Terms and Conditions of Entry

Entry Terms and Conditions

Please read this document in full to ensure that the author whose work is due to be submitted and their short story are eligible for the Award. Instructions on entering can be found in the How To Enter section.



    1. In order to establish a manageable longlist all entries will initially be read by at least two (2) sifters, all of whom have expertise in the literary field, against set criteria chosen by the CYMERA and Shoreline of Infinity. The best 25 stories will be put forward to the judges who will be responsible for compiling a shortlist of three (3) outstanding short stories submitted for the CYMERA Prize of Speculative Shortfiction (“the Award”), from which they will select the winning story.

    2. The Award will be awarded in two categories split by the author's age; 14 to 17 year old and 18+

    3. The best, eligible short story in each category, in the opinion of the judges, will be published in Shoreline of Infinity (CYMERA edition) in June 2019, accompanied by an illustration commissioned by Shoreline of Infinity.

    4. The winning author in each category will receive £75 and a ticket to a writing workshop of their choice.  They will also receive a complimentary copy of the Shoreline of Infinity (CYMERA edition).

    5. There will be two (2) awards in each category for runners up shortlisted stories, who will receive tickets to two events of their choice at CYMERA 2019.

    6. The full shortlist of stories will be published in the CYMERA website (www.cymerafestival.co.uk) after the festival.


    1. The Award is open to anyone living in Scotland, aged 18 years or over on the submission deadline on 6pm GMT Sunday 31st March 2019 and 14 to 17 years old on the submission deadline of 6pm GMT Sunday 28th April 2019 only, who have a no prior record of publication in creative writing in the United Kingdom (see clause 2.8). Proof of  residency may be requested of shortlisted writers

    2. The story should contain aspects of speculative writing, e.g. elements of science fiction, fantasy or horror.

    3. The story must not exceed two thousand (2,000) words.

    4. No more than one story per author may be submitted. It is the responsibility of the author to make sure that there is not more than one of his/her stories submitted in total. If more than one story is submitted, only the first story received will be considered.

    5. Authors can only enter individually and not as part of a writing team.

    6. Entries are limited to stories written in English, however entries in Gaelic are welcome as long as they  include a translation into English.

    7. The author must be unpublished. Unpublished means they have not had a work or works of prose fiction, drama or poetry published by an established UK book publisher (including e-book and audio publication), published in print or online by an established printed newspaper, magazine, journal, periodical in the UK, or broadcast by a UK national broadcaster or content provider.

    8. For the avoidance of doubt, ‘established UK publisher’ means a publishing house or company that publishes a list of titles by different authors, that produces titles with an ISBN and sells them in pounds sterling, and that distributes them through established retail outlets.

    9. For the avoidance of doubt, ‘established newspaper, magazine, journal or periodical’ means a periodical that is printed regularly (at least annually) that has been in circulation for at least the past 12 months, has an ISBN or ISSN number and is not self-published; or has a paid subscription-based website.

    10. For the avoidance of doubt, ‘a UK national broadcaster’ means a national radio station or television channel.

    11. Furthermore none of the following will constitute a ‘record of prior publication’:

      1. self-published material of any kind;

      2. work published via commercial arrangement through which the publisher is paid by the author;

      3. online publication via an author’s own website or blog, or a writing community site.

    12. The story submitted must be, and by submission of the Entry Form is warranted to:

      1. Be original, fictional, and entirely the author’s own work;

      2. Not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party;

      3. Not be defamatory of any living person or corporate body;

      4. And be suitable for publication in Shoreline of Infinity


    1. By submitting a story for the Award the entrant hereby acknowledges and agrees that the winning or any other shortlisted story:

      1. May be read out at an event during CYMERA 2019

      2. And be reproduced in the Shoreline of Infinity (CYMERA 2019 edition) in June 2019

      3. Be reproduced on the CYMERA website

      4. May be used for publicity purposes around the Award, and published in full or as an extract in print or online.

    2. For the stories which will be published in the Shoreline of Infinity (CYMERA edition June 2019), the author will be deemed to have granted a non-exclusive license for such publication and distribution (including via electronic distribution such as Kindle, Kobo or Nook devices), and they or their agents will clear the necessary rights for such publication and distribution. The rights for publication of each story will be non-exclusive, with no bar on publication rights elsewhere. The copyright of each individual story featured in the Shoreline of Infinity issue remains with the authors, and they retain the moral right to be identified as the authors of the stories.


    1. CYMERA Prize for Speculative Short Fiction will be looking for the best new writing, and will consider all entries on the basis of quality and originality of prose and narrative voice. The Award aims to support and celebrate excellence in the short story form.

