Speculative fiction writers, take note: ECW Press is doing something unique and interesting in the form of a new contest, called the ECW Press Best New Speculative Novel Contest, and the prize is a biggie: a full, professional book contract for the winner, plus $3,000.
Known for their genre and literary fiction, as well as books on culture, sports, and music, ECW is a prestigious independent Toronto-based publisher. In announcing the contest, they commented that they are "delighted at the new wave of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative literature that has hit the shelves and touched the minds, hearts, and imaginations of readers."
The contest will be judged by editors Terese Mason Pierre and Jen R. Albert, both of whom have extensive experience with spec lit.
ECW is looking for entries of unpublished novel manuscripts in English between 40,000 and 150,000 words by a Canadian author in the science fiction, fantasy, or speculative fiction genres. The deadline for entries is (rather fittingly) October 31, 2021, and there is no fee to enter. Previously self-published manuscripts are not eligible. Only one manuscript per author will be accepted/considered.
For the full rules and more information, visit ECW Press's contest page.
Speculative fiction has been gaining mainstream popularity in recent years, though it's always been an essential element of the literary landscape. The term encompasses any fictional writing that engages with fantastical or surreal elements, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, folk tales, magic realism, alternate histories, and so on. For more on spec lit as a genre, see our recent interview with Kerry C. Byrne, editor of online spec lit magazine, Augur.