Thursday, June 21, 2018

2018 Competition now open

With the current issue of Bloody Parchment available on a Kindle near you, the SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment team is pleased to announce that the 2018 competition is now open. We continue to seek the freshest, most disturbing and disconcerting new voices in SFF, with emphasis on tales that wander into the darker side of the storytelling spectrum (SF, fantasy, GrimDark, horror…you get the picture). While this is chiefly an African short story competition, and is focused on the development of up-and-coming voices of African writers, we are open to international entries. There is no entry fee. 

Our categories for this year include flash fiction (up to 1000 words); short fiction (up to 4 000 words); and novellas (between 15 000 to 30 000 words). A winner and two runners-up will be picked among the finalists, for possible publication in a collection. Further details to be announced at the final selection.

First prize is a full assessment and round of developmental edits for a novel-length work or short story anthology. Runners-up to receive a full, developmental edit for a short story or novella other than their submission. The aim of Bloody Parchment remains the upliftment and development of new authors and the promotion of science fiction, fantasy and horror in Africa.

What we're looking for: The SA HorrorFest Bloody Parchment team is looking for short stories or novellas that fall under the horror and dark fantasy/SF genres. If it's dark, we're interested. So, yes, if you've written a GrimDark tale in a gloomy secondary world, we're interested. Hell, we'll even look at your vampires and zombies, so long as they don't sparkle and do something a little different from shambling about aimlessly, dropping limbs. Cleverly executed alien invasions have legs. That being said, if the story's impact relies purely on gratuitous violence and rape in order to deliver its punch, rather don't waste our time and yours. Also, for the love of dog, make sure your story falls within the required word count – at least a quarter of our submissions are rejected each year because of this. While we won't reject a well-written submission that's a few hundred words over out of hand (there is wiggle room), don't expect us to read short stories that are way off the mark. Multiple entries are allowed, but chances are good that if both your stories make it to the final round, we will use our discretion to select the one that is the best possible fit for the anthology.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop the editor, Nerine Dorman, an email at


To enter, email your story saved as .doc or .rt format to with "Bloody Parchment 2018" in the subject line of the email. Please include your name, contact details and a short bio so we have an idea of who we're dealing with. Standard manuscript formatting is absolutely fine (12pt Times New Roman, indented paragraphs, double spacing). Please follow this naming convention for your MS: BP2018_[first initial followed by surname] – So if your name is Penny Green, your entry will be titled BP2018_PGreen. If you have more than one entry, number them, so if author Penny has a second MS to submit, it will be named BP2018_PGreen2. Documents that do not follow our submissions guidelines will be deleted unread.


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