Category Archives: Story Quest Short Story Contest
Some of you may have noticed a hiatus of activity over recent months – this is unfortunate but unavoidable. Between changed circumstances for the editor, growth that we are not wholly set up for, and distraction for IFWG Publishing Australia (SQ Mag’s parent publisher), the day-to-day management has languished.
We are regathering our resources and realised, during this process, that we need to make changes to ensure we can continue to provide quality fiction and related articles, and of a standard everyone is now expecting.
Consequently, the following changes will take place immediately:
- SQ Mag will now be published 3 times a year – February, June and October. For this year, we will publish one edition on 30 November.
- We have closed the pipeline to all submissions, but we will be reopening them soon, once we catch our breath with all the changes listed in this notice.
- We will continue to have a themed edition – the next themed edition will be announced soon.
- Each edition will consist of 8 or 9 short fiction pieces, representing each of the recognised ‘genres’ of speculative fiction: horror, fantasy and science fiction, and up to 4 pieces of non-fiction, often book reviews, but not limited to them. We will continue to pay US1c per word for unsolicited fiction with no ceiling (other than the word ceiling for submissions), until further notice. Our intention is to grow this some time in the future.
- We will no longer be seeking stories longer than 7,500 words (possibly with a small flexibility), and we will not be seeking stories intended for serialisation (although we may solicit longer pieces). Those currently under consideration will still be considered but will be the last unsolicited.
- We will no longer be running the Story Quest Short Story Contest.
- We will continue to solicit established authors for pieces to be published in the ezine, as part of our belief that this will help attract readers who can discover our less-known authors’ pieces.
- We will be restructuring our staffing arrangements, looking to fill associate editor positions and likely more first readers.
Again, more will be revealed at a later date.
We apologise for the inactivity and some of the changes that will disappoint some of you, but our intention is always focused on sustainability and applicability of our ezine.
Managing Director, IFWG Publishing Australia
Publisher, SQ Mag
It is with great pleasure that we can now announce the short listed stories from our 2016 Story Quest Short Story Contest, and the winners:
- First Prize (US$100): ‘Old Growth’ by J. Ashley Smith
- Second Prize (US$50): ‘Of Dreaming and Destiny’ by Jamie Lackey
- Third Prize (US$25): ‘Pevel Was Here’ by Michael Stroh
- Three other short listed stories which will also be published in SQ Mag:
- ‘Reef’ by Kat Clay
- ‘The Skull Collector’ by Jodi L. Milner
- ‘My Son, the Afterbirth’ by Tony Conaway
The field was particularly strong this year, with a very sizeable percentage of stories scoring above ‘good’ by the judges. Nevertheless, these six stories were clear standouts and well deserve their prizes and/or publication in SQ Mag.
This year’s contest had the theme of ‘Growth’: What is it that denotes life? What do we yearn for in our favourite narratives, when we see how our favourite character could achieve their dreams if only they might extended themselves, shift and change. We believe this intriguing theme helped draw out some fascinating and moving stories.
Special thanks to Lee Murray for being our guest judge, and apologies to contestants and other interested parties for such a late judging process. Also thanks to IFWG Publishing Australia for their ongoing support and sponsorship of the contest.
SQ Mag and IFWG Publishing Australia are pleased to announce the winners of the 7th Annual Story Quest Short Story Contest, with the theme, Unlikely Partnerships.
This year the number of entries fell compared to the last few, with perhaps the reason tied to a difficult theme topic (we didn’t think it was, though). Nevertheless, the winners and finalist provided quality stories and we very much look forward to publishing them in the new year.
The results are:
‘Papaya Leaf Falling to the Surface of a Puddle Reflecting Streetlights’ by Jamie Killen (winner)
‘Kai’ by Ellen Denton (2nd Place)
‘A Hero for His People’ by Jason Lairamore (3rd Place – tie)
‘Beaver Resplendent’ by Sally Basmajian (3rd Place – tie)
‘An Almost Tidy Case’ by Meghean Major (finalist)
Note that this is the very first time we accepted a tied result – we have two third place awards. It was simply too hard to split them.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Angela Slatter for accepting a late notice guest judge position – her assistance was invaluable.