2022 Writing Contest

Please note: This contest is now closed. Thank you to all submitters, and we look forward to reading your entries!

Congrats to our 2022 Contest winners! Kirsten Liang won First Place with her piece Ink, and Suki Hollywood from the UK second with her story Thrall. Ange Yeung from Canada received honorable mention for yesterday or tomorrow i will learn to love or hate. Check back soon for our next contest!

Thanks to various places for promoting our contest!

For the third year in a row, Wintermute Lit welcomes you to our speculative fiction writing contest, made possible by YoungArts creative microgrants:


Winners receive cash prizes, speculative books of their choice, and publication in Wintermute. 
Other finalists will be considered for publication.


All submissions will first be screened through the masthead of Wintermute, and then finalists will be forwarded to our judge to pick the final winners.

Meet our 2022 Judge: Anya Ow 

Anya Ow is the author of THE FIREBIRD’S TALE and CRADLE AND GRAVE, and is an Aurealis Awards finalist. Her short stories have appeared in publications such as Asimov’s, Uncanny, Fantasy Magazine, the 2019 Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror anthology and more. Born in Singapore, Anya has a Bachelor of Laws from Melbourne University and a Bachelor of Applied Design from Billy Blue College of Design. She lives in Melbourne with her two cats, working as a graphic designer, illustrator, and chief studio dog briber for a creative agency. Her next book, the space opera ION CURTAIN, will be out in 2022. She can be found at http://anyasy.com or on twitter @anyasy.


All emerging writers who have not published a full-length manuscript or chapbook can submit. The work you submit can have been previously published but not awarded large national/international awards. There is no submission fee.


1. Contest closes at 11:59 PM EST, Aug 14th. If you're a little late due to technical issues, this is fine, but let us know.
2. Submission to the contest implies consent for publication, and all rights will revert back to the author after publication.
3. All stories must be speculative fiction, and be a maximum of 4500 words. [For more knowledge on what qualifies as speculative fiction, please check our submissions guidelines or a Google search. Or, even check out our judge's works!]. “a broad category of fiction encompassing genres with elements that do not exist in reality, recorded history, nature, or the present universe”
4. Please submit your story through email to wintermutesubmissions@gmail.com. Title the subject line "Wintermute Contest." Please do NOT label it "Wintermute Submission" or "Wintermute Award Submission" or any other variation.
5. Attach your story as a Word DOC or PDF.
6. NO identifying information in the file, please. Just the title and the story is fine. All submissions will be read blindly, and past experience or honors are not considered. In the email itself, please include your name and pronouns.
7. No novel excerpts or poetry, please. Prose only.


wintermutesubmissions@gmail.com for any further inquiries. 

Listed at Duotrope

Tips for Young Writers

You can also check out our 2021 Contest and 2020 Awards. But please keep in mind that Wintermute, and speculative writing in general, is always fluid, not constrained by any one specific style or genre. Don't submit solely based on past winners' particular stories and genres! The world of spec-fic is vast, with many new corners to explore.

Even if you do not place in the contest, this is a great opportunity to write a new piece of speculative work and perfect it, or to venture into new genres you've never tried before! To start you off, here are Margaret Atwood's 7 tips for writing spec-fic:

1. Take an Idea From Current Society
2. Strengthen Your Cause-and-Effect Muscles
3. Determine Your World’s Winners and Losers
4. Research
5. Develop A Strong Visual Language
6. Stick To Your Own Rules
7. Read The Greats

Check 'em out here.



  1. Hi, is this contest open to poetry/art too or just fiction

    1. Not sure about art. But it says prose only, so no poetry.

  2. In what time zone is this contest? Like, what time zone is 11:59 Pm? Cause I'm working on EAT here


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