* Effort required to revise existing story to meet contest requirements
* Entry fee
* Probability of winning contest
“I had just failed to complete a novel in July,” said Unpublished Guy. "and I thought I would just forget about writing a novel, and rewrite what I had into a short story for a fiction contest."
The central character in Unpublished Guy’s unfinished novel was Utnapishtim, the Noah of Sumerian myth, who would be both a person, as well as a physical location that would provide the setting for a science fiction story. When attempting to write the novel, Unpublished Guy quickly resorted to stringing several disparate short stories together. Therefore, it made sense to use the material for a fiction writing contest.
The contests that made it to the short list varied in genre and format, ranging from literary fiction to science fiction and including flash fiction and short stories from 4000 to 7000 words. The ROI calculations indicated that entering in any of the short-listed fiction contests would result in an investment in the red (loss). Losses ranged from $40 for ReadMe Publishing’s What If? Science Fiction contest to $1294 for the American Literary Review’s short story contest.
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For (mostly) unpublished fiction writers struggling with writing and publishing, Unpublished Guy offers a some sardonic comic relief, particularly for writers engaged in active writing avoidance.