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Fabula Press Contest 2023: Guidelines

Please note that the below rules are for reference only. We are currently closed for submissions, and shall re-open in June / July 2023. Please keep checking our homepage / twitter feed for updates, or if you wish to be notified, please subscribe to our mailing list by dropping us an email.

Agreement: These rules govern the Fabula Press Short Story Contest (“Contest”). The act of entering the Contest constitutes acceptance of the Contest rules and the decisions of the Contest judges, which decisions shall be final and binding upon all entrants.

Sponsor: The Contest is sponsored by Fabula Press (www.pressfabula.com – “the website”) known as “Sponsors” hereafter.


Eligibility: The Contest is open to all writers worldwide, 18 years old or above, except for the employees of Fabula Press, their immediate families and anyone living with any employee of the Sponsor or its corporate affiliates, advertising or promotional agencies. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but this is not bingo, and more submissions do not necessarily translate into higher chances of winning


Submission Rules:

  • Submission Period: The submission window opens at 12:00 Midnight on March 01, 2023 and ends at 11:59 PM, May 31, 2023. Any extension of the contest window will be at the sole discretion of the organisers, and will be notified on the website if extended.

  • Theme:  There is no theme to the contest. We are not picky about genre either. What we are looking for is exceptional writing, so a Chekovian piece of truth and drama,  a Poesque tale of horror, or a work of science fiction in the nature of Connie Willis’ Firewatch hold a similar appeal for us. Chick Lit, Young Adult, and Hard Science Fiction do not work for us, though, given the nature of the anthology.  

  • Entry fee: US$10 per submission. Please note that contest awards will be paid through PayPal, so if PayPal is not operational in your country, please get in touch with us before submitting your story, at editors@pressfabula.com

  • Format: Stories must be double-spaced, in a standard font (Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond or similar). They must be in English, original and unpublished up to the time the winners are declared on or about August 15, 2023.The front page of the story should include the name of the story, and the word count. 

  • Submission: All submissions should be through the Duosuma Submissions Manager tool on the website. Since the contest will be blind judged, the author’s name should not appear anywhere in the story, and should only be entered in the submission manager.

  • Word Count: Not less than 2500 words, and not more than 7000 words. Longer stories of exceptional merit may be considered at the sole discretion of the judges. 

  • Pseudonyms: Pseudonyms are not permitted at the time of submission. However, if the story is selected for publication, the author can specify a pseudonym for the anthology. 

  • Simultaneous Submissions: Allowed, but the story should be immediately withdrawn if selected elsewhere prior to declaration of the results of Fabula Press’ contest.

  • Queries before submission are welcome, but must relate to the contest rules or if there are difficulties in submission.

 Judging and notification:

  • The Fabula Press team will complete the first round of judging

  • The finalists’ entries will then be judged by the Fabula Press Short Story Contest judges’ panel, who will select the First, Second and Third prize winners based on a 9 point scoring matrix on the following parameters:

  1. Plot 

  2. Character development

  3. Literary merit

The final decision will be based on the average of the scores from the judges. The decisions of the contest judges will be final in respect of any matter relating to this Contest.

  • The winners will be contacted by email by the Sponsors or by a representative of the Sponsors, and must reply within two working weeks to maintain eligibility. If the winner(s) cannot be contacted within this time period or fail(s) to respond to any attempted contact, such winner(s) will be disqualified, his/her entry will be declared null and void and the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to select another winner based on the judging criteria, in which event these provisions shall apply to such other eligible entry.


  • Three prizes will be awarded:

    • First Prize: US$500

    • Second Prize: US$250

    • Third Prize: US$100

  • In addition, all authors selected for publication will be paid an honourarium of US$75.

Ownership/Use Rights:

  • Entrants retain the copyright to their stories. However, by entering the contest and on being selected as a winner, they grant the Sponsors a one time publishing right to the story, in both online and offline media. 


  • The Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, prohibit any person from entering the Contest whom it believes to be abusing the rules. Such abuse includes but is not limited to falsification of information and/or identity, plagiarism, racial discrimination and bigotry.

  • Force Majuere clause: The Sponsors are not liable for failure to perform their obligations under these rules if such failure is as a result of Acts of God (including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane or other natural disaster), war, invasion, act of foreign enemies, civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection, military or usurped power or confiscation, terrorist activities, nationalisation, government sanction, blockage, embargo, or interruption or failure of electricity, internet or telephone service.

  • This Contest is governed by the laws of Hong Kong.

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