Fast Fiction Contests

WAS IT WORTH IT?

January 2022 Fast Fiction Contest

We took it too far. Was it worth it?

The goal has been achieved. The desire has been fulfilled. Now what?

Whether it is through a quest for power, a lie to protect a loved one, or a devil’s bargain to save one’s species, we must consider the serious moral questions and consequences of our actions. When the objective has been achieved, we are left wondering two questions: what happens next and was it worth it?

Was It Worth It? encourages writers to unpack the themes of morality, sacrifice, and the unhappily ever after of Warhammer 40,000. Explore what sins have been committed (or are actively being committed) and discover the personal aftermath of them.  

Will your character be trapped in the past, or will they act to make amends? Do they feel remorseful, or do they delude themselves?

Submission deadline is January 28, 2022 @ 11:59pm PT

Warhammer Fast Fiction

What are we looking for?

The Setting

Dive into the universe of Warhammer 40,000 and tell your story within its vast, grimdark worlds.

Theme-based

Weave your story according to the theme - as told through the subtext, environment, characters, or conflict.

1000 Word limit

This isn't world-building - stories must have a beginning, middle, and end, and come in at under 1,000 words.

Proof Your Work

Review your submission for grammar and spelling. Formatting details can be found below.

New Characters

Create someone new! We prefer original, distinct characters that grow and change through the story.

One Chance

Participants in the contest are limited to one submission each.

Ready to submit your story?

STEP 1

Format your entry submission according to the Standard Manuscript Format, and follow British English spelling conventions. The University of Oxford Style Guide is a great reference for this.

STEP 2

Save your entry submission as a .docx or .doc and attach it to an email.

STEP 3

In the body of the email, provide a brief paragraph that includes your name, the title of the short story, word count, your social media (or website if you have one) and a maximum 100-word short bio about yourself.

STEP 4

Edit the email’s subject line so it reads: FAST FICTION WAS IT WORTH IT 2022 SUBMISSION followed by Title of Your Story

STEP 5

Email your formatted email and entry submission to coldopenstories.editors@gmail.com 

CONTEST DETAILS

In Fast Fiction stories are submitted according to a judge-selected theme. Stories must capture the reader’s attention quickly while fulfilling the promise of the theme, setting, and character development.

Winning entries are separated into 3 categories:

Featured stories are the singular grand winner of that theme’s contest.

Official Selection are the judging panel’s finalists and runners-up.

Editors’ Choice are picks from the Cold Open Stories editorial team.

MEET THE JUDGES

Colyn from Cold Open Stories

Colyn De Graaff is a communications director, intercultural advisor, and designer living in Canada. He launched Cold Open Stories with the goal of merging Warhammer’s setting with the presentation of old time radio, and to tackle the stigma behind fan fiction and give amateur authors a place to explore non-canon stories.

Matt – The Miniatures Apothecary

Matt is a long time miniature wargaming, painter and enthusiast of all things grim dark from Warhammer 40k to the Horus Heresy. When he’s not painting, streaming or creating content, he’s reading or listening to the stories of the 40k universe.

Andrew – 40 Hours of 40k

Andrew runs 40 Hours of 40k, an event run in support of CALM, The Campaign Against Living Miserably. Their aim is to help break the stigma around mental health, taking a united stand against suicide, and being there for each other. 

Submissions (the fine print)

COLD OPEN STORIES is a place for authors to share their talents, get seen, and celebrate fandom. We are committed to helping new and emerging voices get recognized, and no money exchanges hands through our site. We believe that diversity in fiction in an excellent way to find new voices and stories. We want this to be reflected in our content and welcome submissions from every race, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation.

Want to learn more about how your Short Fiction submission will be presented, promoted, and potentially adapted into an audio drama? Expand one of the categories below for more details.

Reply Process

1. Upon submission, writers will receive an email confirming that their entry has been received. 

2. If the piece does not meet submission criteria, the writer will receive an email explaining why the piece has been rejected. If the writer does not receive a letter of rejection at this point, then the piece has met all submission criteria and will be passed on to the editing team for review. (This review process may take some time, potentially several weeks depending on the size of the amount of submissions received during any given period.)

3. Once the piece has been reviewed, the writer will either receive a letter of rejection if the piece needs more work, or an offer to continue with the revision process in preparation for publication.

4. Upon acceptance, the writer will work closely with the editing team in order to further revise the piece and come up with an end product that all parties are satisfied with.

5. Once the piece is ready, both parties will sign a contract allowing Cold Open Stories permission to publish the piece. More about this process can be found below.

Our average initial response time is one to three days, however the tides of the Warp are ever-changing and some astropathic emails may be missed! If you haven’t heard back from us after a week, feel free to contact us as coldopenstories.editors@gmail.com.

Publishing
1. The Author grants Cold Open Stories permission to reproduce and publicly distribute the short story in digital form on the Cold Open Stories website (http://www.coldopenstories.com).
2. Authors maintain the ability to publish their work with other partners or websites, blogs, subreddits, but a “First published on
www.coldopenstories.com" is greatly appreciated.
3. The Author agrees that the short story was written by them as an unofficial fan work and was made for non-commercial entertainment.
4. The Author agrees that any edits to the short story’s content will be offered for review and consideration, and that creative control over these edits remain with the Author. Control over these edits are waived for formatting requirements necessary for posting on the Cold Open Stories website (font size, colour, page breaks).
5. The Author will maintain ownership of the short story. Publishing, submission, and selling rights remain with the Author if the story goes to print or it is shown there is a demand for it.
6. The Author will receive written credit on the Cold Open Stories website with a “Written By” acknowledgement preceding the short story. The Author will receive links to their social(s) and website (if available) and will provide Cold Open Stories with a brief biography to include on the site.

Promotion
1. The Author assigns to Cold Open Stories the permission to promote the short story across social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for the purposes of directing traffic, generating readership, and reader entertainment.
2. The Author grants Cold Open Stories the permission to include extracts or passages of the short story in promotional materials.

Adaptation
1. The Author gives Cold Open Stories the option to adapt the story into an audio drama or dramatized narration (digital format) which would include dialogue by actors, composition of original music, and sound design. Creative control to make edits or changes to the short story to fit this adaptation is understood. Authors have the option to opt-out if they are not comfortable with this. 
2. The Author grant Cold Open Stories permission to publish, reproduce, and publicly distribute the produced audio drama or dramatized narration across streaming services (Apple Podcast, Soundcloud, Podbean, Spotify, YouTube) in serialized and completed formats.
3. The Author will receive verbal and written credit in the Cold Open Stories adaptation with a “Story By” acknowledgement.
4. The Author agrees that Cold Open Stories receives an exclusive first right of refusal for other proposed fan audio adaptations.

Financial
1. The Author agrees that the work performed in writing the short story was done on a volunteer, non-commercial basis and acknowledges that there is no employment relationship, remuneration, or salary offered by Cold Open Stories for the actions of publishing, promoting, or adapting the short story online.
2. Individuals or organizations who are interested in financially supporting Cold Open Stories or the Author will be directed to support the Author directly on their website or social accounts, or to donate to a charitable organization, identified by Cold Open Stories, which is committed to improving accessibility for multi-barriered populations.