Get Set for THE Adventure Writing Contest

Hey, hey, hey!!!

It’s time to prepare for the Adventure Scifi and Fantasy Contest coming at the end of February!

I’ve got all the official rules and stuff for you here today, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Entries for this Short Story Contest don’t actually open until February 26th, 2018, so you’ve got time to prepare…or procrastinate. Whichever style you prefer.

If you missed my query back in November, I put out feelers to see who’d be interested in joining a writing contest using a book cover design I made as inspiration.

My simple dream for this contest goes something like this:

A bunch of talented, inspired writers take a stab at this FREE contest to win some prizes and have their short stories included in an anthology where the proceeds from sales will be donated to a charity. In this case, I’ve chosen Compassion International.

The Basics

Write a short story (1,000 – 5,000 words) using this photo as initial inspiration

039story contest.jpg

Things to keep in mind: 

  • This will basically be the book cover for the anthology.
  • It is ONLY a jumping point for tone/theme inspiration and doesn’t have to represent your characters or specific setting (although using this setting appropriately somewhere in the story would be a good idea if you can shake it).
  • Genres for the contest are Contemporary or Future: Adventure, Scifi, and/or Fantasy
  • Stories should contain no sex, gratuitous violence, or excessive swearing (If I can’t feel comfortable posting it to my blog, it probably won’t pass the judging, so keep this in mind and use your awesome writer skills!)
This cover makes me feel all Indiana Jonesy, ya know?


Official Rules and Information

    1. Opens Monday, February 26th, 2018 at 12:01 AM PST (PDT)
    2. Ends Friday, March 16th, 2018 at 9:00 PM PST (PDT)
    1. Action/Adventure and/or Scifi/Fantasy, inspired (at least in part) by the contest’s theme picture/book cover.
    2. No sex, gratuitous violence, or excessive swearing
      1. Think PG (or PG-13 at most) movie
      2. When it comes to swearing, a bare minimum is acceptable, but I’m partial to more creative ways to express a character’s emotional outbursts wherever possible.
    1. Top 15 Stories (Finalists) will be included in an anthology book. All proceeds from the anthology book sales will be donated to Compassion International.
    2. 1st place receives
      1. One custom book cover designed by Rachael for both print and ebook
      2. Winning story on Rachael’s website
      3. An interview or author profile on Rachael’s website w/social media shares on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram 2 times a week for 2 months
      4. Winning story included first in the book w/special recognition
      5. 2 print copies of the Anthology (or ebook if outside the US)
        1. (1st place prize valued at approximately $100 USD)
    3. 2nd place receives
      1. One custom ebook cover designed by Rachael
      2. An interview or author profile on Rachael’s website w/social media shares on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram twice a week for a month
      3. 2nd place story included in the anthology w/special recognition
      4. A Print Copy of the Anthology (or ebook if outside the US)
        1. (2nd place prize valued at approximately $60 USD)
    4. 3rd place receives
      1. An interview or author profile on Rachael’s website w/social media shares on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram once a week for a month
      2. 3rd place story included in anthology w/special recognition
      3. A Print copy of the Anthology (or ebook if outside the US)
        1. (3rd place prize valued at approximately $20 USD)
    1. Must be 18 years of age or older if you are from a country outside USA
    2. In United States, must be at least 14 years of age as of start date of the Contest (Feb 26th, 2018) to participate
      1. If under 18 years of age and your story qualifies for the anthology, you will need parental consent to have your story included within the book.
    3. I hate to restrict the contest too much, but only residents from USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada (excluding Quebec), Chile, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden,  and Thailand can enter
      1. (if you live outside these countries and are able to provide me with information that shows you are legally allowed to participate in this contest, please contact me!)
    4. Family Members of the contest holder and other judges are excluded from participation
    5. Void where Prohibited by Law
    1. Use the CONTACT form on this website
      1. Type “Anthology Contest” first
      2. Include Name and Email Address
      3. If US Resident under 18, please specify.
    2. Rachael will reply
      1. She will then require you respond with an attached Word .doc/.docx of the story entry
        1. If you don’t have Word, some other programs such as Scrivener let you save in Word .doc/.docx file format.
        2. If you use Google Docs, that would work in place of a Word .doc, or
        3. There is also Open Office, which would be an acceptable form of file entry
        4. If you don’t receive a response within 24 hours of contacting her, please leave a comment on her website to let her know! Hopefully nobody’s messages go to spam.
    1. The contest holder will judge the first round, narrowing entries to the ranked top 20 based on the following criteria
      1. Fits the genre(s)
      2. Meets length criteria (1,000 – 5,000 words)
      3. Premise/Concept (hook), Presentation, Structure/Plot & Pacing, Characters & Dialogue, Conflict & Resolution, Reader Engagement
      4. In the possible case of a tie, the overall accuracy of grammar, spelling, and punctuation will be used as the determining factors
    2. In the 2nd round, an impartial qualified author judge (or two) will read and rate the top TEN stories based on the same criteria.
    3. 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place entries will be chosen from the top ten based on the combined score of the second and first round scores.
    1. Top Ten Finalists Announced
      1. Monday, April 9th, 2018
        1. Subject to change depending on amount of entries (notification will be made in a post at if this is the case)
        2. Announced in a post at and each entrant placing in the top 20 will receive an email notification of their position
    2. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Winners Announced
      1. Monday, May 7th, 2018
        1. Subject to change depending on amount of entries (notification will be made in a post at if this is the case)
        2. Announced in a post at and each entrant placing 1, 2, or 3 will receive an email notification of their position
    3. Winners have one year from the public announcement to claim their prizes. If a winner resides within the United States, they must agree to share their address with the contest holder to receive a print copy of the anthology book. The anthology book will be shipped to the winner once it has been published. An ebook will be provided in place of a print version if living outside the US or if requested.
  10. All stories remain the intellectual property of their respective authors.
  11. ONLY submit your own work.
  12. Do not submit material that has already been published. Only submit previously unpublished work to this contest.
  13. If chosen as up to the Top 20 Overall Finalist and your story is included in the anthology book, you will retain copyright to your story, but by entering this contest you give the contest holder permission and license to include your submitted entry story in the anthology. You will be given full credit for your work within.
  14. If chosen as a Top 20 Finalist, if requested, you agree to make minor changes and corrections—including but not limited to spelling or grammar—to your work as prescribed by the contest holder before publication in the anthology book.
  15. Contest open to published and unpublished writers!
  16. Phew! That should be all the legal stuff out of the way. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me via CONTACT on the menu!

