography and a photo and, in the digital format, a live link to their websites.

Please create an 8-digit number as your Entry ID. This is used to link your payment, entry form and entry together so that we don’t credit the wrong person. If you are submitting 3 stories at the same time (see FREE ENTRIES) use the same Entry ID for all 3. Otherwise, create a separate Entry ID for each story.
If you are claiming a free entry by referring 2 other contestants, you will still need to create an Entry ID. You will need to give this Entry ID to your referrals to include on their entry forms.

Entry is $8 per story.
Should some unforeseen circumstance prevent the competition from going ahead, entry fees will be refunded.
In all other circumstances, entry fees are non-refundable.

Entrants may receive a free entry in either of 2 ways:
1. If you enter 3 stories AT THE SAME TIME using the same Entry ID, your third entry will be free (i.e., you only pay for 2.) To do this, you must use Entry Form 2.
NOTE: To receive a free entry, your 3 stories must all be entered at the same time, on the same entry form. If you send them separately you will not receive a free entry.
OR 2. If you refer 2 other people who enter a story each (single paid entry) you will receive a free entry. The contestants you refer must quote your ENTRY ID on their Entry Forms before you can receive your free entry, and you must quote their ENTRY IDs on your form. If you send your entry before they send theirs, yours will be held till theirs are received. If theirs are not received by the end of the competition, your entry will be disqualified. To receive a free entry this way, you must use Entry Form 3.
NOTE: A contestant who is referred by another contestant may not use the referred entry as part of a triple entry to claim a free entry him/herself.
NOTE 2: Contestants may not cross-refer each other, each claiming a free entry.

Stories: Entries should be stories – i.e., they should include the 3 essential elements of characters, setting and plot – not simply memoirs or descriptive pieces.
Length: Entries must be between 1000 and 3000 words, not including the title. Entries that fall outside of this range will be disqualified.
Topic: Stories should be built around the topic “Crossroads.” This may refer to a literal crossroads, or to a metaphorical crossroads or a change of direction for the protagonist.
Title: Please DO NOT include the word Crossroads in your title. Imagine how confusing it would be if we received a hundred stories all titled Crossroads.
Original and unpublished: Entries must be the original work of the entrant, and must not have been previously published in any format, either print or digital, nor have won a prize in any other writing competition, even if not published. Entrants undertake not to submit their entries for publication anywhere else, nor to enter them in any other competitions, until after the close of this competition.
Fiction: Entries must be fiction, and not based on any real person living or dead. They must also not use the names of real public figures, other than historical characters (e.g. kings or queens.)
Copyright: Copyright remains with the author, but the author grants Birdcatcher Books the right to publish the story, if chosen, as part of an anthology in both print and digital formats, and on the Birdcatcher Books website, with no further payment being made to the author. If chosen for publication in the anthology, the entrant undertakes not to offer the entry for publication elsewhere until at least 12 months after the release of the anthology.

9. NO-NOs (these things will get you disqualified, with no refund of your fees.)
Identification. DO NOT include your name as a by-line or copyright notice, or in any other form, anywhere on your story.
Suitability: Stories should be suitable for a general-market adult readership – i.e., no children’s stories, no stories aimed specifically at a particular sub-culture. A note to Christians: even though Birdcatcher Books publishes Christian books, this competition and the anthology that (hopefully) will come from it are for the general market, so please write to general rather than Christian themes.
We are looking for WHOLESOME stories suitable for a general market. Please make sure your entry does not contain any of the following, or it will be disqualified:
Foul language – I am prepared to let “bloody” and “bugger” slip in, as they are part of the Australian culture and unlikely to offend anyone. However, overuse of even these words will bring disqualification, and F***, C*** and their derivatives or other similar language will definitely earn you a big D. So will inappropriate use of the words God, Jesus or Christ.
Blatant sex. A hint at sex is o.k. Graphic, blow by blow commentaries or florid descriptions of private body parts are most definitely not.
Graphic violence.
Occult/supernatural themes.
Agenda/Controversial topics. If the aim of your story is to promote a particular agenda or cause rather than entertain readers, then it is not what we are looking for.

Winners of the 2015 Birdcatcher Books Short Fiction Award

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