Hugh Howey sets up Self-Published Science Fiction Competition with blogger judges

Self-publishing champion and best-selling author Hugh Howey is launching the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition.

The contest runs along the lines of 10 book bloggers reading and reviewing a total of 300 science fiction novels between them. Ten finalists will be picked from the initial 300 books and one will be proclaimed the winner.

There isn’t a big cash prize as the winner will get a badge and a blaster set to ‘stunning’, but many entries and the winning book in particular will get a lot of recognition and attention.

The rules include:

  • Your book must be a standalone or the first in a series.
  • One book per author.
  • It must be a novel, not an anthology.
  • The book must be self-published and available for purchase now.
  • Works must be at least 50,000 words.

Phase 1 runs from June 30-November 30:

Each blogger will be assigned up to 30 novels. They will read as many as they feel compelled to finish and choose a finalist to send through.

They will also choose three books for a separate cover art contest.

Phase 2 (December 1-May 31):

Each blogger will read the other nine finalists and vote for one book.

Phase 3:

The SPSFC winner will be announced for the best novel and best cover art.

What authors need to know:

Submissions open on June 30, 2021. Ebooks will need to be sent in .mobi or .epub format. If there are more than 300 submissions, they will be winnowed down based on ‘a very subjective slushpile criteria’. All entries will be listed and linked to on an upcoming announcement page.

What bloggers need to know:

Applications are now open to be one of the 10 blogger reviewers by filling out this form.

You can find out more details about the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition on Hugh Howey’s website.

Hugh Howey says the SPSFC is based on fantasy author Mark Lawrence’s contest known as the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off which has been running since 2015. Entries are now closed for the 2021 SPFBO as the 300 slots were filled up within 24 hours of opening for entries.


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