Why did you dump the Anthology category?

Frankly, anthologies were a pain in the posterior!

First there was the entry process. Even though we tried to simplify things, the entry of anthologies became very complex since there wasn't a single author...unless there was a single author...

Then there was the trophy, which could be presented to the editor, who took a whole bunch of stories and put them into a comprehensible whole, or the publisher, who produced the collection, or the author, who wrote all the stories. See how it got confusing? There were contributors of anthologies who thought everyone in the anthology should get a trophy. One year, we had a winner who had...no kidding...fifty contributors. That would have almost tripled the number of trophies. Crazy, right?EPICDroneMascot

Judging was the final straw. Judges read each story in the anthology, scored the individual works then scored the collection as a overall whole. And what did they do if there were stellar pieces and the rest were not up to par, or visa-versa? Too much math when considering the whole. Not everyone can be Einstein or Pascal. Yikes!  Plus, it gave our Competitions Chair headaches and made her grumpy.

So we came up with one way to make the process easier for everybody, especially our hard working Competition Chair and her (nearly worthless) Competition Drones: individual authors can enter their anthology pieces in either a short works or a novel category.

This will, hopefully, simplify the entry process. We'll keep an eye on how this works out, but we're optimistic that it'll make more people happy than it ticks off.


Where do I put my 27,468 word novella?

Where you place your entry is up to you.

We purposely left the "gray area" between 20,000 and 30,000 words to give some flexibility to entrants. Traditionally, longer short stories can be up to 20,000 words and longer novellas can be up to 30,000 words. Anything over that is called a novel. These numbers are generalities and your publishing houses may have their own definitions. ePublishing has made it easier to get works of all lengths published, so we're trying to find a way to adequately represent all that diversity.

An issue we saw in both the Short Story and Novella categories were that entries ranging from Children's and Young Adult to highly erotic, from romance to mainstream, were judged together. Because of that, we divided the short works into two groups: Fiction and Romance.

We realize many novellas aren't that much shorter than novels, so this change allows you to enter your 20,000 word novella in a novel category. Keep in mind that your decision should be based on an objective evaluation of your work: is there enough plot and characterization to add the texture to the work that will allow it to compete successfully against the longer works? 

There are some novellas that are more compact and may fit better with short stories. Others may be longer, with plenty of plot and characters, and are, for all intents and purposes, novels. In fact, novellas have entered the novel categories, when there was not a specified ‘novella’ category, and won. Our judges don't really care how long, or short, the work is as long as you tell a good story.

Hopefully, this will help you make your decision on where to place your shorter works or novellas.

Why was I disqualified?

How do you know you were disqualified? Our rules state that disqualifications are made "without notification or refund." However, there are any number of reasons for an entry to be disqualified. Here are the most frequent reasons:

 A file that arrives with the filename 919954867.pdf

After you pay your entry fee, you will receive a link to the upload form. There are two steps regarding your file that have to match: the typed name and the uploaded file.

On the upload form you will see the field "Filename" where you type in what the filename should be in the format F01-MyBook (the category code-title). Correctly typing the filename does not affect the name of your uploaded file. This filename helps us figure out what weird uploaded file belongs to which entrant...and so we don't say rude, very funny things about the entrant. We used to correct naming errors, but the competition has grown and this hands-on assistance is no longer possible.

See the FAQ for assistance on correctly naming your uploaded file. We've gotten lots of entries where the filename is correctly typed in the entry form, but the filename on the actual uploaded file is funky beyond belief. So, it's up to you to make sure your files are correctly named for both the Filename box and your uploaded file.

Done correctly, your entry will slide into the correct category, fly to the appropriate judges, and have the best opportunity to win our award!

Advance Reading Copy or Review Galley

Seriously? Yeah, we've gotten uploads of ARCs and Review copies that had that in the filename, which was also not correct. Competition DroneObviously, you don't sell ARCs or review copies, so don't send them to us. More rude comments... Don't make us talk dirty!

Previously entered books

No kidding. If it's been entered before, even with a different publisher or title, or any other changes that you've made to it, it's still the same book. See the FAQ on this issue.

Inappropriate content

We're a pretty open-minded bunch here in EPIC, but even we have our limits. Depictions of bestiality, necrophilia, snuff, or pedophilia as acceptable sexual practices will get you tossed.

Naturally, we're fans of paranormal works. Shape-shifters are not animals, so the bestiality prohibition does not apply. Same deal for aliens who evolved from cats, dragons, skunk bears, whatever. They're all good...really good.

Zombies may be undead, but that means they're not corpses...right?... so, in the icky case of zombie sex, well...okay. But sex with corpses...stone-cold dead corpses, is too icky...yuck...pew...

Snuff, do we need to explain? If you don't know what that is, you don't write it, so don't worry about it.

In the case of pedophilia, we recognize historical accuracy may allow very young protagonists, and you'd have to live under a very large rock not to know that kids are engaging in sexual activity. Pedophilia is a crime, where an older person victimizes a child. This situation may be used as a plot element but, obviously, we don't accept books that depict pedophilia as an acceptable life choice.

There are things that cross the lines of most people's comfort zone. Using children and animals is one of them. There are some practices which, though there are clearly consenting adults who enjoy them, are so far out of the mainstream that we cannot ask our judges to read about them.

EPIC, as an organization, is dedicated to inclusion and acceptance, but our rules indicate where we've drawn the line.