Merry Magic

$20,000 Grand Prize

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
Submissions Closed

About the Contest

Write a story involving magic, merriment, and the color red.
$20,000 grand prize.

Is magic real? Perhaps, if you know where to look. You can find it in the twinkling eyes of a smiling stranger, in the gleeful laugh of playful children, and in any dish cooked with love. When families and communities get together and celebrate the holidays, well, you can taste the magic in the air.

Ah, but you may be interested in more… practical applications. How does Santa make it to each house in a single night? How do elves penetrate locked doors to leave presents in shoes? Which wards do you draw on the mantle, and what is the proper wording to summon Krampus? Blizzards have awesome power. Glades of silent, snow-covered pines hold many secrets. Enchantments lay on warm-glowing villages in the night. Magic is everywhere. You just have to look.

This contest invites you to explore the wonder of magic with an eye to the festive, whatever that means to you. Mystery, fantasy, romance, crime. All genres are welcome.

Submissions close December 31st at 11:59 pm EST. More details below.

Share this contest with friends.

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Meet the Head Judge

Max Gladstone

Hugo-, Nebula-, and Locus Award winning author Max Gladstone’s works include Empress of Forever, the Craft Sequence of fantasy novels and games, and, with Amal El-Mohtar, the internationally bestselling This is How You Lose the Time War. His interactive projects include the XYZZY-nominated Choice of the Deathless and Deathless: The City’s Thirst, which take place in the world of the Craft Sequence. Gladstone created the Serial Box series Bookburners, and the interactive television series Wizard School Dropout.

Contest Short Rules


Who can enter?
New or unpublished authors, from anywhere in the world (excluding Quebec, Canada). Full details here.

Prize: $20,000 USD. The winner and other selected stories will also be purchased at 10 cents ($0.10) per word and published in the magazine.

How to enter: Sign up for an Elegant+ Membership and visit the Members Area, or click “Submit Story” in the navigation bar. Fill out the form and copy/paste (preferred method) or upload a file containing your work.

Important Dates: 
The contest opens at 12:01 am EST on December 1st.
The contest closes at 11:59 pm EST on December 31st.
Winners will be announced on February 1st.

Entries: 
Unlimited. English language only. Must follow the contest theme/prompt and include the word “red”.

Length:
Minimum 500 words. Maximum 2000. Word count does not include title of work.

Head Judge:
TBA

Selection Criteria:
The Judge will choose the winner based on:

Creativity
Character
Structure & Flow
Quality of Writing

For more information, please see the full Contest Rules.

For answers to common questions, please see the FAQ.

We have a uniquely streamlined Publication Process. Read about it here.

See our Submission Guidelines for information on how to increase your chance of selection.

Merry Magic

$20,000 Grand Prize

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
Submissions Closed

About the Contest

Write a story involving magic, merriment, and the color red.
$20,000 grand prize.

Is magic real? Perhaps, if you know where to look. You can find it in the twinkling eyes of a smiling stranger, in the gleeful laugh of playful children, and in any dish cooked with love. When families and communities get together and celebrate the holidays, well, you can taste the magic in the air.

Ah, but you may be interested in more… practical applications. How does Santa make it to each house in a single night? How do elves penetrate locked doors to leave presents in shoes? Which wards do you draw on the mantle, and what is the proper wording to summon Krampus? Blizzards have awesome power. Glades of silent, snow-covered pines hold many secrets. Enchantments lay on warm-glowing villages in the night. Magic is everywhere. You just have to look.

This contest invites you to explore the wonder of magic with an eye to the festive, whatever that means to you. Mystery, fantasy, romance, crime. All genres are welcome.

Submissions close December 31st at 11:59 pm EST. More details below.

Days
Hours
Minutes

Share this contest with friends.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Meet the Head Judge

Max Gladstone

Hugo-, Nebula-, and Locus Award winning author Max Gladstone’s works include Empress of Forever, the Craft Sequence of fantasy novels and games, and, with Amal El-Mohtar, the internationally bestselling This is How You Lose the Time War. His interactive projects include the XYZZY-nominated Choice of the Deathless and Deathless: The City’s Thirst, which take place in the world of the Craft Sequence. Gladstone created the Serial Box series Bookburners, and the interactive television series Wizard School Dropout.

Contest Short Rules


Who can enter?
New or unpublished authors, from anywhere in the world (excluding Quebec, Canada). Full details here.

Prize: $20,000 USD. The winner and other selected stories will also be purchased at 10 cents ($0.10) per word and published in the magazine.

How to enter: Sign up for an Elegant+ Membership and visit the Members Area, or click “Submit Story” in the navigation bar. Fill out the form and copy/paste (preferred method) or upload a file containing your work.

Important Dates: 
The contest opens at 12:01 am EST on December 1st.
The contest closes at 11:59 pm EST on December 31st.
Winners will be announced on February 1st.

Entries: 
Unlimited. English language only. Must follow the contest theme/prompt and include the word “red”.

Length:
Minimum 500 words. Maximum 2000. Word count does not include title of work.

Head Judge:
TBA

Selection Criteria:
The Judge will choose the winner based on:

Creativity
Character
Structure & Flow
Quality of Writing

For more information, please see the full Contest Rules.

For answers to common questions, please see the FAQ.

We have a uniquely streamlined Publication Process. Read about it here.

See our Submission Guidelines for information on how to increase your chance of selection.