2023 Baen Short Story Contest Deadline Is 2/1

Entries in the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award writing contest are being accepted through February 1, 2023. The submission window opened October 1. See rules and specifications at the site.

Judging will be by Baen Books editors and authors, including Toni Weisskopf and William Ledbetter.

Ten finalists will be announced no later than March 8, 2023.

  • The GRAND PRIZE winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals, currently .08/word. The author will also receive an engraved award, free entry into the 2023 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society.
  • SECOND and THIRD place winners will receive free entry into the 2023 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society.

The winners will be announced and notified no later than March 22, 2023. The winners will be honored at the 2023 International Space Development Conference in Arlington, VA, May 27-May 29, 2022. 

Midcoh Wins 2022 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest

Elaine Midcoh of Pembroke Pines, Florida has won the grand prize in the 2022 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award competition with her short story “Man on the Moon.” The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

FIRST PLACE

  • “Man on the Moon” by Elaine Midcoh

SECOND PLACE

  • Pierre-Alexandre Sicart [title withheld by request*]

THIRD PLACE

  • “The Rocketship of Her Dreams” by Larry Lang

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • “Blowout” by Wole Talabi
  • “The Icy Wasteland at Her Feet” by Deborah L. Davitt

(* Sicart’s title was withheld by request of the author because he’s already submitted the story to another blind contest.)

Midcoh will be honored at the 2022 International Space Development Conference, in Arlington, VA, May 27-29, 2022. In addition to the award, her winning story will be published at Baen.com, paid professional rates, and the author will receive membership in the National Space Society.

“Winning the contest is an honor and opportunity for the winner, not only to be published, but to attend the ISDC, and meet scientists and space advocates from around the world,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “In addition, 2020 and 2021 award winners M.T. Reiten and G. Scott Huggins have been invited to attend as well, given the Covid-19 pandemic meant they could not be honored in person previously.”

This was the first time in the 15-year history of the contest where not only were there more than ten finalists, but two honorable mentions among the winners. Pierre-Alexandre Sicart of Taiwan placed second, while third went to Pennsylvanian Larry Lang for “The Rocketship of Her Dreams.” The two honorable mentions were “Blowout” by Wole Talabi of Malaysia, and “The Icy Wasteland at Her Feet” by Deborah L. Davitt of Texas.

Judges for the award were author and space scientist Les Johnson, and the editorial staff of Baen Books, and entries were judged anonymously.

According to Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf, all of this year’s finalists turned in some incredible stories.

“We were really impressed by the breadth and depth of the submissions this year, it was an honor to read them all,” Weisskopf said. “We began this contest to honor new authors and celebrate space exploration, and all this year’s finalists exemplify the very best of what we want from the contest, and from science fiction.”

[Based on a press release.]

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

2022 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Finalists Announced

Baen Books, in partnership with the National Space Society, has announced the 2022 finalists for the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award.

First launched in 2007, for the past 15 years the Jim Baen Memorial Award has been awarded to realistic hard science fiction about what can be achieved in space exploration in the next few decades, ranging from the colonization of Mars to asteroid mining, with a focus on hard science and optimism.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, the founder of Baen Books,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meet scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

The finalists for the 2022 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award are:

  • Mike Adamson (Australia)
  • Gustavo Bondoni (Argentina)
  • Deborah L. Davitt (Texas, USA)
  • Amanda Dier (Florida, USA)
  • Harry Lang (Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Elaine Midcoh (Florida, USA)
  • Avery Parks (Texas, USA)
  • J. Russell (Alabama, USA)
  • Pierre-Alexandre Sicart (Taiwan)
  • Wole Talabi (Malaysia)
  • Brad Zeiger (Oregon, USA)

Judges for the award were author and space scientist Les Johnson, and the editorial staff of Baen Books, and entries were judged anonymously. The contest occurs annually and looks for stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of space exploration and discovery.

This year’s winner will be honored at the 2022 International Space Development Conference, in Arlington, VA, May 27-29, 2022. In addition to the award, the winning story will be published at Baen.com, paid professional rates, and the author will receive membership in the National Space Society.

 [Based on a press release.]

2022 Baen Short Story Contest Deadline Is 2/1

Entries in the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award writing contest are being accepted through February 1, 2022. The submission window opened October 1. See rules and specifications at the site.

Judging will be done by Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and Baen author David Drake.

Ten finalists will be announced no later than March 8, 2022.

  • The GRAND PRIZE winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals, currently .08/word. The author will also receive an engraved award, free entry into the 2022 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society.
  • SECOND and THIRD place winners will receive free entry into the 2022 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society.

The winners will be announced and notified no later than March 22, 2022. The winners will be honored at the 2022 International Space Development Conference in Arlington, VA, May 27-May 29, 2022. 

Huggins Wins 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest

G. Scott Huggins of Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin, has won the grand prize in the 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award competition with his short story “Salvage Judgement.” The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

Last year, Huggins won the 2020 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, another short story contest sponsored by Baen Books. Both contests are judged anonymously.

FIRST PLACE

  • “Salvage Judgement” by G. Scott Huggins

SECOND PLACE

  • “Reaction Time” by C. Stuart Hardwick

THIRD PLACE [tie]

  • “Samba do Espaço” by Gustavo Bondoni
  • “Love On The Ganymede Trail” by Kurt Pankau.

Judges for the award were NASA scientist and science fiction author Les Johnson, and the editors of Baen Books. Stories were judged anonymously. The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented May 27 in a virtual ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference.

The winner receives a distinctive award and professional publication of the story in June 2021 at the Baen.com web site. Second and Third place winners receive a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise. 

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, the founder of Baen Books,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “Winning the contest and attending the ISDC is a wonderful opportunity for winners to meet scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

Entrants hail from all over the world. This year, in addition to the United States, stories come from many countries, including: Libya, Nigeria, Romania, Sudan, Bolivia, Iraq, Sweden, the UK, Australia, Canada, Algeria, and Spain.

[Based on a press release.]

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

2021 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2021 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition have been announced. The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

These are the ten finalists, in alphabetical order.

  • Gustavo Bondoni
  • Deborah L. Davitt
  • C. Stuart Hardwick
  • Scott Huggins
  • José Pablo Iriarte
  • William Paul Jones
  • Leigh Kimmel
  • Wendy Nikel
  • Kurt Pankau
  • Russell Pike

Four of these writers have made it to the finals before. C. Stuart Hardwick has been a finalist every year since 2015 (placing second in 2018 and third in 2020). Gustavo Bondoni was a finalist in 2019 (placing second). William Paul Jones was a finalist in 2020. Wendy Nikel was a finalist in 2018 (placing third) and again in 2019.

Judges for the award were celebrity author Les Johnson, and the editors of Baen Books . Stories were judged anonymously.

The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented May 27, 2021 in a ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference (held virtually this year.) The winner receives a distinctive award and professional publication of the story in June 2021 at the Baen.com web site.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, the founder of Baen Books,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator.

The contest occurs annually and looks for stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of space exploration and discovery. This year, in addition to the United States, entrants hailed from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, Algeria, Spain, Morocco. France, Kazakhstan, India, Canada, Libya, Nigeria, Romania, Kosovo, Sudan, Netherlands, Tunisia, Bolivia, Germany, Iraq, Indonesia, Japan, and Switzerland.

[Based on a press release.]

2021 Baen Short Story Contest Deadline Is 2/1

Entries in the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award writing contest are being accepted beginning today through February 1, 2021. See rules and specifications at the site.

Judging will be by Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and Baen author David Drake.

Ten finalists will be announced no later than March 8, 2021

  • The GRAND PRIZE winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals, currently .08/word. The author will also receive an engraved award, free entry into the 2021 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise.
  • SECOND and THIRD place winners will receive free entry into the 2021 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books merchandise.

