Parsec Ink is coordinating submissions to both the Parsec Short Story Contest and Triangulation: Dark Skies. Please be sure you know which entity you are submitting to. The Parsec Short Story Contest is curated by the Parsec program branch and Triangulation is curated by Parsec Ink.

Theme, word count, and deadlines are different for each.


The theme for the 2018 contest is: NOIR. This can be conveyed in the setting, plot, characters, dialogue…the only limit is your imagination. The theme must be integral to the story in some way and not just mentioned in passing.

Contest opens January 1, 2019 and closes April 15, 2019. There is no fee to enter and all entrants will be notified of the results by June 15th.

Word count for all entries: No more than 3500 words.

 Stories must be original, unpublished, and unsold to any other market. Manuscripts should be in standard manuscript format, double-spaced, and written in either Courier or Times New Roman font. Acceptable formats include .doc, .docx, and .rtf. For an example of standard manuscript format, see:

Prizes and Eligibility: The contest is open to non-professional writers (those who have not met eligibility requirements for SFWA or equivalent: sale of a novel or sale of 3 stories to a large-circulation publication (

Previous first-place winners and current contest coordinators are ineligible to enter.

The winning story will be the one that most effectively uses the contest theme as a key element. First-place receives $200 and publication in the 2019 Confluence program book ( Second-place receives $100 and third-place receives $50.

Submission to the contest implies consent for publication, but all rights revert immediately to the author upon publication. Coordinators/Readers screen the entries and the ten best submissions are then read by the judges. Decisions of the judges and coordinators are final.

A maximum of 2 submissions is allowed. Submit each one separately.


Michael A. Arnzen ( teaches  full-time at Seton Hill University, home of the country’s only MFA  degree in Writing Popular Fiction. To date he has won four Bram Stoker  Awards and an International Horror Critics Guild Award for his often  funny, always disturbing horror fiction and poetry, which includes such  book-length titles as Grave Markings, Play Dead, Freakcidents, and  Proverbs for Monsters. Alongside Heidi Ruby Miller, Arnzen also  co-edited Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction — a  large how-to guide for authors of speculative fiction and other genres.  Arnzen continues to write horror and criticism while teaching the  zombie populations near Pittsburgh, PA. Follow Mike at

David D. Levine is the author of Andre Norton Award  winning novel Arabella of Mars (Tor 2016), sequels Arabella and the Battle of Venus (Tor 2017) and Arabella the Traitor of Mars (Tor 2018), and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His  story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards  including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have  appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF,, numerous Year’s Best  anthologies, and his award winning collection Space Magic.

Jerome Stueart writes science fiction, fantasy, and mainstream fiction.  His work has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed,, Strange Horizons, and several Tesseracts anthologies. His first book of short stories, The Angels of Our Better Beasts (ChiZine, 2016), was long-listed for the Sunburst Award.  After living in the Yukon Territory for 10 years, he became a dual citizen of Canada and the US. He currently lives in Dayton, OH.

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How to Submit: 

Electronic submissions will be accepted through Submittable: 

Make sure to scroll to the bottom of the screen for the submission form.

If this is your first time using Submittable, you will need to create a FREE account with them. Instructions for this will appear after you hit the submit link. It’s easy and quick.



Questions? Contact Brandon Ketchum



Parsec Ink