No announcement yet.

Def Con 26 Creative Writing Short Story Contest

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Def Con 26 Creative Writing Short Story Contest

    Short Story Contest 2018 Rules and Theme

    The theme this year is, “1983: The View from Dystopia’s Edge.” One of the things that makes Orwell's '1984' scary is the way it uses technology. In Orwell’s dystopia, tech is a one-sided means of control. The powers that be use machines for pervasive surveillance, to weaken your sense of self and to make real change feel impossible. Humans deprived of any private space are uniquely vulnerable, and Big Brother knows it.

    The thing is, none of this is inevitable.

    Technology is sharp on both sides. The fruits of spying can be picked and exploited by any dedicated student of the method. Rule by algorithm is open to capture and subversion by the hacker who groks the formula. Ubiquitous communication unites and empowers the scattered masses.

    There is a counter-future. A future where our technical understanding and enthusiasm make us strong. A future where we choose to engage the machine, to reshape it in our own radically open and boundlessly curious image.

    1983, then, is about the counter-future we propose, and the better world that can spring from this one. For more inspiration, see [URL][/URL]

    Now. DA RULES.

    The contest is now open and will close Saturday, June 30, 2018, 11:59:59 (midnight) LOCAL LAS VEGAS, NV, TIME ZONE.

    People's Choice poll will be opened on Sunday, July 1st and it will close Saturday, July 7th, 2018 11:59:59 (midnight) LOCAL LAS VEGAS, NV, TIME ZONE (7 days total voting time). This will be a "public" poll, with results viewable by all.

    All winners will be announced on the forum, July 18th, 2018.


    Please submit to DCshortstory[at]

    Please submit ONLY in a .txt file, all other formats will be REJECTED. You may include line breaks, specific formatting you feel is important to the tone of your story. "Bad" language is not proscribed, but do remember, your winning story will be published for all ages to read.

    Please do not include any of the Def Con staff, goons, etc., without EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION from the individual which MUST BE forwarded to DCshortstory[at], along with contact information. The individual will be contacted by a member of the short story contest staff before the story is considered eligible for entry.

    Please keep your short stories to actual SHORT stories. That means a submission no less than 1,000 words and no more than 20,000. If you feel you have a story worthy of, and requiring, additional length (or works just fine as a haiku), include your plea in your submission email.
    Leave the manuscripts and 404 page novels to your publisher and agents.

    Please keep your stories in tune with our community. We want stories about hackers hacking, science, technology, nerdy things, geeky things, zombie things, making things work the way they were never intended to work, you all know the drill. Story must include the DEFCON convention in some way, either located at it or influenced by it as a few examples.

    One entry per author. Please do not spam us with the "thousands of resumes sent out is sure to get me an interview!" technique. Write one GREAT story, not lots of MEH stories.

    Illustrations and graphics are not accepted. This contest is about the beauty of the written word. We don't want graphic novels. Show us a picture in my head that is painted with your vocabulary.

    Please remember when submitting to include the TITLE OF YOUR PIECE and the AUTHOR NAME you wish to have published. Real or handle, that is up to you but include it in your .txt file. We can't be chasing you down for titles and names. It will go in as "Untitled" or "Author Unknown" if you do not.

    After submission you will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours. If you do not receive a confirmation email then your submission has not been received and will be ineligible. Please contact us at the provided email if your submission is not going through.

    It is your responsibility to verify that your story is up for People’s Choice award after it has gone up. Failure to contact us within 24 hours after it has gone up disqualifies your story. If you do not see your story, please contact us at the provided email.


    We will be putting ALL of the short story entries on the Conference media and we will be listing the winners in the online Conference program in a short blurb, letting everyone know they can check the forums and media to read more.

    The winners will get recognition in the online program. Time permitting, the winners will walk the stage and/ or be recognized at Contest Closing Ceremony.


    First place winner will receive two (2) human badges, received at con, onsite.
    Second place winner will receive one (1) human badge, received at con, onsite.
    People's Choice winner (voted by the community) will receive one (1) human badge, received at con, onsite.
    All entrants will get their story in the DEFCON media.

    Tips for winning:

    Spell check, grammar check, watch your tenses and your "voice." Double check your dates, your math, your facts. We are paying attention. If you misspell on purpose, make sure the reader can tell it's on purpose! Follow the rules as mentioned above. Write a good story.

    *IMPORTANT: Communication/Updates/Contact at Con will be done through the Twitter account @DCShortstory. Follow it or you will miss things that are relevant to the contest.*

    Best of luck to all of you! Now get writing!

  • #2
    The contest deadline was extended.