I usually space Showcases out, but I wanted to take the time to highlight something really special. This month is the first season of the Lunar Awards, a Substack society created by Brian Reindel (check out his interview here). The current deadline to submit is April 18th. I’m not affiliated with the Lunar Awards, I’d just like to spread the word so that if you might be interested, you have enough time to prepare your entry.
I’m whittling down a Middle East-inspired, steampunk fantasy short story I wrote back in 2018 from 3,300 words to the required 2,500. I’ll be posting that here on The Storyletter this Saturday as my entry. I think I can do it. Inshallah!
Anyway, continue reading for more details, or check out the FAQ from the source to find out how to enter. Make sure to subscribe to Lunar Awards for eligibility and to get updates on future seasons. Good luck!
What is this all about?
Early on for The Storyletter, I ran into the difficulty of soliciting submissions from writers because, here on Substack, writers tend to want to post their work on their newsletters. Makes sense. Writing isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of time. Unless there’s a mutual benefit, why provide your hard work to someone else’s platform? Well, what it comes down to is recognition.
Recognition, and having your work read by others, is very rewarding. With Substack’s cross-post feature, this has opened the door to a more interconnected way of engaging with readers and writers. It’s partly why I started issuing quarterly prompts, to provide an opportunity to engage with the community and share their work.
Allowing writers to post stories on their own Substacks solves two core issues simultaneously. The writer feels accomplished by posting something to their own audience, while also connecting and promoting their work with alternative audiences to increase their reach. It’s the best form of marketing. It’s a win-win.
What Brian is doing with the Lunar Awards is taking that a step further and offering an even higher form of recognition with an award system that will highlight the already exceptional works found on the platform. This not only helps writers with exposure, but offers a competitive component. It projects legitimacy and purpose, with a shared sense of comradery that bridges the fiction communities on Substack more effectively.
Your stories need to be told, read, shared and recognized. This is the place to help make that happen. The Lunar Awards are here. ~ Brian Reindel
How do the awards work?
A writer who has a Substack subscribes to the Lunar Awards, and they are notified via a post when a new award season starts.
The writer reads the rules, publishes a short story on their own Substack, and then adds a link to the story in the comments of the award season post.
An award season runs for 21 days. When it ends (including the reading period) a post is sent to subscribers identifying the winner and discussing a few of the favorable entries.
Read the FAQ for the full set of rules.
What are the short story award entry rules?
It must be a short story posted on the Substack platform.
It must be 2500 words or less. There is no minimum.
It must be written in English.
It must be posted no earlier than the award season start day, and no later than the deadline day. A total of 21 days. All times are UTC so there is no confusion on time differences.
It must be speculative.
It must be standalone (no serials or parts).
Only one entry per user profile per award season is allowed.
A link to the short story must be posted in the award season post comments during the submission period. Each entry will be verified with a reply.
The previous award season winner is not eligible. One award season must pass before becoming eligible again.
Is there an actual award?
The winning entry will be permanently linked on the Past Winners page. The short story and author will also be featured in a spotlight post. First place will receive a custom image badge for the award season that can be displayed proudly on Substack.
Adding direct monetary prizes along with the feature promotion and badge is planned for future award seasons.
Sign me up!
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, head on over to the Lunar Awards page to find out more. Good luck on your entries! Deadline is April 18th. Can’t wait to read everyone’s stories!
And if you don’t have a Substack, but are interested in creating one, click the button below to get started:
I really like this idea! Makes me wish I wrote more speculative fiction... :-)
Great intro! I’m rooting for this type of community