To be a valid submission to the contest, each story must adhere to the following rules:
1. The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Scrivener.
2. Each author may submit only ONE story.
3. The story must adhere to the general Escape Pod submission guidelines. Most importantly, it needs to be a science fiction story; other genres, including horror and fantasy, are discouraged. As a general rule, we will take a very liberal view of what constitutes science fiction, but authors should note that experience shows that stories that attempt to skirt the genre restriction tend to fare badly in the voting.
4. The story must be original and previously unpublished. If your story was published on your public blog or your Patreon or newsletter, it is considered previously published and is ineligible. If it has only been posted to a private critique group, it has not been previously published and is eligible. If you have a question send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “QUERY” and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in any previous Escape Artists contest. Note that contest stories will be posted on a members-only portion of the forum (http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php), so first publication rights will not be spent if your story does not win.
5. The person submitting the story must be the story’s author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story.
6. The story must be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.
7. The title, byline, and text should be included in the submission. Any byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when the story does not advance, or at the close of the contest. Feel free to use a pseudonym for the byline, but we will need a legal name if you win for prize purposes.
8. Authors under 18 are welcome. By submitting, any author under 18 asserts they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian with whom Escape Artists, Inc. can enter into a contract on behalf of the author.
The three stories with the highest votes will be published on Escape Pod. Authors will be paid $40 USD, making this a pro sale of at least eight cents a word.