The Award

A $500 dollar award and infinite glory will go to the best unpublished and unsold science fiction or fantasy short story submitted by a full-time undergraduate college student. The winner will be invited, all expenses paid, to the Conference on the Fantastic, and the winning story will be published in print or online by Asimov's Science Fiction.

The Abridged Rules

  1. You must be a full-time undergraduate college student.
  2. Your story must be unpublished and unsold.
  3. Your story should be between 1,000 and 10,000 words long.
  4. The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time, January 8, 2013.
  5. There is a $5 fee for each entry, which you can pay through PayPal.

For Instructors

Instructors can submit an entire class worth of projects for a flat entry fee of $15 dollars. To do so, contact Dr. Rick Wilber at rwilber@usf.edu

Detailed Rules

The Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing (formerly the Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing) has been established by Asimov's Science Fiction magazine and the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts and is supported by the School of Mass Communications at the University of South Florida. The $500 award goes to the best unpublished and unsold science fiction or fantasy short story submitted by a full-time undergraduate college student. The winner will be invited to the IAFA annual Conference on the Fantastic in mid-March in Orlando, FL, and the winning story will be published in Asimov's in print or on-line.

In general, the winner of the Dell Magazines Award will be the story that best meets the expectations of the judges. Those stories typically are "character oriented"; i.e., the characters, rather than the science, provide the main focus for the reader's interest. Serious, thoughtful, yet accessible fiction will have the best chance of success.

Deadline for entries for this year's contest is midnight (ET), Tuesday, January 7, 2014.

The contest is open to all full-time undergraduates at accredited colleges and universities. The award is not limited to unpublished authors, but all submissions must be previously unpublished and unsold, and they should be from 1,000 to 10,000 words long. Writers may submit an unlimited number of stories, but each manuscript must include a cover sheet with the writer's name, address, phone number, and the name of the university the writer attends. Manuscripts should be double-spaced, with adequate margins, and with pages numbered. Your name should not be on the manuscript itself after the cover sheet.

The judges reserve the right to double-check your university status. For this year's contest, you must have been a full-time undergraduate during the fall 2012; spring 2013 summer 2013; or fall 2013 semesters (or quarters) of your university or college.

Story submissions should have been written during your time as a student. However, if you attended college full-time during a qualifying semester and then graduated, went to part-time status or quit entirely for a time, you are still eligible.

The winner will be determined by the editors of Asimov' magazine and the award administrator.

There is a $5 entry fee per story.

You can submit your story electronically at www.dellaward.com and there is a PayPal option for the entry fee. If you like, you can elect to mail the story to the address below along with your submission fee or you can send the story as an attachment to RWilber@usf.edu and mail the entry fee or utilize PayPal separately.

You can also find us on Facebook by searching for the Dell Magazines Award or going to this site.

IMPORTANT: There is a special class-project category. Any instructor may submit an unlimited number of stories from any one class for a flat rate of $15. The manuscripts must meet the general requirements of the award and should be put into one envelope or sent directly to the administrator as email attachments along with a brief cover letter from the instructor listing the college or university and the name of the class. This offer is for any college class and not limited to creative-writing classes. The instructor should contact Dr. Rick Wilber at RWilber@usf.edu.

Manuscripts cannot be returned, but if you include a self-addressed stamped envelope, we will send you an announcement of the winner and runners-up. The finalists are usually announced by mid-February.

Dell Magazines Award/CIS 3095

School of Mass Communications/USF/4202 E. Fowler

Tampa, Fla. 33620

If you have any questions, you can reach Dr. Wilber at this e-mail address: RWilber@usf.edu.

Stories by previous Dell Award winners are available at the Asimov’s Science Fiction website. The complete list of winners and finalists is on this website.

Submit an Entry