Uncharted Magazine Short Story Award: The Aftermath - Uncharted

Uncharted Magazine Short Story Award: The Aftermath

By Uncharted

Thank you so much to everyone that entered. This contest is now closed, and we are happily reading the submissions!

We invite writers to submit to the Uncharted Magazine Short Story Award: The Aftermath from June 1 to August 6, 2023. This award is for all three genres: SF/F, Thriller/Horror, and Mystery/Crime. Guest Judge A. C. Wise will choose three winning stories from our shortlist. We’re excited to offer the winner of this prize $2,000 and publication, while the second- and third-place winners will receive publication and $300 and $200, respectively.

Contest Prompt

For this short story contest, we want stories based on the theme of “The Aftermath. We all know the old adage of starting our stories in the middle of things, but we want to challenge writers to consider stories that develop directly from the aftermath of something dramatic: explosions, eruptions, and natural disasters; implosions of the heart, body, and/or mind. Throw your characters into the thick of the fallout and take us on their journey to rescue themselves or others. Show us your character’s mettle by how they react to the new circumstances around them. Dazzle us with worlds seen through fresh perspectives, finding the mystery in technology or horror, the pathos in crime. We especially love stories that incorporate aspects of all genres, so consider how these combined elements might enhance your story.

A. C. Wise is the author of the novels Wendy, Darling and Hooked, along with her most recent short story collection, The Ghost Sequences. Her work has won the Sunburst Award and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Stoker, World Fantasy, Locus, British Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, Aurora, Lambda Literary, and Ignyte Awards. In addition to her fiction, she contributes a review column to Apex Magazine.


  • The deadline for entry is August 6, 2023. We will announce the shortlist within 1012 weeks of the contest’s close. All writers will be notified when the results are in.
  • Your $20 reading fee allows ONE story of 1,001–5,000 words per entry.
  • We allow multiple submissions—a new story should have a separate submission accompanied by a reading fee.
  • Please submit short stories only—5,000 word count maximum.
  • We only consider unpublished work for contests—we do not review reprints, including self-published work (even on blogs and social media). Reprints will be automatically disqualified.
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay—please notify us and withdraw your entry if you find another home for your writing.
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in Uncharted Magazine.
  • Double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 (or larger if needed).
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable).
  • We only read work in English, though some code-switching is warmly welcomed.
  • We do not read anonymous submissions. However, shortlisted stories are sent anonymously to the judge.

Some Submittable Hot Tips:

  • Please be sure to whitelist/add to contacts this email address so notifications do not get filtered as spam/junk: notifications@email.submittable.com.
  • If you realize you sent the wrong version of your piece: It happens. Please DO NOT withdraw the piece and resubmit. Submittable collects a nonrefundable fee each time. Please DO message us from within the submission to request that we open the entry for editing, which will allow you to fix everything from typos in your cover letter to uploading a new draft. The only time we will not allow a change is if the piece is already under review by a reader.


You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your piece. We will provide global letters discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. We aim to make our comments actionable and encouraging. These letters are written by editors and staff readers of Uncharted Magazine. A significant portion of the editorial letter fees goes to our feedback editor. Should your story win, no feedback will be offered, and your fee will be refunded.