If you need a little nudge for themes of these genres, they might include (but are not limited to) Time Travel, Portals, Alien Planets, Ancient Alien Tech/Structures on Earth, Archaeological Finds, Ancient Civilizations, Race to Discovery, Secrets of the Past, Invasion, Special Abilities, Genetic Mutations…. You can even focus in on themes revolving around family, relationships…really, the sky’s the limit when you have imagination on your side.

Content Marketing Association has this FANTASTIC graphic that can help you structure any story, no matter the genre:

Seven Steps to the Perfect Story

I highly recommend you check it out.

So yeah. That’s the gist of it. Spread the word!

039story contest poster.jpg

Share this post across social media and let’s get everyone involved! I’m excited to support you, see your work get out there, and also support a worthy cause in the process.

Please feel free to email me or leave comments and questions below. I respond to every one! (And if for some reason you don’t hear back from me, it might be your message got lost in Spamland by accident! Try me again!)

19 responses to “Get Set for THE Adventure Writing Contest”

  1. […] like way longer ago than January that I saw a post on Rachael Ritchey’s blog announcing the Adventure SciFi and Fantasy Contest and decided to enter. Usually I don’t do contests, but there was something about this […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] then, the faeries sent me a message in the form of a short story contest—the Adventure Sci-Fi & Fantasy Short Story Contest, to be exact. Rachael Ritchey, author of the Chronicles of the Twelve Realms trilogy, dreamed up […]


  3. […] still working on my entry into Rachael Ritchey’s short fiction contest. All I can say is that it’s not going well. I have several pieces written, snippets […]


  4. […] short story for Rachael Ritchey’s contest: I am getting there! Not as far along as I would like, still working on the first draft. But […]


  5. […] Get Set for the Adventure! A short story contest run by Racheal Ritchey. I am aiming to take part in this. I have an idea for a story, just need to set words to actual paper. Or screen. […]


  6. […] am also working on a short story for a contest. You can check out the contest info here, but I am SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE!!!!! Like, I can hardly contain myself! It’s speculative, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Camilla Cruz Uphaven Avatar
    Camilla Cruz Uphaven

    So… I am a resident in Italy. I cannot participate??? How does one clear up if it is allowed or not??? :-/


    1. Hi Camilla! If you want to research further into Italy’s laws regarding skills contests and what you are legally allowed to do and what Italian laws protect you, then that would be great. From what I remember from my research on internet (international) contests was that Italy’s laws require extra hoops for me to jump through, of which I either don’t have time or money to tackle. It’s terribly disappointing for me. I did not realize how restrictive laws were concerning contests on the internet, but the laws of each country do remain in effect, and I have neither the knowledge nor know-how to meet every country’s requirements. :\ In the future I am considering just opening up submissions for review for an anthology that does not also include a contest. The anthology would be treated much the same, where submissions would need to fit the theme, and I would review each to make sure it fits appropriately with the content. Then that anthology’s profits would also go to a charity like Compassion International. Is that something you’d be interested in submitting to in the future?


  8. I must begin brainstorming ideas now!
    One quick question: If a story is chosen and put in the anthology, can the author later on publish that same story on their blog or in a collection of their own short stories?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! For sure. It just needs to have not already been published elsewhere before or during the contest! Good question!


  9. […] honor of the upcoming Adventure Writing Contest that starts the end of February (click here for more info) I want to help writers by offering info […]


  10. Ooh, this looks good. A fun challenge. I missed the post in November, was having an unplanned hiatus. I’m glad I haven’t missed this one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Audrey Driscoll's Blog and commented:
    This contest looked exciting back in November, and now that the details have been worked out, it’s even more so! And I seem to remember saying “I’m in” back then, so I’d better fire up the old imagination engine.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Woebegone but Hopeful Avatar
    Woebegone but Hopeful

    Firstly just had to reblog this Rachael, such a challenge and lots of clear information on the ‘rules & regulations’ (vital for me).
    Secondly, I can’t resist that cover, will have to give this a try.
    All the best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! So excited. I’m glad to hear it, Roger. Looking forward to your entry. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woebegone but Hopeful Avatar
        Woebegone but Hopeful

        I’ve an idea linked to my own ‘fantasy lands’, which make work….
        btw: If you did buy a kindle copy of my book, sorry about typos, spellings etc, I’ve placed a neater 2nd Edition now, which will be free for a few days.


  13. Woebegone but Hopeful Avatar
    Woebegone but Hopeful

    Reblogged this on heroicallybadwriter and commented:
    Now here’s an opportunity not to be missed folks

    Liked by 1 person

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