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Laterpress Genre Fiction Contest

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Update: The deadline for submissions has passed, and the entry link has been removed from this post, but the terms remain for reference. Good luck to everyone who submitted your work!


The Laterpress Genre Fiction Contest is a genre fiction writing competition that awards four $10,000 prizes to authors of fiction books and web serials / serialized novels. An additional 20 authors will be selected as Laterpress Finalists. Finalists will be eligible to join Laterpress’s author working group, and Laterpress will waive its normal 5% platform fee for a period of one year.

How do you apply?

  1. You must be an adult: Authors must be 18 years of age or older and a lawful resident of a state in the United States, a province in Canada (excluding Quebec), or Singapore.
  1. You must (1) publish via Laterpress or (2) provide us a private link to your unpublished manuscript: To be eligible, your work must be an ongoing web serial or serialized novel, or a completed book. If your work is already published (e.g. on your own website, through another platform, or via online and/or retail booksellers), you must also make that work available on Laterpress on whatever payment terms you want (i.e. you can charge whatever you want for it or nothing at all -- it's up to you). If your work is unpublished and you do not wish to make it available on Laterpress, you can submit the application below and provide a link to a private Google Document where the form asks for a URL. We will keep any unpublished manuscript you share with us in strict confidence and will only share it with employees or judges involved in the contest. The second option is a good choice for authors who want to preserve "first publication rights" for leverage in negotiations with traditional publishers. Note: whatever you make available via Laterpress does NOT need to be made available exclusively on Laterpress, and we make no claims to ownership of your content. You can publish your work wherever else you want (e.g. Kindle, Kobo, Wattpad, etc.).
  2. Work must remain published until end of contest: You must publish your work on Laterpress or provide us with a link to your unpublished manuscript before the submission deadline. Any work you publish on Laterpress or share via Google Document must remain available throughout the duration of the contest.
  3. Your book or web serial must meet certain criteria: Your work cannot be fanfiction and must fall into one or more of the following genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, LitRPG, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, & Mystery, or Young Adult. 

What is the deadline for applying? How are submissions judged?

  • Deadline: The deadline for submitting your application is 11:59 PM eastern on Friday, April 15, 2022.
  • Judging process: Submissions are initially judged by Laterpress staff and narrowed down to a list of 24 finalists. Along with Laterpress staff, third-party judges will then review the top ten submissions and select the four fellowship recipients: two authors in the ongoing web serial / serialized novel category and two authors in the completed book category. If you submit a completed web serial or serialized novel, it will be judged in the "completed book" category.
  • Judging criteria: Every submission will be judged based on its merit (e.g. quality of prose and plot). Judges will read as much of the work as they feel is necessary to assess it but will likely not read works from start to finish.

What do the Fellows and Finalists win?

Fellowships: Two ongoing serialized novels / web serials and two completed books will be selected as the winning submissions. The authors of those works will be named Fellowship recipients and each receive the following:

  1. $10,000
  2. Admission to Laterpress’s Author Working Group
  3. Waiver of Laterpress’s 5% platform fee for a period of one year

Finalists: Ten ongoing serialized novels / web serials and ten completed books will be selected as the Finalist submissions. The authors of those works will be named Finalists and each receive the following:

  1. Admission to Laterpress’s Author Working Group
  2. Waiver of Laterpress’s 5% platform fee for a period of one year

Do I give Laterpress ownership of my published work or the right to royalties?

Absolutely not! Fellowships are grants, not advances. The grants do not have to be repaid and do not entitle Laterpress to royalties or ownership of your fiction. Fellowships are designed to provide promising authors with financial support to continue to write awesome books and web serials. The only things that Laterpress asks of recipients of Fellowships are as follows:

  1. Any author who receives a Fellowship in the completed book category must keep their book published on Laterpress for a period of 12 months (they can publish it elsewhere too) after the award.
  2. Any author who receives a Fellowship in the ongoing web serial / serialized novel category must publish any updates to the serial to Laterpress for a period of 12 months after the award. For example, if a web serial is published somewhere else, the version published on Laterpress must be at least as "up-to-date" as the other published version of the serial.

Authors who are selected as Finalists recipients similarly do not give Laterpress ownership of or the right to royalties in your work. And unlike Fellowship recipients, these authors have no special requirement to keep their fiction published on Laterpress.

Selected authors will be given a three day period to accept or reject the Fellowship and Finalist awards. If you decline the award, you will not be entitled to any of the awards described above nor will you be subject to any obligations.

Are there any other terms of the contest?

Yes, please read the following:

  1. Terms of Service: Laterpress’s standard Terms of Service apply to everything submitted to this contest.
  2. Award Limit: An author can only be awarded one fellowship or Finalist award, though they may submit multiple books and web serials for consideration.
  3. Nepotism: Employees and contractors of Laterpress, as well as their first-degree family members, are prohibited from participating in this contest. Sorry mom!
  4. Confirmation of identity: Laterpress may ask for information to confirm you are who you say you are and that you were the author of the work you submitted. If you do not provide satisfactory information, Laterpress may disqualify your submission.
  5. Publicity: By submitting your work to this competition, you give Laterpress the right to publicize your submission and information related to this contest (e.g. the fact that you received an award). 
  6. Changes to competition: Laterpress reserves the right to make changes to the competition's rules (e.g. revisions to deadlines) and to disqualify any submission.

When are the winners announced?

The winners will be announced on Monday, May 2, 2022.

Where can I ask questions about the contest?

Join our community forum (hosted on Discord) using this link and post your questions in the #contests channel.

Updated: April 18, 2022