    2. Judging of the Award will be in three stages:

      1. Stage 1: All entries will be read and judged anonymously by at least two (2) readers against the Award reading guidelines. Readers will be from a mixture of backgrounds, with literary expertise, and drawn from across the CYMERA  and Shoreline of Infinity networks. A longlist of approximately the best twenty five (25) stories will then be put forward to the judging panel in each category

      2. Stage 2: The judging panel will read all longlisted stories and will together discuss and select a shortlist of three (3) outstanding short stories submitted for the Award;

      3. Stage 3: The judging panel will together discuss and agree on the winning story. In reaching its decisions, the judges will adopt a preferential voting system. In the unlikely event of there being a tie, the Chairperson will have the casting vote.

      4. Judges are encouraged to read the longlisted stories anonymously, however they are not required to do so. The whole panel will be provided with the name of the author of each longlisted story ahead of shortlisting to ensure all judges are party to the same information when making their decisions. Judges may also see the full list of stories entered to the Award and their authors, in order to call in entries which were not longlisted in stage 1, should they wish to do so.

    3. Shortlisted writers will be contacted personally by email or by telephone.

    4. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

    5. The judging will be fair and independent. The judging panel will be appointed by the CYMERA festival team, comprised of representatives from the festival and Shoreline of Infinity. The judging panel will include distinguished literary professionals. All judges are required to declare any financial interests in relation to any entrants.


    1. CYMERA Festival is responsible for administering the Award, supported by the Award team which consists of representatives from Shoreline of Infinity and published authors based in Scotland.

    2. If entries for the Award are submitted by post, then a Entry Form and eight (8) copies of the short story must be received at CYMERA Short Story Competition; c/a A. Landmann, 216/1 Newhaven Road, Edinburgh, EH6 4QE by 6pm on Sunday 31st March 2019. For entries submitted online, an Entry Form must be completed at https://www.shorelineofinfinity.com/cymera-prize-for-speculative-short-fiction-in-co-operation-with-shoreline-of-infinity/ by 6pm (GMT) Sunday 31st March 2019.

    3. For postal entries, the Award team will not acknowledge receipt of entries and does not accept any responsibility for late, lost or damaged entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.
      Entries successfully submitted online will receive an automated acknowledgement message  to the email address provided.

    4. Please note that no stories entered can be returned.

    5. The shortlist is likely to be announced on Friday 3rd May 2019 and the winner on 7th June 2019 (dates are subject to change). Both announcements will be published on the CYMERA website (http://cymerafestival.co.uk). Please check back on the CYMERA website for updates. In addition, if it is deemed appropriate, a list of stories highly commended by the judges will also be published on the CYMERA website as an addendum to the announcement of the shortlist. By entering the Award, the entrant consents to their name and the title of their story being published on these websites in the event only of their story being shortlisted or commended by the judges.

    6. Entrants must supply full details as required above, and comply with all rules to be eligible for the Award. Ineligible, obscene or fraudulent entries will be automatically disqualified.

    7. The Award team reserves the right to cancel this Award at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.

    8. The Award team reserves the right to refuse entry to the Award for any reason at its absolute discretion.

    9. By submitting a story the entrant agrees in the event of being shortlisted or winning the Award to make every attempt to attend the celebration event on 8th June 2019, and to also undertake a mutually acceptable limited programme of activities to promote the Award particularly immediately after the shortlist and winner are announced. Entrants are responsible for all reasonable costs associated with attending the Award ceremony.

    10. The entrant agrees that they will, where appropriate, contribute to publicity and promotional activities, including events, for the Award and hereby grant CYMERA all necessary rights in their contribution for press/publicity activities for the Award for all media in perpetuity. The entrant agrees to obtain CYMERA’s prior written consent before taking on any of its own publicity or promotional activity relating to their involvement in the Award. In the event that the entrant is informed that their story has been shortlisted or won the award, the entrant must not publish or otherwise let it be publically known of this fact (such as via online forums, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) until such time as the official announcement is made, failing which the Award team may at its sole discretion disqualify the entry and revise the shortlist and (if applicable) winning entry.

    11. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to have agreed to be bound by them when entering this Award. The Award team may at its sole discretion disqualify the entry and/or reclaim any award and revise the shortlist and (if applicable) winning entry, if it considers that the entrant has not complied with the terms and conditions contained herein (such as that the work is not original, fictional, and entirely the author’s own work).

    12. The entrant acknowledges and agrees that to the extent permitted by law, CYMERA, Shoreline of Infinity and any other person(s) in connection with the Award will not be liable for any loss or damage (whether such damage or losses were foreseen, foreseeable, known or otherwise) including financially and/or to reputation and/or disappointment, suffered by any entrant or publisher or agent on behalf of an author, entering the Award or as a result of accepting any Award.

    13. These rules and the entry submitted in accordance with them shall constitute a contract governed by the exclusive laws and the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Scotland.