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WHY NOT YOU? 2 - A BHC Short Story Contest Rules and Guidelines to Apply

Welcome to year 2 of Black Hole Comics and Entertainment. Toren Chenault here, co-founder and owner of Black Hole. If this is your first time to our site, welcome! We are a company that is dedicated to stories and creators. We publish a variety of content from short stories, comics, and we do a cool artist showcase called Lift Off. Last October, we ran our first Kickstarter for a sci-fi graphic novel anthology and successfully funded it! Backers will be receiving the book sometime in April. Most of our content is free and we are a platform that doesn’t tolerate bigotry of any kind. Creators and fans from all backgrounds are welcome here, and if that doesn’t sit right with you I don’t really give a damn.

But, like the title of this post suggests, we are opening our second annual short story contest! We have a lot of cool things planned for Black Hole in 2021 but I wanted to start the year with a bang. And I couldn’t think of a better way to do that than with a short story contest. It’s no secret that 2020 was hard for a lot of people. The world seems to be constantly changing, and there's so much happening all around us. Well, I wanted to bring some positive change to the creative space to the world with this contest.

“WHY NOT YOU” is really my whole mentality when it comes to writing and creating in general. I’ve said before that Black Hole exists because I want to be the change I want to see in the creative industry. Connections shouldn’t matter, ass-kissing shouldn’t matter, you not being a straight white male writer shouldn’t matter. And you wanting to tell a story that isn't "marketable" shouldn't matter either. The work should. A lot of the winners in our first contest last May told me it was the first time they had placed in a contest like that. And that wasn’t done on purpose but it’s kind of the point of all of this. Helping people get their stories out there. No matter who they are, or what their story is about. You know, unless your story is about racism or bigotry. Then bounce.

There’s NO ENTRY FEE and the guidelines are as simple as they get. So I ask again in 2021…WHY. NOT. YOU?

So here are the basic rules and guidelines of our contest.

1. Stories can be any length, genre, or about any topic, but cannot exceed over 3,000 words.

2. All work must be original, unpublished work. Stories posted on personal blogs or sites like Wattpad are fine.

3. To enter, you MUST follow or be following Black Hole Comics and Entertainment on Twitter (@BHCEnt) or Instagram (@_blackholecomics_)

And that’s it! There will be three winners. And the prizes are as follows. Deadline for entries is March 31st, 2021. Winners will be announced before April 30th, 2021.

- 1st Place - $500

- 2nd Place - $200

- 3rd Place - $100

Some FAQ’s that came up during our first contest.

Who’s judging the contest?

The contest will be judged by myself and other Black Hole co-founder Nick Couture.

What genre or style are you looking for?

I’m especially fond of sci-fi but any genre is fine. I don’t think any story that won last year even had too many sci-fi elements. And style is completely up to you. We’re all about creativity and innovation. Whatever you think represents you as a writer, do it. If you think you can tell a compelling story in ten words, be my guest. One of our honorable mentions last year told the life of a lightbulb from the lightbulb's perspective. Never in my life did I think that type of story would be interesting.

How will the stories be judged?

Any story that can build a compelling world and compelling characters always sticks out in my mind. Writers with a definitive voice as well. If you look through the original winners in our first contest (they’re all free to read) you’ll find all sorts of genres, but each story has a strong voice. I’m not judging for grammatical genius, although there can’t be errors every five words, but just a powerful story. I don’t want to be too dramatic but bare your soul in this thing. It can be funny, serious, melancholy, adventurous, I don’t care. The stories that do that the best will win.

Do writers retain rights of the stories?

Yup. If you win, you get the money and publication on our site. But also, Black Hole is just a platform. We’re just putting the story on our site and you retain all rights to your creation to do with what you want in the future.

Is this just for people in the United States?

No, anyone in the world can enter. Just make sure you have a way to accept international payments if you do win. (PayPal, Venmo, etc.)

I don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, can I enter?

There’s really no way around this. You must follow us on one of those socials to enter the contest.

You ready to enter? Ready to show off your skills and your passion? We're excited to read everyone’s responses. Below is a link to the Google Form. Good luck, everybody!

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