Monthly Archives: November 2014

We’re Open!

The Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest is open to submissions!

From now until February 15th, 2015 our readers will consider speculative short fiction up to 6000 words for the top prize of $500, with two honourable mentions of $50 available as well. After that, the long-listed stories will be passed to our panel of judges, who choose between them the three winners. We encourage multiple submissions, simultaneous submissions, strange submissions – well, for more information on exactly what we want from these submissions, have a look at our guidelines.

All entries must be accompanied by $5 CDN (payable by PayPal). If you would like to enter multiple stories, each entry must be accompanied by its own entry fee. All entry fees will go toward supporting the many activities of the Friends of the Merril Collection at the Toronto Public Library, so don’t be shy! Donations to the Friends can also be made directly here.

To enter, send your submission to, then click the button below to pay your fee. Please make sure the name of the story on your payment matches the story you have submitted to us!

Good luck, everybody!

Sharpen Your Pencils!

Things have been a little quiet here at the Merril Contest, but that’s about to change. The reading period opens in five days!

The Submission Guidelines are posted.

There is bounty ready to be won.

Our Judges are ready to read.

Are you ready to enter? Here are five good reasons why you should!

#1: To support the activities of the Friends of the Merril Collection

The Friends of the Merril Collection is a volunteer organization to support and promote the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy. They maintain Sol Rising, a bi-annual newsletter featuring original specfic research, reviews, community news and history; they throw tea parties, book sales and filk concerts, free and open to the public; they host readings, discussions, and  panels. The Friends are committed to building the specfic literary community in Toronto and outside of it by making the Merril’s incomparable resources accessible and available to everyone.

#2: To Pin A Blue Ribbon to Your Submission

This year, the Contest is accepting simultaneous submissions. What does this mean? You can take your best, shiniest story and submit it to us while you have it out on submission at the short story market of your choice. Submitting your story does not sacrifice any of your story’s rights. You can publish it and reap the rewards of a win. Past winners of the Contest have gone on to appear in published short story collections and pro magazines – yours can too.

#3: For a Chance to Be Read By Our Award-Winning Judges

The Contest has enlisted the support of three brilliant authors this year – Leah Bobet, Julie Czerneda, and Caitlin Sweet. All the long-listed stories will be read by all three judges, and in the past, the Contest has returned comments on these entries. This is your chance to shine in the eyes of some of specfic’s luminaries!

#4: To Find a Place for That Odd Submission

Ever feel like “the market” doesn’t have a place for what you’re writing? That your story keeps missing, just by inches, that particular flavour or theme that a magazine or anthology wants? Here’s what we want at the Contest: everything. Send us your zombies, your power-armoured elves, your heartfelt epics, your left-field experiments. Take us ten thousand years into the future or deep into the magic of the days of yore. As long as your story can be called “speculative”, we will consider it. Our readers come from all corners of the speculative fiction map, and are ready to show love to whatever you can throw at us.

#5: Did We Mention the Money?

The Contest is awarding $600 in cash prizes this year: $500 for first place and $50 each to our honourable mentions. Smaller than many literary contests, the Merril might be your chance at a happy windfall.

Get ready! Submission open at noon this Friday, November the 14th, 2014. You can direct any questions or comments at Charlotte Ashley – Do also follow us on Twitter at @FotMContest for updates!

Hope to hear from you soon!