Historical & Mythological Short Fiction

Ink of Ages Fiction Prize

World History Encyclopedia's international historical and mythological short story contest

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Before you enter, please review our contest rules and and the contest's terms & conditions below.

Hold your horses! We're currently closed for submissions. ⌛📜🪶

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Contest timeline 2024/25:

1 August – 15 September: Open to submissions

18 November: Longlist announced

13 January: Shortlist announced

24 February: Winners announced

Dates subject to change, but we try not to!

Terms & Conditions

Please read these Terms & Conditions below carefully before submitting to the contest. By submitting to our contest, you are agreeing with all Ink of Ages Fiction Prize Terms & Conditions.

1. Introduction

The Ink of Ages Fiction Prize is organized by World History Encyclopedia and sponsored by Oxford University Press. Please read these Terms & Conditions carefully before submitting to the contest. By submitting to our contest, you agree to the Ink of Ages Fiction Prize Terms & Conditions.

2. Eligibility

  • Entrants must be 18 years old or above to enter the main contest and aged 13–17 for the Youth Prize.
  • Submissions can be from anywhere in the world.
  • Submissions must be in English as we don’t currently have the capacity to translate entries submitted in other languages.

3. Submission Guidelines

  • Entries must be between 1,500 and 2,000 words in length, and between 800 and 1,000 words for the Youth Prize.
  • Entries must be historical or mythological fiction inspired by the past and set before 1975, in a time that is clearly different from the present.
  • The short story should be a stand-alone piece, not an extract from a longer work.
  • Each submission must be accompanied by a completed entry form and Youth Prize submissions must also be accompanied by parental consent.
  • Only one entry per author is allowed.
  • The story must be previously unpublished (your own blog or social media page is okay).
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed as long as the author informs us when the story is published elsewhere and whether the entry needs to be withdrawn from the contest. You can request your submission to be withdrawn by email.

4. Formatting Requirements

  • Entries must be typed in Times New Roman (or Calibri) 12pt with double line spacing (or 1.5).
  • Filenames must include the title followed by word count, with no hyphens e.g., The Last Days of Atlantis 1938, or Surpanakha's Lament 1843.
  • Do put the story title at the top of the submission document (without the word count number) and do add page numbers.
  • Do not include your name in the submission document or filename. This enables us to judge entries anonymously.

5. Judging Criteria

  • Entries will be judged on literary merit, historical interest, originality and creativity, and overall impact and enjoyment.
  • The decision of the judging panel is final and cannot be disputed.

6. Ethical Practices

  • All entries must be the original work of the entrants and must not infringe the rights of any other party. AI-generated text is not accepted.
  • Entries must not contain defamatory, obscene, or offensive content.

7. Data Protection

  • The personal data provided will be used solely for the purpose of administering the contest.
  • Your submission and associated information will be deleted from our systems within a year, except that which is published on the Ink of Ages website. To request changes or removal of information, please let us know via email.
  • Please review the WHE privacy policy for more information: worldhistory.org/privacy.

8. Intellectual Property

  • Entrants retain the copyright of their entries and grant World History Encyclopedia (“WHE”) a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive license to publish the contest submission (the short story) in one or more venues online, including without limitation on WHE’s websites and on social media, listing the entrant as the author and copyright holder. This license includes all necessary rights and permissions to enable such use by the Ink of Ages Fiction Prize to fulfil the prizes and complete the administration of this competition.

9. General Conditions

  • Entrants may choose a pseudonym to be published alongside their story instead of their name.
  • The Ink of Ages Fiction Prize reserves the right to disqualify any entry suspected of breaching these terms and conditions.
  • The Ink of Ages Fiction Prize reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions or cancel the competition if necessary.
  • Prizes are subject to change depending on the availability of staff, volunteers, and physical goods.

10. Notification of Winners

  • We email every submitting author after the longlist has been selected, so check your junk mail if you don't hear from us. Winners and shortlisted entrants will be notified via the email address provided during submission before public announcements are made. Please ensure the provided email address is accurate and active.

By submitting your entry, you agree to these Terms and Conditions.

For any questions, please contact editor@worldhistory.org.