From the publisher who brought you Seizure and Viva la Novella, comes a new competition focussed on finding fresh Australian speculative fiction.

What is ‘speculative fiction’? Well, that’s open to speculation: science fiction, dystopias, fantasy, horror, paranormal (yes, even the romantic type), post-apocalypse, superheroes – all fall within the realms of speculative fiction. For us, at least.

What are we looking for? Speculative fiction that is thought-provoking, intelligent, genre-busting and a cut above the rest. No clichés, no inappropriate gender stereotyping and preferably no vehicles that travel at light speed, unless you’ve worked out the math.

So who the frak are we? We are Fantastica, a group of like-minded individuals who have a love for all things science fiction, fantasy and everything in-between. Last year we published our first novel, Livid, an English-language translation of an award winning novel by Italian writer Francesco Verso. Now we’re looking for local talent who have ideas that challenge the tropes and bust genre expectations – and all in the space of a short novel!

Fantastica aims to be an imprint with a difference. We want submissions from all Australian and Kiwi writers who are as dedicated to boundary-pushing speculative fiction as we are. One writer par excellence will receive $500 and publication with Xoum’s Fantastica imprint. Runner-ups will be considered for publication.

Submissions are now closed. We’re busy reading through them all and will announce shortly.

Only submissions sent to submissions [at] considered.

Before emailing, please ensure that your manuscript is formatted as follows:

  • The manuscript must be a Microsoft Word document
  • Text must be double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point
  • Pages must be numbered consecutively from beginning to end
  • The manuscript must be saved as ‘Title_Entrant Name’

Because of the great volume of submissions we receive and the fact that judges are volunteers with full-time responsibilities elsewhere, it is important that you submit your manuscript as early as possible. Submissions will get a more careful reading if the judge does not have to contend with a flood of last-minute entries.

Terms and Conditions

  • Entries must be lodged by 11:59pm 1 October 2015.
  • Entrants must normally be residents of Australia or New Zealand.
  • All persons, other than immediate family members of Xou Pty Ltd or Seizure staff, may enter the competition.
  • The manuscript should be a work of fiction between 20,000 and 50,000 words in length.
  • The manuscript must be an original work, written entirely by the entrant and it must be written in English.
  • No more than 10 per cent of the manuscript can have been previously published in print form, or in electronic form, on a commercial basis.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The judges shall have the discretion to divide the prize equally between authors of entries they consider of equal merit. If, in their opinion, no entry is worthy of the prize, no winner shall be chosen. No entrant may win the prize in successive years.
  • Pending acceptance of the publishing contract and reaching publication, the winning entry will receive a cash prize of AUD$500 and publication through Xoum Publishing under the Fantastica imprint.
  • The winners will be notified in strict confidence November 2015, at which time the winner must agree to keep this news confidential until the simultaneous announcement and publication of the winning entry in March 2016.