The 2011-2012 Reading Period is Now Officially Closed
The 2011-2012 Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest reading period is now officially closed.
Before anything else, thank you, more than we can properly say, to everyone who has listed, talked about, promoted, tweeted, retweeted, blogged, entered submissions, or otherwise aided this contest. Given that we’ve been running this contest in support of the Merril Collection, it’s wonderful to see that so many of you have been willing to help promote North America’s foremost public access, non-circulating collection of speculation, science fiction and fantasy material (both fiction and non-fiction).
We’ll be thanking some of you personally in the days to come, but for everyone we don’t get a chance to thank personally, please know that it means no less to us that you were willing to lend your time, your support (financial and more ephemeral), and your good wishes.
So, that said, now we enter the final stretch of logging under the wire entries, and keeping an eye out for physical submissions still coming across the transom – anything postmarked Feb. 15th or earlier is eligible, so if you sent a physical sub and haven’t heard from us yet, don’t fear, we’ll get it and we’ll let you know we received it.
As stated in our Contest Rules, we’ll be announcing our decisions on the nine finalist entries on March 1st. We’ll post up the titles of those entries on the website, and send our final panel judges the entries at the same time. We will send you notification (via e-mail) if you are one of the finalists. If you wish to blog, brag, or otherwise crow for joy on this point, you are absolutely welcome to do so.
However, we would ask that you please refrain from letting people know the title of your story if you’re going to do so, in order not to unduly influence the Final Panel Judges.
On March 1st we will also be sending out rejections to all the entrants whose stories were not selected as finalists. These decisions are not debatable, though we do sympathize as everyone on the contest staff has been on the receiving end of a rejection. We had intended to send these out in staggered waves to reduce the wait time on receiving a rejection, but the logistics of running a first time contest have made this impossible. We apologize for the wait, and, given what we now know about the process for entries, the slush reading requirements for this type of contest, and other factors, it looks like we’ll be doing things the same way for the 2012-2013 contest.
On a different note, once we’ve assembled all the information from the submissions to the contest, we’re also going to post up some stats from the entries. Things like country/region of origin, gender split, submissions by month, final number of entries. Possibly others. We find it fascinating when magazines and contests (this last much more rarely) do so, and we thought we’d share our own stats once we have them. We’ll likely put that together when we put up the list of finalists, to make sure we’ve accounted for all the physical entries still coming through the mail.
Again, thank you for all your aid, your entries, and above all your patience. Though it seems obvious in the saying, without all of your help, this contest would have been impossible to make work.
As ever, if you have questions concerning anything relating to the contest, please contact Michael Matheson at firstname.lastname@example.org.