The winners will be announced and notified no later than March 22, 2021. The winners will be honored at the 2021 International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles, California, May 27-May 30, 2021. 

2020 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

M.T. Reiten

M.T. Reiten has won the grand prize in the 2020 Jim Baen Memorial Short story Award competition with his short story “Bagala Devi Objective.” Persistence paid off — it’s Reiten’s first win, after twice placing third in previous years (2017 and 2019).

The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

FIRST PLACE

  • “Bagala Devi Objective” by M.T. Reiten

SECOND PLACE

  • “Spinners” by Kate MacEachern

THIRD PLACE (tie)

  • “Sample Return by C. Stuart Hardwick
  • “The Caretaker” by Tiffany Smith

The contest judges were Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and Baen author David Drake.

The Grand Prize winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals, currently .08/word. The author will also receive an engraved award, free entry into the 2020 International Space Development Conference (unfortunately cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak), a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise.

Second and Third place winners will receive a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise. They were also to have received free entry into the now-cancelled 2020 International Space Development Conference.

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

2020 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Finalists

William Ledbetter, who administers the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest for Baen Books and the National Space Society, announced the ten finalists of this year’s contest on March 7.

  • D.A. D’Amico, “The Boy Who Cried Fish”
  • Austin Eberle, “Stars of Their Own”
  • Meghan Feldman, “Dancing on Spun Sugar”
  • C. Stuart Hardwick, “Sample Return”
  • William Paul Jones, “Wander On”
  • K. D. Julicher, “Primum Non Nocere”
  • Kate MacEachern, “Spinners”
  • Wendy Nikel, “Bounty #1486”
  • M. T. Reiten, “Bagala Devi Objective”
  • Tiffany Smith, “The Caretaker”

Four of these writers have made it to the finals before. C. Stuart Hardwick has been a finalist every year since 2015 (placing second in 2018). Wendy Nikel was a finalist in 2018 (placing third) and 2019. M.T. Reiten made the finals in 2017 (placing third) and 2019 (placing third), and Tiffany Smith made the finals in 2019.

And several have been doing a quality of work that’s placed them in contention for other sff awards. C. Stuart Hardwick was voted a 2017 AnLab Readers’ Award for Best Novelette. K.D. Julicher was the inaugural Baen Fantasy Adventure Award winner in 2014, and was also a Published Finalist in the 2016 L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards for Writers of the Future Contest. Wendy Nikel was a 2017 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award finalist, and a 2018 WSFA Small Press Award Finalist.

The three winners will be announced by March 22, 2020. The winners will be honored at the 2020 International Space Development Conference in Dallas, TX, May 28-31 2020.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, the founder of Baen Books,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meets scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

The contest judges are Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and Baen author David Drake.

The Grand Prize winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals, currently .08/word. The author will also receive an engraved award, free entry into the 2020 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise.

Second and Third place winners will receive free entry into the 2020 International Space Development Conference, a year’s membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise.

2019 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

Matt McHugh of New Jersey has won the grand prize in the 2019 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition for his short story “Burners.” The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Contest has been held annually since 2007 and is focused on stories of space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin on those activities for the human race.

GRAND PRIZE

  • “Burners” by Mat McHugh of New Jersey

FIRST RUNNER-UP

  • “Acid Test” by Gustavo Bondoni of Buenos Aires, Argentina

SECOND RUNNER-UP

  • “Dangerous Orbit” by M. T. Reiten of Los Alamos, NM

Judges for the award were the editors of Baen Books. Stories were judged anonymously.

The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented June 8, 2019 in a ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference held this year in Arlington, VA. The winner receives a distinctive award and professional publication of the story in June 2019 at the Baen.com web site.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen, the founder of Baen Books,” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meets scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

The contest occurs annually and looks for stories that demonstrate the positive aspects of space exploration and discovery.