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The storySouth Million Writers Award for Fiction

Editorial note: The following call for writing is not associated with Inkburns or its editorial staff. (However, of course we hope you'll notice the "Best Online Publication Award" element of the competition.)

The purpose of the Million Writers Award is to honor and promote the best fiction published in online literary journals and magazines during 2003.

The Reason

The reason for the Million Writers Award is that most of the major literary prizes for short fiction (such as the Best American Short Stories series and the O. Henry Awards) ignore web-published fiction. This award aims to show that world-class fiction is being published online and to promote this fiction to the larger reading and literary community.

How It Works

The Million Writers Award takes its name from the idea that we in the online writing community have the power to promote the great stories we are creating. If only a few hundred writers took the time to tell fifteen of their friends about a great online short story—and if these friends then passed the word about this fiction to their friends (and so on and so on)—this one story would soon have a larger readership than all of the stories in Best American Short Stories.

To help promote online stories, the Million Writers Award accepts nominations from both writers and editors. There is no entry fee. The only entry requirement is that anyone making a nomination agrees to help promote the winners of the award by sending an e-mail about the winners to at least fifteen of their friends, with the added message that they hope the friend will pass on the information to more people. It is also hoped that nominators will help promote the winners through other means, such as linking to the stories, posting the information on message boards, and so on.

Best Online Publication Award

In addition to the award for best fiction, the online magazine or journal that receives the most nominations from readers and writers will be honored with an award as the year's best publication for online fiction.

Why Should I Do This?

The general gripe among writers is that no one pays attention to quality writings, while bad or mediocre writings get lots of attention because they are published in prestigious magazines or written by authors who are good at gaining media attention. This award is about countering this trend by promoting the best online writers. If enough writers, readers, and editors agree to help promote the winners of this award, then all online writers will benefit from a greater acceptance of online publications.

The Rules

  1. Only stories published in online literary journals, magazines, and e-zines that have an editorial process are eligible for nomination. This means that an editor must have selected the story for publication. Self-published stories are not eligible. Stories published in the online versions of print journal or magazines are eligible provided that the online version of the journal or magazine is accessible by the general public.
  2. Anyone may nominate ONE story for the award. This means that readers of magazines can nominate one story that they like and that writers can nominate one their own stories, provided the story was published in 2003 in an online magazine. Editors of online magazines and journals can nominate up to THREE of the stories published in their magazine during 2003.
  3. To be eligible for nomination, a story must be longer than 1,000 words. (An award for flash fiction will be considered for a future time.)
  4. Any writer, reader, or editor who nominates a story agrees to help promote the winners to their friends and/or e-mail mailing lists. The more publicity gained by these winners and the online magazines that published them, the better all online writers will do. In addition, the editors of storySouth will promote the winners in press releases which will be sent to various media outlets.
  5. The initial judging for the award will be done by the editors of storySouth, who will chose ten finalists. The general public will then be allowed to vote on these finalists, with the story gaining the most votes named as the overall winner of the award.
  6. Stories originally published in storySouth are not eligible. While stories from storySouth are naturally the best fiction being published anywhere (in the view of storySouth's editors), it would be a conflict of interest to nominate or judge fiction we originally published.
  7. The deadline for submitting nominations is February 5, 2004. Voting on the finalists will begin Feb. 15, 2004, and will end March 15, 2004.

To Nominate a Story

To nominate a story (or stories), e-mail your name, the name of the nominated author, the name of the magazine or journal, and a URL hyperlink to the story to Jason Sanford at The URL must go directly to the story's page in the online magazine or journal that originally published it. Links to author home pages where the story is posted are not eligible. DO NOT e-mail the entire story, either pasted into the body of the e-mail or as an attachment. Doing so will guarantee that a story is not considered for the award. Please make sure that the e-mail you use to nominate a story is the same e-mail the judges can contact you with later on. Your e-mail address will only be used to contact you with information about the award and the winners. It will not be given out to anyone else.

How Can I Help?

If you want to help promote this award and online writers in general, please pass the word about this contest or link to this page. For more information, please e-mail Jason Sanford at

Congratulations to Inkburns contributors

Some recent (or relatively recent) publications by past Inkburns contributors:

(Did we miss your publication? Tell us what you've been up to.)

US anthology project seeks women writers

Editorial note: The following call for writing is not associated with Inkburns or its editorial staff.

If you are a woman (or know women poets) and you write poetry about contemporary political issues, be a part of a new and unprecedented anthology! There is little documentation of this current voice, yet a great deal of political poetry is being written by women from throughout the world. This is a project sponsored in part by the University of Colorado's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. We are hoping to publish this anthology in the spring of next year, pending additional funding.

We are looking for submissions of poetry with a political emphasis from previously unpublished authors (small publications are fine, we just do not want famous authors). Submissions from women outside of the United States are highly encouraged. Please include a short biography unless you wish to remain anonymous.

There are no hard deadlines or length requirements, but submitting as soon as possible would be greatly appreciated so that we can move on to further phases of the project.

Help spread the word! If you know of anyone who might be interested, please forward this information. Contribute to the collection or send your questions to .