“Alternate Universe”

Submission Guidelines

“Alternate Universe”

This competition is jointly organized by the Department of English and the Department of Biology.

We welcome submissions from anyone who is studying at WKU for the “Alternate Universe” Science Fiction (SF) Short Story Writing Competition. This event provides an opportunity for those with rich imaginations who are excellent storytellers to submit a science-fiction style story exploring the interesting present, past, or future issues pertaining to science, society, philosophy, the environment, or humanity, here, in outer space, or some alternate universe or reality. How might an alternate universe reveal new ways of thinking about these issues? How might we understand the issues differently or in a new light by considering them from the perspective of different beings or creatures existing in an alternate reality? Stories written for adults, young adults, and children will be accepted.

What do I need to know to submit a story?
Submissions are due on 1 st of March 2022 at 5 pm. Finalists and Honorable Mentions will be announced in May 2022. You may submit up to two (2) stories, each between a minimum of 1,000 words to a maximum of 5,000 words. The theme for this WKU 2022 SF Short Story Competition is “Alternate Universe.”
How will the stories be judged?
The SF short stories competition will be judged in 2 rounds. Entries will be divided into 5 groups. Five professors from different departments will each read and evaluate submissions from one of the groups. They will each nominate 2 from their group to be in the final judging. The judges will then read all 10 finalists and select the top three stories, along with several Honorable Mentions for the WKU SF Short Story Award. The winners will be judged on good storytelling, creative and scientific thought, originality, convincing alternate universe world-building, and good English.
What are the benefits of participating?
Prizes and certificates will be given to the top three stories. Chosen finalists, along with several honorable mention winners, will have their stories published in the WKU ECHO-ENG literary journal.

❏ Authors must be studying at WKU.
❏ Up to (2) submissions are accepted per author.
❏ Entry must be formatted as a Microsoft Word document (.doc/.docx) or Portable Document Format (.pdf).
❏ Stories are limited to 1,000 words minimum and 5,000 words maximum (excluding the title).
❏ Stories must not have any previous publication online or in print, including personal websites and social media.
❏ Stories must be original. Stories that feature characters, settings, or other defining features of any existing media properties (books, film, TV, etc.), including fan fiction, will not be considered.
❏ Please provide a separate title page document that includes the story title, your name, and your email address. Do not list your identifying details on your story document, just the title, and story text.
❏ Stories must be submitted through the links and be received by 5p.m 1 st of March 2022.
• Title page document (story title, author name, author email address) submission link:
• Story document (in Word or PDF) submission link: